Gillette "Red Dot" Fatboy

The “Red Dot” (so dubbed for the red dot to mark the adjustment setting) was one of several test market razors built by Gillette back in the 1950’s when they were developing the 195 adjustable razor that we affectionately refer to as the “Fat Boy”. As far as limited production razors go, this one is seen a little more often than the model that has the adjustment dial on the bottom, and it is fairly well finished with a solid nickel plating job and a case. 

These razors were made for two main reasons - take the "Toggle" Adjustable platform and bring the price point down, in order to sell more. Gillette also used them to see if they could be sold at a slightly higher price point of $2.49 rather than what they settled on with the famous $1.95 Adjustable "Fatboy". 

 

Other than its basic appearance and function, it really doesn't have that much in common with the production Fat Boy -- it’s actually more like a Toggle with a twist-to-open (TTO) knob.

The Red Dot weighs 3.0 ounces, which is slightly more than the production Fat Boy’s 2.7 ounces, and it has a little longer handle.

It also has a thicker, differently shaped blade tray and slightly longer guard bars. The adjustment dial is a night and day difference as it is free of the sloppiness of the production Fat Boy with a tighter and more precise feel to it. The adjustment is also different in that the entire blade tray moves on the Red Dot, whereas only the four bars move on the Fat Boy.

And unlike the Fat Boy, the Red Dot does not have a "lock down" turn, it just tightens down in the same manner as a Super Speed. All-in-all, the Red Dot has a sturdier and more precise build quality, and I always kind of thought that a gold plated version is what the adjustable Executive should have been. The case for the Red Dot is also a little larger and more rounded than that of the Fat Boy.