^ I despised the eyelets until I got a pair. Not only do you never really notice the eyelets once you have them on, they actually look better. Trust me on this. I hated the eyelets more than ANYONE on this thread, guaranteed. And now I love them and wouldn't want my shoes any other way. Trust.
I have the black shell wingtip bal from BB (eyelets; M-75 Last (somewhat like Plaza, but not Plaza)). I have the factory model color 8 shell wingtip bal - 974 (no eyelets; Tremont Last). They are equally dressy and neither is more casual than the other.
i like the eyelets on casual shoes, but i really hate the look of the BB wingtips. first time i saw a picture, i thought it was some old-timey pair from the 1930's or something. at least in photos (never seen a pair in person) the eyelets just kill any sort of elegance.
With respect to eyelets on the wingtip bal in question, I couldn't disagree more with this statement.