Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Classics: Aviators

Many styles come and go, but few persevere.  I prefer the classic aesthetic.  Few sunglasses have endured as the classic aviator has.  Above are my current pairs.  Having always loved the look, my first pair was procured on a budget during my college days.  They were quickly misplaced.  Keen to keep with the sartorial statement, a second pair was purchased a few years ago on a whim.  I was pleased with my now second (read replacement) set of American Optical aviators.  I was until Randolph Engineering sent me a pair this fall to see - and eventually keep.  They are the genuine article.

At first glance, the differences are hardly noticeable.  The moment you put them into service the distinctions are apparent.  RE frames are curved slightly, contouring to the natural curve or your visage.  This makes them infinitely more wearable on a consistent basis.  They are far more comfortable and block more light because of this simple distinction.  Take a close look at the image below and you see the difference in build quality.  Hinges are important on glasses as they are constantly stressed when used.  The folks at Randolph include a useful cleaning cloth, hard case and maintenance kit with each pair or glasses.  It's a nice touch, but it affirms theirs are built to be repaired not replaced.  That is something to be commended these days as most goods aren't durable.

My AO glasses were quickly weighed, measured and found wanting.  In sum, if you want to look good like the gentleman below you should purchase AOs.  My AOs have held up and have much use left in them, but they aren't as sturdy as their competitor.  If you are, indeed, the man shown below, put your money down and get the best.  Once you go RE, you wont go back.

I didn't purchase the glasses, but I gladly would have. The review is truly my own findings without any input from the manufacturer.  In fact, the glasses are so good I've worn them too often and am in the process of purchasing replacement lenses.  These glasses are a staple in my wardrobe.


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