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spacespacespacespacespace help

Our site is divided up between sunglasses and frames and then subdivided by gender and then vintage. We
haven't as yet got a search facility on site so this page will hopefully be able to help you find what you want
as quickly as possible.

Of course, if you want a particular style of sunglasses and you want to know if we have it in stock, for
example a 1960's B&L Ray-Ban Caribbean in dark mock tortoise with a pale green lens - then please
don't hesitate to use our contact page where you can submit a question.


Shipping rates can be found by clicking on our ORDER page above, or click here for a quick guide.

If you are having trouble viewing the site, click here for help.

  1. mens? womens? unisex?

  2. vintage

  3. prices

  4. condition

  5. size

  6. frame types

  7. lens types

  8. lens fitting

  9. sun protection


mens? womens? unisex?

Unfortunately, there are no definitive text books on sunglasses and so we are always coming across pairs
that baffle us too.

Our basis for deciding which pairs are for men and which are for women is our own experience and (limited)
knowledge of twentieth century fashion. If we are unsure, as a general rule of thumb we look at the length
of the arms - on mens pairs the arms are slightly longer. This usually makes the decision for us.

We admit that within our site we may have made mistakes and welcome corrections from any experts out
there.


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vintage

Again, all the dates we have given the sunglasses and frames on our site are based on our gained experience
and (limited) knowledge of twentieth century fashion.

We admit that within our site we may have made mistakes and welcome corrections from any experts out
there.


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prices

Careful consideration is given to all our prices based on the original value, vintage, rarity and condition of
the item. We therefore do not accept offers on any of our goods.

All prices are in British Pounds Sterling.

For information on how to pay or for our postal charges, click here for our order
page.


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condition

lens ratings

We rate our lenses according to the marks, ie scratches or abrasions, on them on a scale of 1 - 10 as follows:-

10 new : no marks or scratches
9 excellent : 1 or 2 very small marks
8 very good : only a few very small marks
6-7 good : some small marks, barely visible
4-5 fair : more marks or scratches, slightly visible
1-3 poor : many visible scratches, recommend lens replacement

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frame condition

Frames are less complicated and are only rated in 5 categories:-

excellent : 1 or 2 very small marks
very good : only a few very small marks
good : general light wear marks
fair : perhaps some small dents or nibbled arms
poor : for collectors only



fit

There are various ways of attaching the arms to the frames, the two most common being screw hinges and
in older frames, pin hinges.

Screw hinges are better as in most cases they can be tightened, which in turn provides for a firmer fit on
the temples. But with age these can become corroded or worn and the arms can become loose without being
able to be tightened. This affects the fit, which we grade accordingly.

Pin hinges cannot be tightened and so all frames with these fittings tend to have loose arms which in turn do
not grip the temples. These frames rely more on the hook around the ears to keep them in place
which is why the arm length can become important.


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size

The three sizes we use should give you the best indicator
of the size of the frame and its suitability for your face,
short of trying it on. The face size is the distance
between the inside of the arms. The lens size is the
greatest distance between the two sides of one lens. The
arms size is the total length of one arm, including the
curve around the ear. The reason this is included is that
the point at which the arm curves can be adjusted by an
optician to suit the wearer.

One size we do not always give is the bridge size - the
width of the gap where the nose sits, but measured as
the distance between the lenses and therefore sometimes
referred to as the DBL. This measurement can be given
upon request.


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frame types

optyl
Optyl is vacuum-injected epoxy resin weighing 30% less than normal plastic frames and is hypoallergenic.
Most recently, some styles in the Safilo Gucci collection are made of Optyl.*


nylon
Nylon frames are lightweight and again, hypoallergenic. Easy to adjust to size but responds better to hot
water than traditional hot air frame warmers. Also, Nylon tends to dry out and it can be worthwhile giving
the frame a soak in water once in a while. Keeping them "supple" in this way can make them virtually unbreakable.*


supra nylon
Supra simply refers to a frame that is only half-rimmed, that is the frame only surrounds
the top (or sometimes bottom) of the lens. The plastic or metal half of the frame is bored with two tiny
holes through which is threaded a line of nylon - somewhat like a fishing line. This nylon thread fits
around the lens holding it into place. These frames were popular in the 1950's and 60's and are still being
made by quality frame makers today.


gold fill frames
Some metal frames are marked GF or GP meaning gold fill or gold plate. Often they will have the amount
of gold fill preceding these letters, eg 1/10 12k, meaning one part in ten, 12 karat. The value of the gold in
these frames is negligible however the fact that these frames have a gold content means that they are
far less likely to corrode and will keep their look with an occasional polish with a jewellers cloth.


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lens types

new replacement lenses
Often we find frames that we can't resist, even if the original lenses happen to be in poor condition. In
these circumstances we have the lenses replaced with new lenses which are as close to the original
colour as possible.

All of our new replacement lenses give virtually100% UV protection. (Despite what you may have heard
elsewhere, no lenses give 100% UV protection.)

We also offer a sunglass lens replacement service and a rx/prescription lens service.


polaroid lenses
Polaroid founder Dr. Edwin Land invented the first synthetic polarizing material in 1929 and Polaroid went
on to develop the first polarizing lenses: used to cut down on glare - the light that reflects
off streets, water, snow, sand and other horizontal surfaces.

According to Polaroid, their sunglass lenses eliminate up to 99% of horizontally reflected glare.
So everything appears brighter and sharper with more realistic colour and better contrast.

Further, all Polaroid lenses are manufactured to block virtually 100% of harmful UVA, UVB and UVC rays
up to 400 nanometers.


photochromic lenses
Sunglasses or prescription eyeglasses that darken when exposed to the sun are called photochromic, or
sometimes photochromatic. Developed by Corning in the late 1960s and popularized by Transitions in the
1990s, photochromic lenses rely on a specific chemical reaction to UV radiation.

Typically, photochromic lenses darken to about 50%.

anti-reflective coating
A common problem with prescription glasses and sunglasses is called back-glare. This is light that hits the
back of the lenses and bounces into the eyes. The purpose of an anti-reflective (AR) coating is to reduce
these reflections off the lenses. Similar to a scratch-resistant coating, AR is made of a very hard thin film
that is layered on the lens and is usually very expensive - doubling the cost of the lenses.

double gradient mirrors
A gradient lens is one that is darker at the top and gets lighter toward the bottom. The top of the lens,
where the sun hits your eyes, offers slightly more protection than the bottom from harmful UV and infra
red rays. A double gradient is darker at the top and the bottom, graduating lighter toward the
middle. This is to protect not only from the direct sun, but from reflected light from water or more
commonly, snow. This is why you'll find a lot of skiing glasses with these lenses. Double gradients are
almost always mirrored as mirror coatings block out the most light.


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lens fitting

We can have new lenses - either sunglasses lenses (single tint or gradient), or prescription (RX) lenses
(clear, single tint or gradient) for all of the items in our frames pages or even some of the sunglasses.*

All of the tints that we provide offer complete UV protection.

At present we are only extending the lens fitting service to frames purchased from klasik.org.

* Please note that if you have lenses fitted into one of our frames and afterwards want to return the frame as per the terms on our site,
the cost of the lenses is non-refundable and there would be a 25% fee taken from the cost of the frame for restocking.



sunglasses lenses
We can supply and fit new sunglasses lenses into all of our frames and some of our
sunglasses. The 15 standard tints available (right) are also available as gradient.
All lenses are CR39 plastic lenses and offer complete UV protection.

single tint - £ 35.00

stock gradient tint - £ 45.00

bespoke gradient tint - £ 55.00


Custom tints and other types of lenses ie glass, ar coated, photochromatic, high index
or even branded lenses eg Polaroid are available. Please contact us for prices.

NEW: we can now offer solid tint glass sunglasses lenses, the same as the original
Ray-Ban and AO sunglasses lenses of the 1950's-70's. Click here for more info.



prescription (RX) lenses
We have been fitting prescription lenses into our frames and sunglasses for our clients since February
2002. All work is carried out to the highest standards by qualified optical technicians who are experienced
at handling vintage frames.

Simply email us your prescription and we can have it fitted into the frame of your choice within 7 days.

The prices for supplying and fitting prescription lenses are:-

clear prescription - £ 45.00*

single tint prescription - £ 60.00 (includes uv coat)

gradient tint prescription - £ 70.00 (includes uv coat)

* Price includes powers up to +/- 4.00 and cyls to +/- 2.00. All stronger prescriptions price on application.
All prices are in addition to the cost of the frame.


We can supply prescription lenses in plastic or glass. Also available: photochromic lenses; anti-scratch/anti-
reflective coatings; high index (thin) lenses; tints and uv filters; Polaroid lenses.

If you wish to have your prescription fitted into one of our frames, simply mention it in the message
box when you place your order and we will email you with details of how to proceed.

For descriptions of tints available, see above in sunglasses lenses.


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sun protection

A law was brought about in Britain in 1987 that said that all new sunglasses had to comply with standards
of uv (ultra-violet) protection. Therefore, every pair made after that date that we have on this site will give
full uv protection.

All pairs made before 1987 did not have to comply with any laws and therefore a few do not offer uv
protection to this British Standard. These sunglasses are to be worn at the risk of the wearer and are sold
as vintage pieces of historical interest and not as sunglasses offering uv protection.

Most pairs made before 1987 do meet today's British Standard and the branded pairs, eg, Ray-Ban, Polaroid,
American Optical, Zeiss etc. are comparable with the best lenses that you can buy today.

New! We have recently added a lens spec section to our description pages. A run-down of what this means
can be found here. Please note that not all the sunglasses have this feature so if you want to know if a
particular pair made before 1987 meets the British (and European) Standard of today, please ask and we
will test them for you.



IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER :
The manufacturers of the sunglasses on these pages have made claims regarding their performance etc. which although we quote, we do not have the facilities to test.
Similarly some of these sunglasses were made before the current regulations of impact resistance etc. therefore they are to be worn entirely at your own risk.



Thanks to the following bodies for their information:-

*   www.ola-labs.org (optical laboratories assoc.)
†  www.polaroidsunlens.com
‡  www.howstuffworks.com



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