In October last year the supply of Iridium razor blades, made by Petersburg Products International (PPI), suddenly dried up, retailers world wide could not get any more from anywhere. Once the word was out existing stocks sold out in less than a day. And now individuals with hoards of these blades are selling them for a handsome premium on eBay and on the shaving forums. Buyers are happy to pay this premium because the Iridium was almost universally perceived as being a bit special, combining extreme sharpness with supreme smoothness and great durability. To many they were the best blade in the world.
Now, in an interesting development, a member of the Pogonotomy forum has received this correspondence directly from Petersburg Products International:
thank you for your message to P&G and your interest in our products.
Judging by the structure of your Russian phrase, English should be more natural to you:), therefore replying in English to your question ( if I understodd it correctly).
The PPI company still produces Super Iridium double edge blades and has no intention to stop the manufacture of this product.
However, we have no information as to where to find these blades in retail in your particular country.
Procter & Gamble,
Consumer Relations Russia&Belarus
The immediate question that springs to mind is that if “The PPI company still produces Super Iridium double edge blades” then where are they? Not a single blade has been seen in the normal retail channels for three months. If a batch were to suddenly appear it would sell out pretty quickly as traditional shavers world wide insured against the shavepocalypse by building up their stashes. And the next batch, and the batch after that.
In the meantime there has been much debate about which PPI blades are the same as the Iridium. Over a dozen brands come out of that factory and it makes sense that often the only difference is the packaging, so which of them is manufactured identically to the Iridium but branded differently? Some think one could be the Permasharp blade, sold in Turkey. But the reality is that only PPI really know.
So, like many reading this, I am waiting to see what happens. If the Iridiums do appear, if they are the same as before and if they are priced sensibly then my stash could experience a sudden large expansion. Better safe than sorry.