Eyewar craziness

2019-05-21

This post is about a personal quest to find better looking glasses and some feedback.

The beginning

One day, on the way to school with my daughter, I heard a woman shouting and running towards us from the other side of street. I was then thinking, what’s happening, is she crazy? After she arrived a few meters from us, I finally recognized my panicked neighbor, she was looking for her kids (they went to school alone that day), but I haven’t seen them. I couldn’t give a straight answer because I didn’t recognize her at first. I decided it was time for an eye check.

Eye Check

I first got to a local eye doctor to have my eyes checked. She couldn’t get my right eye to 10 and gave me a prescription. I then wanted to see another doctor because I wasn’t confident with the first one. He got my eyes to 10 and found an error in the first prescription: if you are unsure of the doctor’s diagnosis, always ask for a second or even a third advice !

First glasses

With the new prescription, I went to the local optician. I didn’t know a lot about brands and also didn’t have very strong requirements for glasses except:

  • Light
  • Not too visible on the face
  • Not too expensive

After a few tries, I settled for a rimless Silhouette 7770 6054. It fitted all the requirements and was much cheaper than the Silhouette TMA counterpart, I also liked the screwless design.

After a few days of wearing the glasses, I had pains at the back of my skull at the end of every day. I first thought it was due to the lenses, but finally found out that the screwless design of the rimless eyewear was adding pressure behind my ears (it is how they are supposed to work) to not fall and stay in place. However, that pressure caused me to have headaches everyday, something that I could not find out when trying the glasses in the store for a few minutes.

I got back to the local optician to adjust the glasses, but after every try, I still got headaches at the end of the day. We finally agreed to switch the temples for the Silhouette 5479 6059 which are more classic and foldable. I finally had comfortable glasses ! Note that another problem I had with the screwless temples was where to put the glasses when I didn’t need them and didn’t have the box, because the temples are always half open, the glasses cannot hang properly to clothes or easily be put inside a pocket.

Second glasses

After a few months I really got tired of the semi invisible design, having only the bridge and the temples visible. I found the glasses very lightweight and functional, but not very esthetic, they of course were meant to be invisible ! As the days went on, what began with a minor esthetic nuisance soon became an obsession in the search of “the perfect glasses”. I thus started a quest to find the next glasses to buy or to comfort my an idea that the current glasses are just Ok (they are), but Instarted looking nonetheless.

My requirements became:

  • Light
  • Not too visible on the face, but more than what I currently have
  • No price requirements, I was first just looking to have an idea on my next glasses 2 or years from now

I began scouting different opticians in my neighborhood, but instead of going to big resellers which I always went too, I focused on small and independent shops. Each time I explained the current situation, and that I was just looking for a new style of glasses, unlikely to buy, but you never know !
I first tried different styles of acetate glasses, those were quite big on my face and much more heavier that what I had, donI quickly ruled them out. I am currently wearing some oval glasses, and was opened to any new style: round, rectangular, pantos, …

I learnt that most glasses brands were owned by a big company called Luxxotica which has much of the eyewear market: Oakley, Ray Ban, Persol, … and every luxury brand that I know of (Gucci, Chanel, Dior, …). As I looked into different brands more and more, I searched for something more independant. Price was not a major criteria anymore because I realized that for something I wore everyday for a few years 100 or 200 euros difference in price was not that much.

The first recurring brand I tried and liked a lot was Lindberg, top quality titanium, very light, … but also quite expensive. The rimless glasses are top notch, but have still the same look that my current Silhouette even if the quality is better. The other glasses I liked are from the air titatium rim line with the frame built from a titanium thread. It was however visually too light of a change compared to rimless glasses. Should I buy new glasses from scratch, I think I would have chosen Lindberg.

During my search I also realized that most glasses are quite big, mostly the lenses height. As I tried more of them, I knew I wanted something smaller. When adding “not too big”, the list of glasses brand meeting my criteria grew smaller.

I was then introduced to some Japanese brands with glasses made by hand in titanium (though different from Lindberg). Some models were quite big, but others were quite small, fitting on my little face. I thus tried the following brands, having a “retro” style, and made in Japan:

  • 10 Eyevan: I only tried one pair of glasses, beautiful color, nice form, still too big, huge price !!
  • Eyevan 7285: “bigger” glasses according to my liking, the materials and design are very good
  • Kame Mannen: recent models are more heavy and a bit thick, most models are very japanese/retro and not as beautiful as Kaneko
  • Kaneko: beautiful and very light glasses, in different shapes. But most models were a little too big for me
  • Lunor: designed in Germany, then are very expensive compared to other Japanese models. Moreover, most of them do not have nose pads, and they do not fit on my nose.
  • Masunaga 1905: lighter design than Matsuda but still too big for my taste, I preferred Eyevan 7285
  • Matsuda: big glasses and very present on the face, heavier than other Japanese brands
  • Yellows Plus: a recent addition in Japanese brand history, also very good quality and a nice design with usually some painted parts around the lenses and temples

I also came across other famous and independent brands with unique styles:

  • Anne et Valentin: another French brand, with very unique and moderm style, too modern for me. Their titanium glasses are also made in Japan and extremely light, also they do not seem as sturdy as the Japanese ones
  • Gold & Wood: mix of metal and wood on the temples, design may be simple but the glasses are quite heavy due to the wood addition
  • Henry Jullien: glasses made in France, usually luxury metal frames gold or silver plated. I much prefer the solid and lighter Japanese counterpart in titanium
  • Jimmy Fairly: another French brand with cheap glasses and lots of “classic” design. I found the glasss much too big and of over all bad quality compared to others, but the price is very good for what they offer
  • Mykita: German brand with very light steel and lots of different design, almost too much. I however don’t like the screwless hinges, temples are either opened or closed
  • Rezin: glasses made entirely of wood, very unique and design. But very big!

To end the craziness, I still bought a new pair of glasses from a Japanese brand.

Lenses

At the same time as my eyewear craziness, my wife also needed new glasses. She was prescribed with her first progressive glasses. She also had to choose a new frame (it helped fuel my craziness). Because it was still the very beginning (she needed an addition of +0.75), some opticians told us about eye relief lenses (provided mostly by Essilor Eyezen).
We were completely lost between the progressive lenses price, the different brands (Essilor, Hoya, BBGR, …) the different options, the anti relief option,… I managed to get a hand of a (maybe a bit old) comparative table between different lenses quality across different brands.

An unformal comparison between different brands and quality of progressive lenses (no scientific foundations!)
BBGR Carl Zeiss Vision Essilor Hoya Mega Optic Mont Royal Nikon Novacel Ophtalmic
Aptive Sola XL (+S) Prélude Amplitude (+S) - Prog
- Super Eco
Prog Eco - Elite
- Vista
Prog E
- Evolis
- Sirus
- Quadro
- Sola Easy (+S)
- Classic
- Varilux Ellipse
- Varilux Comfort
- Amatsi
- Summit
- TF Trihedra (+S)
Prima - Surf (+S)
- Visiaz (+S)
Presio I Elite IMS
- Selective
- Evolis DS
- Singular DS
- Sola Easy HD (+S)
- Plus 2
- Varilux Panamic
- Varilux Comfort NE
- Summit Pro (+S)
- TF Summit (+S)
3D HG NG Visiaz DG (+S) Presio W - N-Line
- Synchrona 4 NG
Kinetic
Anatéo - GT2 3D
- Sola One HS
- Superb
- Varilux Physio (+S)
- Varilux Physio 2 (+S)
- Amatsi Xtra
- HiD Lifestyle (+S)
- HiD Lifestyle V+ (+S)
- VIP
- VIP HD
Visiaz Xpro (+S) Presio GO Digital Synchrona 7 Eyes 3
Anatéo Mio - Gradal Individual Framefit
- Sola Elan HDV
- PRG Individual Framefit
- Varilux Physio Fit
- Varilux Physio 2 Fit
- Amatsi Xtra Fit
HiD InStyle (+S) Visiaz Xpro TEK (+S) Inovis Optima
- Gradal Individual Eyefit
- PRG Individual 2
- Varilux Ipséo
- Varilux Ipséo 2
HiD Mystyle - Presio Power
- Seemax Presio
Symbiose Code P
Intuitiv Varilux S Design (+S) Visiaz Ultra (+S)
Varilux S2 Visiaz Ultra TEK (+S)

Some opticians told us that anti relief glasses were enough for her level, others that progressive lenses were needed to begin to adapt because the earlier the better.
At the end we chose Essilor Eyezen lenses because we felt opticians having told us about this option were more knowledgeable and that is was a bit too early for real progressive lenses.