Friday, July 8, 2011

Tom Davies: the Unboxing

I just wrote about adding Tom Davies bespoke custom-made eyewear to our shop. It was about six weeks ago that I put the collection into the shop, and at that time I designed my first pair of frames for myself.

Today my eyewear arrived.


These are not just a pair of frames. In this box is a celebration of bespoke engineering and pageant of eyewear couture. The soft padded vinyl box alone is fabulous. (Click the pictures for links to the full-sized images.)

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Inside, the case and two envelopes, and Tom Davies couture emblem.


A sample of the acetate material used to make my frames, laser engraved with my name, is secured into the box.


The first envelope contains an explanation of the craftsmanship and precision design that went into the fabrication of this piece of couture eyewear. Custom measurements were taken for the length of temple to my ear, bend behind the ear, head width at temple and ears, lens size according to eyes, and frame curvature, and all were incorporated into my one-of-a-kind handmade frames. The second envelope is the guarantee of excellence, and the 3-year warranty that backs it up.

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On the reverse of this explanation sheet is on the the coolest features of the package, the complete CAD diagram Tom Davies’ designers conjured up and used for fabrication, based on my specifications.


The case itself is an elegant padded vinyl black brick, save for the embossed TD logo devoid to adornment, reminiscent of Clarke/Kubrick’s monolith.


Then, the case not so much opens as unfurls, to reveal the culmination of custom design, six weeks hand-crafting, and excited unboxing.

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The finishing touch is a twin personalized laser engraving like that on my box, and the unembellished assurance of “handmade”.


I have a large head and require generously proportioned eyewear. Usually I find frames that give me a decent facial fit and then mangle them (professionally mangle, that is) into a good head fit. All frames could use a little tweaking for the ideal fit, and I will adjust these some, but with the custom sizing off the measurements of my cranium these are the first frames I have ever put on and felt they are not too small. If anything, they are slightly large (easily remedied)!


I was very excited for my custom made-to-measure eyewear, and am even more impressed after inspecting the final result. After review of the design accuracy and precision craftsmanship, and simply feeling them on even before final adjustment, I earnestly believe Tom Davies bespoke couture frames to be the highest quality, best fitting, and greatest value eyewear I have ever encountered in 11 years as an optician.

I will be designing myself several more pairs. The design process itself is addicting! After my unboxing in the office, everyone else on staff is awed and ready to design their own custom eyewear.

In addition to my own, I have designed a pair for one of our staff and one for our first bespoke eyewear patient. Each of these is still in production, and if their results are anything like mine, they will never settle for off-the-shelf again.

I look forward to designing bespoke eyewear for many customers in the future.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Custom Made One-of-a-Kind Eyewear

Fitting frames to patients is part of an optician's job. Much of the time carefully selected frames can be bent, twisted, curved, rolled, shortened, lengthened, or otherwise modified to achieve a satisfactory fit. However, it takes a lot of work to get a great fit, and with most frames perfection is impossible.

British royalty, Saudi oil billionaires, and Hollywood celebrities have never had such fitting issues because their frames a custom hand made by designers like Tom Davies to their exact measurements and specifications ("bespoke" in English parlance). But at ₤5,000 a frame, that's obviously not realistic for the rest of us.

Tom Davies realized this and opened his own specialty frame company, TD Tom Davies. From his workshop he supplies opticians around the world with the tools and resources to measure, design, and build their own custom frames, piece by piece, at a price accessible to any spectacle wearer.

I custom design Tom Davies eyewear. I have a collection of two dozen of Tom's latest styles, which even off the shelf are the most exquisitely designed and highest quality frames in the shop. From these great models my customers and I change shapes and sizes, select hinge styles, and pick from palettes of dozens of colors and finishes, all to create a 100% unique frame design. Then I measure all the customer's facial dimensions that affect frame fit to create the most precision custom tailored eyewear possible.

This eyewear is not merely about custom design and personalized fitting, but also about exceptional quality. Only the finest quality acetates (the best plastic material for frames) in rich colors and highest grade optical titanium are used, and everything is assembled perfect precision under Tom's own personal supervision.

The end result is the most perfect eyewear possible: unique personalized design, ideal fit, and extraordinary quality craftsmanship.

Here is a great article on a style blog about Tom Davies:

Fastcompany profiles the "next big thing" in fashion, Tom Davies Bespoke eyewear:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Chemistrie Magnetic Sunglasses

Chemistrie sunglasses are custom made polarized sunglasses that magnetically "click" onto your prescription eyewear. Think clip-on, but with all of the coolness and none of the dorkiness.

The lenses are custom cut to the exact shape of the frames, and then small strong magnets are built into both your prescription lenses and the sun lenses. The sunglasses are built to complement the color of your frame as well as match curvature of your prescription lenses. The result is a truly custom product that accompanies your eyewear so well it looks like it came with it, and clicks on and off with ease.

Three months ago I finally added the excellent Chemistrie magnetic sunglasses system to our shop. I had been aware of these since 2009 and wanted them, but at that time only a few optical labs in the country had the technology to make them. I only trust a couple excellent labs to run my jobs, and at the time they did not make Chemistrie. But as of May 2011 my favorite custom lab added the equipment and now makes Chemistrie, and I started putting them on my customers immediately.

It's hard to understand how elegant a sun solution these are until one sees them and handles them in person. I have been dealing with traditional clip-ons, even expensive custom made ones, for years, and have never liked them. These are easy to put on, easy to take off, slim and sleek, and durable. They what everyone wants from clip-ons, but what no other clip-on has ever been able to deliver.

Check out my photo album of actual customer Chemistrie sunglasses I have made:

Chemistrie magnetic sunglasses are available with every pair of frames I have in the shop. I recommend them for everyone.

NEW: Chemistrie now has magnetic reading glasses and 3D lenses. If you don't like multifocals or don't like wearing reading glasses all the time, just click on the readers when you need them! Hate the uncomfortable (and grimy) 3D glasses they hand out at the movies? Bring your own and just click them onto your prescription glasses for perfect 3D entertainment.

COMING SOON: full magnetic click on progressive lenses!