The cutthroat razor from Skyfall

One of James Bond’s steamiest encounters in Skyfall takes place when Eve arrives at 007’s hotel room and finds him about to use a cutthroat razor to remove the beard he has grown since going MIA in Turkey.

After being interrupted by his visitor as they flirt he hands over the razor and lets her to shave him.

The scene obviously had tremendous impact on audiences as it was reported on the weeks following UK release that the sale of cutthroat razors had skyrocketed.

Shaving in the 007 films

Of course, it is not the first time we’ve seen James Bond shave in the movies; the following three other occasions spring to mind, although there may be others too (leave a comment below to add any) :

  • On the plane in Goldfinger when he uses a Gillette Slim Adjustable, which is an very early example of product placement in the Bond series.
  • A Schick razor in Live And Let Die, when he kills a snake by igniting the spray from his aerosol shaving foam.
  • The Norelco Spectra 8894XL electric razor in Die Another Day used to remove his considerable beard grown while being held prisoner in North Korea.

Both the Schick and Norelco razors were product placement deals too.

The books

Ian Fleming described 007 using a heavy-toothed Gillette, and later a Hoffritz (previously discussed here), a brand that is no longer available.Merkur 15C

However, it turns out that the Hoffritz branded razors were actually made by German manufacturer Merkur.

DOVO Solingen is the current owner of the Merkur brand and similar designs to that used by 007 can be still obtained.


The Skyfall cutthroat

Back to Skyfall again, it does turn out that a connection with the books may exist, despite literary Bond never using a cutthroat razor.

According to men’s grooming, fashion and lifestyle blog Ape To Gentleman, DOVO Solingen supplied a 3580 razor to the production team. While the company believes this razor was not used in filming, they do believe it is one of their products that appears with a #41 blade.

Perhaps more information regarding the exact model used in Skyfall will become available once fans have the chance to watch the film frame by frame on DVD and Blu-Ray. However, it is interesting that while the scene has made a big impact on sales of cutthroat razors generally, this time it wasn’t the result of the company paying for screen time.

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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3 Responses to “The cutthroat razor from Skyfall”

  • Johnny West

    I have the Gillette but it tears my face up too much. The little Murkur travel razor is perfect. Personally, I like the old two blade Gillette replacement head the best which I’ve been using for almost 40 years. I’m too chicken to try a straight razor but sometimes the old ways are best. JW

  • M

    I’ve got a Merkur which I’ve been using for a couple of years now. I won’t bother with the cutthroat, it’s simply unnecessary.

  • R. Phillips

    While I agree that the “cutthroat” razor is “unnecessary”, when has stopped anyone from doing anything?
    I just purchased a “cutthroat” razor today and then discovered a video from David Zaritsky where he receives the Skyfall shaving kit from two Bondian friends, in honor of his 50th birthday. What a superb gift from obviously kind friends?
    I have every intention of trying out my new razor, not only for a Bondian shaving experience, but also because my late Grandfather who passed away on the 24th of November 1963 in a hospital in Maryland. He entered the hospital in acute abdominal pain on the 22nd of November 1963. Yes, for those old enough to recall the date, they likely know exactly where they were, who they were with and the time of day they learned that President John F. Kennedy was murdered by an assassin’s bullet.
    Everything around that time in indelibly etched in my brain. I was only 4 years old back then and I remember the events as if they were only yesterday.
    My Grandfather was an engineer on a train with the then, B&O Railroad. AS a side job, he had his own barbershop and just a few weeks before, I watched my Grandfather expertly shave my father with a straight razor. Though being Native, I don’t really have much in the way of facial hair, but I do have enough to shave it off every now and again.
    Again, I completely and utterly concur with “M”, a straight razor is entirely “unnecessary”, however, I’m going to use mine, just the same.

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