I would stay away from the adjustable because it is one more variable for him to deal with, and as you are learning you want to keep it pretty straight forward. I would suggest the 34C HD, its a great razor and perfect for beginners.
Why do you want to stay away from Gillette's? Do you just not like gifting something that is used? If you look at if from the perspective of giving him something that is not just simply used, but vintage then maybe you'd feel different about it. I'm sure he would appreciate a vintage razor that was in excellent condition just as much, if not more, than a new one.
Razor: Merkur HD, Gold Fat Handled Tech
Brush:Edwin Jagger Medium Best Badger
Soap: Proraso Green Tea
Cream: Proraso, Nivea
Aftershave: Aqua Velva Musk, Brut
Blades: Undecided for HD, Feathers in the Tech