“Handmade in France”
Made by hand (and uniquely so), the Thiers-Issard brand is, in this one opinion, the most hollow ground and flexible razor left in production today. They’ve produced straight razors for nearly 100 years in Thiers, France, with traditional methods confined to this most special of nations.
‘1196’ is the designation of the Evide Sonnant Extra, TI’s bread-and-butter model. The “ESE” is supplied with a free basic black leather sheath/pouch. The scales here are costly; they’re made of ‘noble’ spotted oak wood, which means TI sources blanks of wood much larger than they need to be, and allows them to age over seasons of temp/humidity variance prior to the woodworking, so that when they finally do cut them down to size they will tend to stay stationary more than others. Weight of this 5/8 variation of the ESE fitted in the oak handle is approximately forty-seven grams.
It is the firm belief here that Thiers-Issard is the absolute pinnacle of razor-pinning skill from the EU, the centering, tension maximum, and tension uniformity tendencies are tremendous. TI charges a high premium for the non-basic-celluloid scales on the ‘ESE’, because they can! As with all natural materials, however, you should be ever-mindful with any horn/timber/bone/ivory/etc. scales to carefully guide your razor’s toe back in to the scales by “fingertip-tugboat” when closing, as these materials will inevitably move to succumb to their environmental influences over time…there are always truly inert options available (such as resins and micarta), though they will of course lack the natural feel of anything ordained by nature instead of created by man.
In shaving with straight razors the majority of my lifetime now and having owned and used hundreds, a basic no-frills late-1990s to early 2000s copy (only remember which apartment living when got it & dates of those leases) of this same ole ‘Evide Sonnant Extra’ razor is the finest shaving tool I’ve ever put to face, and when I got it new its bevel form was wavy as a funhouse mirror. As Sam Cassell might possibly decree, never mind how I look, just gimme the damn rock. While it isn’t a fancy looking TI among TIs, the Evide Sonnant Extra absolutely can shave you simply magically close.
If you elect for the factory edge [= just pick your ‘specimen’ from the ‘police lineup’ images via the drop-down menu], you’ll receive your razor exactly as its manufacturers intended…pretty simple!
If you elect for The Superior Shave to further hone your razor [= add a ‘note to vendor’ at checkout denoting your preference for the razor to be further honed], your razor will be delivered to you Guaranteed Shave Ready! The Superior Shave hones via a method best coined (by the old Thiers-Issard director) as “the opposite of tape“ where the hones’ geometries are catered to performance of the razor and to no other concern.