Friday, July 06, 2007


on this family trip a lot of people have said "oh you and your sister seema have similar glasses!" now, i must admit, my sister's glasses have grown on me: at first i didn't like them, but who can say no to a hint of pink (you can't see the pink in these pics, as it's on the inside). however, besides the aesthetics, which is what people often gravitate towards when discussing my glasses (i find people hate them or love them), my glasses are very smartly designed, and this is not a design that you'll find in my sister's glasses or very many other kinds of glasses.

my glasses are by alain mikli, from the alain mikli line (model A0344-08). miklitarian (the full last name of alain) does this amazing thing with telescopic hinges on this line that i will now demonstrate with my glasses (the video isn't the clearest thing but you'll get the idea):

why is this so important? when you see this video, you probably think "oh yeah that's cool but so what?" of course, if you don't wear glasses i can forgive you for this thought. often, when you get new glasses, after a few days you might notice pinching at the sides of your head -- this pinching can cause headaches. the pinching is caused by glasses that push against your head -- essentially they don't fit properly. similarly, if they are too loose, your glasses will tend to slip a lot and not feel stable on your head. adjustments are made at the time of purchase, or people make their own adjustments or go to their glasses shop and fix things up later. with the mikli glasses, these are nonissues. the hinge adjusts for you, but not to the point that it gets too loose.

think i'm nuts? well, i am, but knowing that there was something to his designs, i searched patents and found this quote from a miklitarian patent:

"Telescopic" hinges which, like most hinges, comprise two elements, bearing on one another and connected by a rotation pin, at least one of the two elements being movable, have the particular feature of including, in the movable element, a tie-rod mounted so as to slide in a housing and comprising a means for cooperating with the rotation pin, and a return spring.

When a spectacle frame is being fitted to a wearer's face, these telescopic hinges are advantageous because they allow over-opening of the sides, generally by 2 to 8°, which facilitates fitting, particularly if this is done by another third party (the optician). The telescopic hinges also improve the fit of the frame to the face since, because the over-opened position is unstable, once the sides are released by the person fitting the frame they come to bear against the sides of the wearer's face, under the action of the return spring.

To ensure a comfortable fit for the wearer, it is important that the sides bear against the sides of the face with enough force to keep the spectacle frame in place but not so much as to be unbearable, the intensity of this bearing force depending on the return force... [the patent then goes on to discuss this point]

even if you own glasses, you may think these points are minor. but, if so, i challenge you to wear some alain mikli's for a while and see how much more comfortable you feel. i guarantee you will feel more comfortable (and not to mention look great!).

of course, aesthetics is a whole different game, and so you might (gasp) think my sister's glasses are more pleasing to look at. but in terms of the care that goes into the ergnomic design of glasses, there is no comparison. personally, i also think the mikli looks are first-rate, but like with luxury car lines that i think look ugly, i nevertheless appreciate their subtler beauty :)

amusingly, while writing this post i came upon A0344-13, my glasses but white instead of black. on ebay. i bought them! man, this post was costly. but check out the pictures. here's one:


neha said...

have mikli's too!

omar said...

good choice pip pip! i'm going to send this to my sister, see if she gets up in arms :)

bea said...

See, now I want a pair!!!

twm said...

Hey - I have alain mikli glasses too and I had no idea about the hinge. I'll have to go check it out now. I just liked the fact that they expanded on the side bc I have a square head!

russell said...

Nice post but the highlight was the pictures. The faux thoughtfulness of Omar with the inimitable Seema grinning.