Here are the Toggle razors! These are collector favorites. They are called Toggles because the mechanism to open the doors is a lever located on the bottom of the handle that toggles back and forth. These were the first adjustable razors and they were developed in the mid 1950's. There are 5 different types of Toggle razors - 3 major ones or models (Serial Toggles, Standard Toggles and Chrome Toggles) and 2 sub ones based on their color. At first glance they all appear similar - they all have toggle levers, but they are different in a few ways. In the top row of the Toggle Family picture there are the two Serial Toggles. There are two types of them one in gold and one in nickel. In the middle is the Standard Toggle; there is only one of these types. And, finally in the bottom row there is the Chrome Toggles. There are two of these types, again a gold one and a nickel one.
The Serial Toggles are called that because they have serial numbers stamped into the bottom plate on the underside of the razor head. Also, the adjustment dial on the Serial Toggles is different than most Gillette Adjustable razors - the top adjustment setting is a "5". The majority of Gillette's Adjustable razors produced over the years had a top adjustment setting of "9". Regardless of the adjustable razor - whether the top setting is 5 or 9 - there are only, in actuality, 9 different adjustments. Of course the adjuster dial sets the blade gap of the razor allowing for closer shaves or more comfortable shaves. As previously stated, there are two types of Serial Toggles, a gold one and a nickel plated one. Of the two types, the gold one has had more examples survive to this day. However, it is still very rare. The nickel version of the Serial Toggle is ultra-rare! Less that 5 versions are know to exist in collector's hands. All the Serial Toggles have a manufacturing date code of A-3 (1955 - Third Quarter). Curiously enough the date code of the Serial Toggle is stamped on an internal part of the razor. For this reason, it was not discovered by collectors for many years. Also, the serial number stamped into the head is a 4 digit number, implying that Gillette never intended, at least initially, of creating more that 10,000 of them (0000 - 9999).
The middle razor in the family picture is the Standard Toggle. The Standard Toggle, as the name implies, is the most commonly available toggle razor. There are thousands of these razors available for collectors and shavers to enjoy. The Standard Toggle was manufactured in D-1 (1958 - First Quarter) and F-4 (1960 - Fourth Quarter). Therefore, although identical, you will find stamping differences corresponding to when this type of razor was manufactured. The F-4 is more common than even the D-1. The Standard Toggle has a maximum adjustment setting of "9" and an indent in the collar to indicate the setting position. This indent was inlaid with red paint and is called a "Red Dot" indicator.
The Chrome Toggles are shown in the bottom row of the Toggle Family picture. There are two types of Chrome Toggles; a nickel plated and a gold plated type. The nickel type again is rare but the gold type is extremely rare. Only one version of the gold plated chrome toggle has been found to date. The Chrome Toggle model got their name from a prominent razor collector in Germany (Joachim Duwe AKA Mr Razor), who, at the time of his decision to name it, called it "chrome" because he had only seen one type of silver colored toggle razor. And, he had never seen a gold version of it; nor the nickel Serial Toggle. Well, the name has stuck. The major difference between the Chrome Toggle types and the other models of toggles is in the position indicator. The position indicator for the Chrome Toggle is a spring, not an indent in the collar. The Chrome Toggle has a "Black Spring" indicator which has two functions: to indicate the position and to provide resistance and tactile feedback at each setting. The Chrome Toggle was only manufactured in F-4 (1960 - Fourth Quarter).