From top: KAZUO KAWASAKI MP 701 from Italee Optics; CHRISTIAN ROTH 14020 from Charmant Group USA; KIESELSTEIN-CORD Two Frog from Optical Shop of Aspen

In last month’s feature story on luxury eyewear, L&T showed how lab technicians and dispensing opticians devised solutions to difficult jobs for some of their most demanding patients. This month, we offer more examples of these deluxe details.

FRAME: AluTop by Pro Design Eyewear
LENS: Varilux Ellipse with Crizal Alizé anti-reflective coating
“She wanted something with color,” says Mark Busse, optician with Fifth Avenue Optical in Edina, Minn. The patient was an emerging presbyope, and selected an AluTop, a full-frame metal design from ProDesign’s 7000 Series whose eye rims feature an aluminum top and titanium bottom, chosen mainly because of its fashion look using “non-traditional colors.”
Busse recommended the Ellipse, because, “she was a relatively new presbyope and was complaining that her previous pair made her move her head in an awkward way. The short corridor and wide reading area meant she didn’t have to move her head any differently.” Besides exacting measurements, Busse stresses the key to success was listening to the patient. “She complained about the position of her head when reading. Even though I might have gone with a different progressive design, the short corridor was perfect for this patient because her intermediate zone needs were minimal.”

Crizal AlizĂ© was selected because as Busse explains, “it completes the luxury eyewear, but also, it makes any adaptation that much easier. Plus, it is easier for a patient to keep clean, which is an issue especially for someone relatively new to wearing glasses.”

From a fabrication point of view, according to Jeffrey Bender, finish supervisor at Walman Optical in Minneapolis, the job was standard. “I use finishing surface saver tape on all the AR lenses.”

The metal frame likewise, is also relatively an easy mounting task, although Bender recommends a good screw driver. “You want to make sure the screw driver blade doesn’t get too dull. I prefer the universal screw driver from Breitfeld & Schliekert, because I like the way it grips.”

While grip may be a personal issue and the role hand-held tools play in eyewear taken for granted, “when you do a full-metal frame, it may be routine, but spoilage can come from something like the screw driver slipping out of your hand because of a bad blade or the grip. The investment in quality tools a technician is comfortable using keeps routine jobs routine, even if it is a luxury job.”

FRAME: Judith Leiber by Legacie Eyewear/ Luxury House of B. Robinson Optical LENS: Zeiss Individual with Zeiss Foundation AR Coating
When fitting this first time presbyope patient with luxury eyewear, Philip Schletter, OD, of Lunettes du Monde in Berkeley, Calif., says the key is in the precise “dotting” of the lenses. “This patient was mainly wearing her glasses in social situations, not for staring at the computer. You want to make sure the O.C. is where it will be the most effective for the patient’s lifestyle, especially for a first time wearer, so they have an easier time adjusting.”

The eyewear was fabricated by The Lens Work in Glendale, Calif, a high-end specialty lab and frame distributor. The Zeiss Individual 1.67 was selected for the patient, who the fabricators remembered as being a moderate myope (-2.00D) and borderline high-cylinder. “The lens worked perfectly,” says Kelly Kim, president, “because the 56 eye size was able to give adequate reading area.”

Kim thought the lens for this particular job, however, had significant curvature issues and to get the hole angle precise, he opted for the more skill-intensive hand-drilling, as opposed to using his computerized drill-mount system. “I just preferred to do this job by hand to get the angle correct because sometimes getting the drill bit to enter some curved lenses is not as exact.” 
The other reason for his hand-drill decision was the design of the frame, which features screwed tips at the end of the eye-pieces, as opposed to the more traditional screw and nut assemblies of other designs. “The screw ends means there’s less leeway with the angle and positioning of the hole.”

Kim cleaned each drill hole with a toothpick dipped in mineral oil. “This removes any dust and debris. The Zeiss 1.67 drills very clean, no chatter or cracking. But excess debris can lead to cracking around the hole over time. One quick dab with mineral oil makes the hole clean and smooth.”

For the jeweled eye pieces, which feature precious stones on the pieces, Kim recommends very careful alignment, by hand. “I prefer not to use pliers because they can accidentally jar a stone loose. I did the adjustment by hand, but you can only bend the frame for proper alignment in increments.”