Merkur Razors, a brand with over a hundred years of experience, is a symbol of precision and excellence in the shaving industry. Known for high-quality, handcrafted razors, Merkur combines traditional craftsmanship with modern technology. Based in Germany, the brand offers a variety of designs, from classic safety razors to modern models that combine functionality and aesthetic design. Merkur represents innovation, quality, and timeless design, making it one of the leading brands in the world of wet shaving.
The Origins in Solingen
In 1896, Emil Hermes founded Merkur in Solingen, a town renowned for its cutlery expertise. Facing a naming dilemma due to the prevalence of “Hermes” in local businesses, Emil chose “MERKUR,” reflecting the Roman equivalent of Hermes, the messenger god.
Merkur’s initial product, the Barthobel, marked a significant advancement in wet shaving. These early razors, equipped with a safety comb, featured a 4 cm blade reminiscent of traditional straight razors. Despite requiring regular sharpening, they were revolutionary, offering a protective comb and a replaceable wedge-shaped blade.
The Rise of the Safety Razor
With the turn of the 20th century, Merkur pioneered the production of double-edged razor blades. This design, mirroring today’s versions, significantly lowered the risk of injuries. These blades gained popularity for their cost-effectiveness and ease of replacement.
The Little Black Book of Success
Merkur’s commitment to excellence was evident in its packing room, where a sample book meticulously archived each client’s unique blade packaging, including the cellophane pouch and blade envelope.
Continuing the Legacy
In the late 1920s, Emil Hermes’ sons, Erich and Hans, took over the business. A notable photo from around 1935 shows them in the packing room. Merkur sustained its innovative spirit and expanded its range, patenting several models and proudly stamping them with “Made in Solingen” and “Germany”.
Challenges and Changes
The company faced hardships, notably after Hans Hermes’ premature death in 1957. Dietrich Hermes, along with his uncle Erich, led the company through the flourishing “economic miracle” period. However, in the 1970s, following Erich’s death, Dietrich sold MERKUR Stahlwaren.
A New Era with the Kirschbaum Family
In January 1996, the Kirschbaum family acquired a significant stake in MERKUR, marking a new chapter. They reinvigorated the brand, leading to the formation of MERKUR Stahlwaren GmbH & Co. KG. Over the next 25 years, the brand thrived, bolstered by a booming men’s cosmetics market and expanded global distribution.
Merkur Razors in the present time
In 2021, Ulrich Wiethoff, after nearly two decades of guiding MERKUR’s product line, became the sole shareholder, taking over from the Kirschbaum family. A significant moment occurred in September 2022 when MERKUR moved to a new location at Nordstr. 10 in Solingen.
Through its long history, MERKUR Razors has become a symbol of innovation, resilience, and unwavering quality, setting the stage for a bright and prosperous future.