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A Thread for Sunglasses (High End and Rarities Welcome)

GG Allin

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^Thanks for the advice on cleaning. I actually have a couple pairs of Dita sunglasses, and really dig them. I'm going to look into Matsuda.

I'm a total neophyte in sunglasses, and this thread (as well as another thread on here) really helped introduce me to a ton of brands to look at. I'm at the point where I have too many options!
 

ramsker

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Leisure Society makes some of the finest sunglasses available, and my personal favorite for something a little “extra.” They have recently begun to offer more simplified models at a lower price point, but their main product line consists of gold plated titanium frames with integrated spring hinges and Japanese cotton acetate temples. I’ve found over the years collecting sunglasses that the ultra high end frames tend to sacrifice a little practicality in favor of exotic flair. Buffalo horn and wood frames lack adjustability and often have underdeveloped nosepads, sterling silver adorned frames are heavy, and frames with overly intricate construction can be a little finicky. Also, most of the brands that play in that market focus purely on the craftsmanship of the frame and throw in very basic lenses almost as an afterthought. LS is a rare exception in that their sunglasses are both highly refined and practical.

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LS’s founder has said in interviews that his lenses cost more to make than Tom Ford’s entire sunglasses. After using their product, I don’t doubt him. LS’s lenses are the best I have tried along with Salt Optics. In some cases, such as with their high contrast brown lens, I even prefer the LS lens over the equivalent Salt tint. Their lenses are made of CR39 for low chromatic aberration and come standard with polarization and antireflective coatings. Despite their high quality, I’ve found that they charge very reasonable prices for replacement lenses.

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LS’s frames are highly adjustable and comfortable due to their spring hinges. The temples are made of wire core acetate and can be formed to the user, and the nosepads can also be tweaked for a better fit. Although the frames are thicker than your run of the mill wire frames, they don’t feel too heavy on account of LS’s use of titanium. All their frames are gold plated in your choice of 12k white gold, 18k pale yellow gold, or 24k yellow gold. I suspect the plating is rather thick since the pricing is higher for the higher gold content 24k models.

View attachment 1028292

The details and embellishments on their frames are top notch. They manage to toe the line between being classy and lavish by emulating familiar silhouettes and reproducing them in a luxurious art deco style. Their frames are full of little details like engraved patterns, Windsor rims, and enamel inserts. They look expensive, but in an old world kind of way that I’ve found makes them stylistically versatile. The frames are made in Japan and serialized. Also, they come with the nicest cases I’ve owned yet. They’re hard cases made of leather with a magnetic closure and an internal elasticized pocket for the cleaning cloth.

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The high price of Leisure Society’s offerings can be a tough pill to swallow, but they do offer something unlike anything else I’ve seen on the market. Most of my really high end sunglasses only come out for special occasions for fear of damaging them, but I often find myself reaching for a pair of LS’s due to their high quality optics and comfort. I have found, however, that their lineup runs a little small, so if you need or want larger frames like I do you may want to try on their lineup in person.

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Sorry, late to the party here, new user. I too have found that SALT and Leisure Society (along with Maui Jim) are far and away the best lenses. I'm curious if they use the same factories.

I read somewhere that Shane Baum (L-S Founder) asked what the best lenses were, at the time it was Maui Jim who used a 9 layer lens, he then said lets make ours a 12 layer.

SALT doesn't boast about their lens technology, but they still seem to be just as good.
 

Zeke90

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Can anyone recommend a pair in horn material for the frame? Is that possible or is this only for bespoke prescription glasses
 

Tsujigiri

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Sorry, late to the party here, new user. I too have found that SALT and Leisure Society (along with Maui Jim) are far and away the best lenses. I'm curious if they use the same factories.

I read somewhere that Shane Baum (L-S Founder) asked what the best lenses were, at the time it was Maui Jim who used a 9 layer lens, he then said lets make ours a 12 layer.

SALT doesn't boast about their lens technology, but they still seem to be just as good.
Interesting, Maui Jim lenses are legendary, although their frames aren't crafted quite like the other two. They're probably my favorite widely available brand. I'd say that Leisure Society seems to have the edge on Salt for lens quality, but it's very close, and Salt has a big advantage over Leisure Society when it comes to variety. Some of their tints like Lover's Soul are a little off the beaten path and have a nice look. According to a Salt rep, they have some of their lenses made by Zeiss and some made by a Japanese factory. They don't have the Zeiss laser logo on the back because you have to pay extra to cobrand with them, but all of the Salt lenses I've tried have been at least as good as the Zeiss branded lenses from other brands. Not sure where Leisure Society gets their lenses, but the antireflective is the least noticeable I've seen, most likely due to the number of coatings you mentioned (the Zeiss bronze AR Mykita uses also works well).

Can anyone recommend a pair in horn material for the frame? Is that possible or is this only for bespoke prescription glasses
Definitely possible. Gold and Wood (designed in Paris, made in Luxembourg) and Morgenthal Frederics as mentioned above are good options. Usually their horn frames are made with horn arms and metal fronts, but they do have some full horn frames. MF's horn frames are made for them in Germany by Hoffmann Natural Eyewear, which also makes their own branded line. They make the full buffalo horn frames for Ralph Vaessen's line as well. Other than than, there's Rigards out of Hong Kong which has gotten some publicity for their rough, natural aesthetic. A few other brands have offered models here and there that include buffalo horn, but they're not so much of a regular item (e.g. Mykita, Lindberg, Tom Davies).
 

brokeassp

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Is Salt Francisco their most popular aviator? Kind of torn between Francisco, McKean, and Pratt
 

Tsujigiri

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Is Salt Francisco their most popular aviator? Kind of torn between Francisco, McKean, and Pratt
A couple years ago a Salt rep told me the Francisco was their most popular. They hadn't come out with the McKean yet, but I suspect it might still be since it's such a classic design. Keep in mind the Pratt fits much smaller than the other two.
 

ramsker

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Interesting, Maui Jim lenses are legendary, although their frames aren't crafted quite like the other two. They're probably my favorite widely available brand. I'd say that Leisure Society seems to have the edge on Salt for lens quality, but it's very close, and Salt has a big advantage over Leisure Society when it comes to variety. Some of their tints like Lover's Soul are a little off the beaten path and have a nice look. According to a Salt rep, they have some of their lenses made by Zeiss and some made by a Japanese factory. They don't have the Zeiss laser logo on the back because you have to pay extra to cobrand with them, but all of the Salt lenses I've tried have been at least as good as the Zeiss branded lenses from other brands. Not sure where Leisure Society gets their lenses, but the antireflective is the least noticeable I've seen, most likely due to the number of coatings you mentioned (the Zeiss bronze AR Mykita uses also works well).



Definitely possible. Gold and Wood (designed in Paris, made in Luxembourg) and Morgenthal Frederics as mentioned above are good options. Usually their horn frames are made with horn arms and metal fronts, but they do have some full horn frames. MF's horn frames are made for them in Germany by Hoffmann Natural Eyewear, which also makes their own branded line. They make the full buffalo horn frames for Ralph Vaessen's line as well. Other than than, there's Rigards out of Hong Kong which has gotten some publicity for their rough, natural aesthetic. A few other brands have offered models here and there that include buffalo horn, but they're not so much of a regular item (e.g. Mykita, Lindberg, Tom Davies).
I think this was the interview with Shane Baum that I had remembered. He basically said he just made Leisure Society with the best of everything available.


Interesting about Salt and Zeiss. I honestly have always found Salt lenses to be better than any Zeiss Lenses I've seen. It's probably all in my head.
 

ramsker

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I've recently begun doing a lot more research into lens manufacturers. It seems like most of the top-end glass lenses are made by Barberini. Maui Jim, L.G.R, and Ahlem are just some of the companies they work with. Any others that anyone knows of? I've also seen some Montblanc and Tom Ford frames that have them. Seems like Barberini was recently bought out by Luxottica as well, so it's safe to say that Oliver Peoples uses them too.
 

Tsujigiri

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I think this was the interview with Shane Baum that I had remembered. He basically said he just made Leisure Society with the best of everything available.


Interesting about Salt and Zeiss. I honestly have always found Salt lenses to be better than any Zeiss Lenses I've seen. It's probably all in my head.
That's a great interview, explains a lot!

I've recently begun doing a lot more research into lens manufacturers. It seems like most of the top-end glass lenses are made by Barberini. Maui Jim, L.G.R, and Ahlem are just some of the companies they work with. Any others that anyone knows of? I've also seen some Montblanc and Tom Ford frames that have them. Seems like Barberini was recently bought out by Luxottica as well, so it's safe to say that Oliver Peoples uses them too.
Mykita used their lenses for their Moncler collaboration collection, other than that I don't know. Glass seems to not be very popular for high end sunglasses due to the weight, even though the scratch resistance is nice. I've liked the OP and LGR glass lenses I've tried; the Mykita X Monclers had some weird reflections due to the mirror coating.
 

ramsker

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That's a great interview, explains a lot!



Mykita used their lenses for their Moncler collaboration collection, other than that I don't know. Glass seems to not be very popular for high end sunglasses due to the weight, even though the scratch resistance is nice. I've liked the OP and LGR glass lenses I've tried; the Mykita X Monclers had some weird reflections due to the mirror coating.
Glass's Clarity & Scratch Resistance greatly outweighs (no pun intended) the weight in my opinion. If I were to start an eyewear brand from scratch (and I've definitely thought about it), I would use glass exclusively. I'm really enjoying this thread by the way.
 

qubed

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My Mykita mylon sunglasses have the Zeiss logo, but I don’t see any logo on my other Mykitas.
 

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