• 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.

  • Ich Bin Ein Berliner?

    Saturday, July 13, 2013

    There once was a Teutonic anti-hero that made a career defining statement. “I’ll be back.” Perhaps making a return is a common Germanic trait as it is also the subject of today’s blog, Mykita.


    When I took over the store in Floral St. in 2005, there was a brand in place that blew my mind. It had the most innovative design and construction in a spectacle frame that I had ever seen. The quality of the materials and the finish was incredible and what was especially surprising was that it came from the minds of two young and very fashionable Berliners who were camped out in Mitte, former East Berlin. Hardly the place you would expect to find precision engineering. More likely you’d find graffiti, tattoos and vegan cafés, at least in the early 2000’s that was the case, but this is the amazing thing about Berlin, pretty much anything goes. They have a saying, “Do what you like but don’t expect anyone to notice.”


    The two Berliners in question, Moritz Krueger and Philipp Haffmans were joined by Daniel Haffmans and Harald Gottschling to complete the team. Then they set about bringing their vision to the optical world. The product was revolutionary. The frame is chemically etched from a sheet of 0.5mm thick, surgical grade, stainless steel. This was a process known to the designers from their education in industrial design but had not been applied to eyewear until they came up with the idea as part of their final year project at university.


    The chemical etching process allows them total precision without the need for laser cutting, the heat of which might buckle or distort the metal. The frames have been designed to work entirely without screws, hinges or welds. This simplicity makes them extremely durable. Lens are fitted to the frame by means of a 0.5mm groove that is cut into the edge of the lens all the way around and then the frame fits into that groove neatly. A retaining clip closes the frame and then the arm is attached to lock the system. A very neat and unique answer to the problem of keeping lenses in spectacles.


    The immediate success of Mykita spurred them on to innovate further. As the eyewear market demanded plastic frames, they set their sights on pushing the boundaries of those too. First, they acquired a milling machine from Japan, one of only four in use in the world and the only one outside Japan. This machine is incredibly accurate and gives them the ability to produce very flat forms in the plastic. It gives them a geometric quality that is not often seen in acetate. Acetate is often used to communicate more organic ideas in eyewear design, to use it to communicate a more architectural message is inspired.


    All the frames are made in house at Mykita HQ in Berlin and as always with brands featured at McClintock, completely hand made. We have a selection of both the metal and the acetate collections in store now. After a hiatus of six years, it was time we gave these German brillen-meisters a place at the store again.

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