What are the best rimless glasses? Read on for a definitive take on what the specialists at The Spectacle Factory feel is the ‘number one’ rimless glasses manufacturer.
At The Spectacle Factory, we specialise in rimless glasses. Part of my job is to travel to international trade shows to source the most innovative designs… and in my opinion, one of the best designers out there is German manufacturer Flair.
It’s not one most have heard of, despite its history; we get asked all the time for Lindberg and Silhouette, but not Flair. So, I asked the opinion of Chris Fitton, their UK representative, to give you a bit more information on their unique glasses.
Before our interview, I did a bit of research on the history of the company. Here’s a timeline of how they have developed new technologies over the last 70 years:
(Robert Sands): What are the best features of Flair rimless glasses?
(Chris Fitton): I personally think this falls into 3 categories…
Firstly it’s all about lightness; all Flair pieces are hewn from either titanium or bio-steel (Non allergy steel).
Flair’s unique locking system, used on most of our pieces, negates the need for screws and bolts; in fact, to take things to its extreme Flair have a model with no nose pads making it one of the lightest frames on the market today.
(RS): (Here’s a video showing the amazing way Flair frames are assembled – which we do in-house:
However, because of the materials and techniques used, not only are the frames light but also extremely strong.
Secondly, those who are looking for the above features but wish to combine that with pure luxury
That’s where Art Couture fits in; all pieces are finished in 24kt gold plate either yellow, rose or white, embellished with Swarovski grade A crystals and even on request diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Sides can be ordered with a crushed diamond dust finish, but if that’s too much then just plain solid gold can be used.
Example of an Art Couture piece.
Lastly there are hypoallergenic properties for those who have sensitive skin.
(RS): I know that all Flair frames are handcrafted in Germany. What does that entail?
(CF): Being hand made in Germany Flair gives you the buyer the confidence that the whole process is checked from start to finish. For quality assurance we even enclose the personal card of the person that did the final check on the piece so if there is any issue this can be returned to that bench and reviewed by the person that put that piece together (this is very rare)
All Flair frames come with a 3 year warranty and we keep spare parts for 10 years (most companies discontinue a model after 1 or 2 and don’t keep parts afterwards).
This is the result of 70 years of rimless frame making experience by an independent manufacturer.
Flairpark in Oelde, Germany where each Flair piece is individually hand-made.
(RS): The main question I get asked about rimless glasses is, are they more fragile than regular glasses?
(CF): This is a common misnomer. They are no more or less fragile than any other frame. Often the materials play an important part in this aspect. Using titanium and bio-steel, Flair models do tend to flex and therefore absorb shocks and impacts better.
(RS): I’d like to add that the lens material is crucial in this respect, because the traditional weak points on rimless frames are where the holes are drilled through the lens to fit the frame onto. We specialise in a material called Trivex, which is virtually unbreakable, as you will see in this video (ignore the German):
Chris has over 20 years experience in the optical industry as a manager and buyer and eventually owning his own practise. For the last 10 years he has been a representative for several global brands. Many thanks to him for giving up his time for this interview.
If you have any questions for either of us, please feel free to tweet me @specfactory or call Robert on 01772 312213.
My thoughts and observations on my new Flair spectacles
A testimonial by Paul Van de Rooy
I am a person who knows what I want. I dislike it when people are in-flexable. I dislike the “computer says no” attitude. I love Innovation. I like to think we can achieve things through thought, improvisation and good design. These are the reasons I like the staff and attitude of the people at The Spectacle Factory.
The belief that every customer is an individual and the fact that you strive for customer satisfaction. The fact you make me feel valued as a customer and i am not just another person with unusual or awkward requests or ideas. I have visited many opticians and been disappointed with badly fitting glasses or being “bullied” in to accepting a product i was not 100% happy with.
The Spectacle factory does not compromise on what an individual wants. You push the boundaries of customer service to achieve the aims of the customer, offering guidance and support unlike no other place i have been to.
The Flair glasses I have purchased feel, much like yourselves, innovative, well designed and leave me with a feeling that i have received a quality product.
I like the idea of making the lenses wider to accommodate my facial features.
The option on the lenses to custom build my perfect pair of glasses, and the quality of the frames with the no screws and special hinge design, that will give me years of reliable use, with minimal maintenance.
Anybody who has any doubts about this should see some of the “horrors” i have had to put up with before finding you guys.