The new razor, called Fusion, will be introduced in 2006 with a big price jump. The individual razor cartridges will cost a whopping $3 each. But history shows that men around the world will gratefully spend tens of billions of dollars to chase new shaving technology, even if it gains them the merest marginal improvement in shaving comfort.

And Gillette's multi-billion dollar bet that the worldwide pursuit of a better shave will continue, and damn the cost, is being made on what the company sees as good odds. Here's why: