L'Essor Le Supreme

The L'Essor Le Supreme, with its industrial/steampunk design is IMHO one of the best looking razors around. It's head and twist knob are made of brass, handle is aluminium and as a result its very "head heavy". The adjustment mechanism pushes the safety bars downwards and out in a scissors like action - very awesome to look at and play with.

I'm not sure what the designer had in mind but a very strange anomoly with it is that it has different blade gaps per side. I'm not sure why one would need that in an adjustable. Per the instructions - start on the lower setting for the first pass and then turn the razor around on the more open side for the second pass. (A scan of the original instructions in French are towards the bottom of the page.)

All but one of the Le Supremes that I have seen online have the diamond knurling and the Hol'Pif's have the straight knurling. As a guess, the one with the straight knurling is an earlier model.

A bit about L'Essor. The original design was a Hol'Pif. A bankrupt Hol Pif were taken over by L'Essor and who in turn were bought out by Gibbs.
(For all the differences with images between a Hol'Pif and a Le Supreme SEE HERE)

Supreme Diamond Supreme Diamond Supreme Diamond
Supreme Diamond Supreme Diamond

 

This is the other, that I believe to be an earlier version that I referred to. The knurling is similar to that of a Hol'Pif.
Other than the knurling on the handle - everything else is the same.

Supreme Straight Supreme Straight Supreme Straight

How does it shave?
Even at its most open it's a mild shaver.
I generally use them with the topcap the "wrong" way around. It evens out the gaps. If I want a bigger gap, I just adjust it.

Diamond sotd Diamond sotd Diamond sotd
Straight sotd Straight sotd Straight sotd



This is a scan of the original instructions. (Click on them to open a bigger version in a new tab)
The Google translation is on the right.

LE SUPREME
THE FULL ADJUSTABLE RAZOR
EACH HAS A PERSONAL-ADAPTING RAZOR
    We all know from personal experience that not all epidermis, not a beard, are comparable to one another.
    Some have sensitive skin, others hard beards, others beard stuck in all directions. still others the face angular or cut with strong furrows, and for many, several of these various points united, making shaving difficult or painful, making it a real
    Each person does not explain himself, in general, what the reasons for these difficulties are. However, if we examine the way the barber shaves, we realize that he always seeks the sharpest angle of cut, the razor almost flat on the skin, and that, according to the strength or the type of beard, he employs one razor or another.
    Starting from these primary observations, and from many others, it follows that IT IS NECESSARY TO HAVE AND MAINTAIN CONSTANTLY THE BEST CUTTING ANGLE, IS THE MOST ACUTE, whatever the opening of the razor. It is necessary to have the blade maintained in a rigid way, and to choose the extra-thin, thin or strong blade, according to the type of beard and the sensitivity of the skin. It is necessary to be able to clear the cutting edge of the lane in a precise way, depending on whether the features are jagged or offer difficulty in reaching the surface very closely without significantly modifying the most acute cutting angle which is the most favourable.
    A razor therefore needs to take any blade, that the latter be held on its length, absolutely rigid, and that the guard or comb be movable - in a well-determined direction in order to free or narrow the cutting edge of the blade without changing its inclination or angle of cut.
    The SUPREME razor is inspired and designed from these observations and it is the ONLY razor bringing together all these improvements.
    It therefore takes all the blades, keeps them rigid, over their entire length, practically coloring cutting angle adjustable opening with accuracy. Entirely made of stainless metals.
    The use of the SUPREME razor is as simple as any other razor, but each person has the ability to adjust the settiung to their personal beard, simply by turning the knurled nut numbered 1-4 from left to right.
    Each division opens 4 1/10 of m/m. The complete opening reaches 20 to 25 1/10 of m/m.
    In general, by placing the number 3 under the mark red for the first pass and 3 or 4 for your second, this is sufficient but if you want a larger opening, continue to turn the nut while using the blue marker placed opposite the red and a half. - the nut makes a turn.
    The complete closure protects the blade against possible accidents, and also the fingers in case of clumsy handling.
    Le SUPREME is sold in a nickel-plated metal case. velvet or felt interior, or in case, ordinary sheathing.
    The set comes with a practically unlimited guarantee, and can be found in all major stores, perfumeries, tools, etc., etc.