• About Séamus

    Originally from Northern Ireland, I came to England seventeen years ago. My first proper job was in an opticians and I have never left the industry since (apart from one month at a bespoke shirt makers). I have sixteen years experience of the eyewear industry and have a passion for handmade spectacles and sunglasses with an eye on innovation in design.

  • Monthly Archives: April 2012

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Randolph Engineering.

    A few days ago, I received my delivery of Randolph Engineering sunglasses. You may not recognise the name but you may recognise the frame above as the one worn by Don Draper in Madmen, the cult T.V. series.

    Although Don could have worn them in the sixties, the brand Randolph Engineering Sunglasses did not emerge until 1982. For many years they were a subcontractor to the original manufacturer, supplying the tools and dies and machinery for them as well as carrying out the fabrication of the sunglasses. Eventually they realised that they should probably cut out the middle man and applied for and won the contract to supply the United States Air Force. By the late 80’s, demand saw them expand into supply to the commercial market too. The word was out on these high quality frames with amazingly optically clear lenses.

    I often hear people moaning about the demise of Bausch and Lomb manufactured sunglasses, they say the quality is not the same anymore. Well these are better than B&L ever were! They are still manufactured in Randolph, Massachusetts. The process from start to finish takes more than 200 stages and most are done by hand. They insist on the best quality alloys with a tight molecular structure to prevent oxidation and even make their own solder flux. Because of this they offer a lifetime guarantee on any soldered joints.

     

    The lenses are chemically toughened mineral glass and are exceptionally scratch resistant. They also offer unbeaten optical clarity. A range of colours is available in both the frames and the lenses. Later in the year we will have some special limited edition frames produced in collaboration with fashion designer Michael Bastian. I’ll let you know when they are here. Till then, come and have a look at the classic styles. You will not be disappointed.

     

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    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    New in store… Oliver Peoples.

    After almost a year of selling the Paul Smith eyewear range, it seemed a natural progression to sell the Oliver Peoples too. After all, Oliver Peoples have manufactured the Paul Smith range from their launch. As I mentioned when I told you about the arrival of the Paul Smith, he wore Oliver Peoples himself and when he decided to have a collection of spectacles and sunglasses to compliment his clothing range, he went straight to the brand he like to wear. He knew that their quality and attention to detail was as good as he would demand of his own brand and so their relationship was formed and has lasted for almost twenty years.

    The Oliver Peoples differ from the Paul Smith in that although they both have a retro feel, the Oliver Peoples are more so. They also have more of an American look. It is hard not to fall into the cliched description of “preppy” but I am afraid no other description would do. These would not look out of place on the face of a Harvard professor of classics any more than that of a 21 year old Hoxton hipster, and everyone in between.

    We have a great collection of sunglasses from Oliver Peoples too, many of which feature polarised lenses. We have some pairs of the very special VFX lens sunglasses. These have a lens that is grad tinted slightly for wearing in partial sunlight (like you might get in China White at 2am) but it also has a photochromic layer that darkens when you step into full sunlight, thus giving you the best of both worlds.

    Like the Paul Smith, they are made in either Japan or Italy and use very high quality acetates, titanium and stainless steel and the finish is perfect. These and also new Paul Smith spectacles and sunglasses are in store now and waiting for you to see!

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