In a smooth move that could send the Gillette-brand brass back to the drawing board to replace its “The Best a Man Can Get” ad campaign, a relatively obscure US company named Zafirro plans to manufacture 99 razors that will boast a decade-long blade life.
The $100,000 limited-edition iridium razor is the Koenigsegg to your Honda Accord, the ChÃ¢teaubriand to your chipped beef on toast, and the Cullinan diamond to your cubic zirconia solitaire. Zafirro chose iridium because it’s strong, dense, and the most corrosion-resistant metal on Earth; the metal’s so scarce (it’s found in meteorites), it helps to justify the six-figure price. The grooming tool’s blade is made using artificially grown sapphire to make it sharp and hypoallergenic, to boot.
Funded by Portland-based investment incubator Bright Light Ventures, Zafirro spent more than three years in research and development, working through the production of hundreds of prototypes. Its initial goal was to make a razor blade that would last forever. The result, however, seems to be a sleek, luxurious eco-product. Some other companies getting Bright Light’s attention include Pinza (cord holder), Luminous (affordable contact lenses), GreenPrint (print management software), and ProgressiveRx (high quality drugs at low prices).
I’m hoping that Zafirro’s iridium razor helps — once and for all — to quell the one-upmanship blade wars I’ve witnessed since 2003 while covering consumer products companies Schick-Wilkinson Sword (owned by Energizer Holdings), Gillette (which Procter & Gamble acquired in 2005 for $57 billion), and others. The fight to achieve the closest, brag-worthy shave with the aid of four, five, or more blades even spurred quite a few spoofs.