When I was a child my Dad taught me how to use an electric razor. Wet shaving wasn’t as popular in the 1970s and 80s as it was synonymous with cuts and pieces of tissue paper stuck to your face. My Dad used vintage Philips two-head razor that fitted comfortably in the palm and came in a smart case. All of this packaging gave out the message that razors were expensive.
When it came to getting my own razor, something expensive was a waste of good money that could have been spent on records or a great personal stereo from the likes of Aiwa. And that’s where the Tracer came in. It was Philips cheapest razor.
Cheap didn’t mean cheaply made, Philips still made a razor that was built to last. It was small, easy to use and care for. After almost 20 years, this one still works. Compared to modern Philips razors it was was unsophisticated. The beard and sideboard trimmer has a habit of yanking hairs right off your face. The heads don’t shave terribly close, because don’t have the fancy geometry of newer razors that match the shape of your jawline.
The design and logo typography aren’t the greatest examples of classic design, but when you are 14 or 15 and you had one of these it started to feel that you were growing up fast.