Gents, I thought I’d contribute with a rewritten description of this razor - posted earlier on another shaving website.
The L’Essor Le Supreme reglable (adjustable) is one of the more rare adjustable razors, French made, probably dating from the 1930s and/or 1940s(?). Very little is known about it, at least I had a hard time finding any info whatsoever on it when I started researching, after I had fallen in love with it’s cool old school industrial looks in a B&B thread. In the adjustable world it preceeds the Gibbs (I think) and for sure all the Gillettes.
A couple of months ago I took delivery of my own specimen, sent directly from France after I won it on the bay after one of my more significant bids - However it seemed in great condition and came as a full set even with the original manual included, so I thought I’d try to get it. And thankfully I did.
Upon receival I did a quick clean with very hot water soak, soap detergent and an old soft tooth brush. Little was needed as it only held some old soap gunk from way back. There was two moments of anxiety though, first when I took it apart and found it held a rusty old Gillette blade. But thankfully this had left no marks. And secondly when the adjustment was completely stuck... ... I took a deep breath and found a bit of oil to grease it up, and after 15 seconds of working it it came fully loose. A sigh of relief, of course, I was already picturing myself writing a HELP mail to Cap... After this it has functioned impeccably.
In hand this razor proved just as nice as hoped, in awesome condition actually. No brassing and with great shine all over. Before buying I was advised that it is all brass except an aluminum handle, and in hand this seems true. It is on the heavy side, weighing in at 88 grams, and it is quite top heavy due to the light handle and the unique 4-screw head setup. It measures 80 mm from head to toe. It is a really a sturdy beast in hand, seems unbreakable, and it is just beautiful to behold, in a manly industrial way of course.
The adjustment is infinite, as with e.g. the Gibbs and the Rex Ambassador. And interestingly the two sides are not identical but has slightly varying blade gap - notice the red and blue color marking in the pictures (under the head/baseplate).
This case has a few outside scratches and marks from time, even a small crack but it shuts securely and evenly. The insides are simply a joy to look at, the burgundy linen is in great shape, but the real treat is the bright blue logo - in perfect shape.
The two blade banks appear to be quite standard, no marks on the outside. And the manual is really fun to have; like others of this age it is really delicate, like parchment, but it is complete and quite unique. It was unfolded with great care!
I went into my first shave with a lot of trepidation as I reached out beforehand to a French friend whose opinion on French razors I really trust. And he plainly said that he hated the shaves! Sigh, not what really you wanted to hear...
But thankfully YMMV still rules! It was a mighty fine shave, I used a brandnew Personna, set the razor on its mildest setting and took it slow with ease and care. This razor is REALLY top heavy but once you adjust for that it works very well. I would not say the smoothness matches a British Aristocrat but still very good, I really sense the round safety bars, nice.
Since acquiring this a couple of months ago I have shaved with it regularly, always with a Feather blade, it is really a fine mild shaver when kept to the lower adjustment settings. And the steampunk looks are unbeatable - it is a créature magnifique.