As per Central Bureau of Statistics (www.cbs.nl), 70% of the population in this world wear spectacles and fashion industry certainly exploited this golden opportunity to convert it into a huge market with heavy profit margins. In this fast paced world with cut throat competition in every field, people cannot ignore any factor that can put them at the backseat of their career. It is usually said that one should never judge a book by it’s cover, but as humans we tend to. Imagine a person with a good formal attire, nice shiny shoes, wearing an elegant watch and last but not the least, dorky old fashioned scratched glasses. Something would feel incomplete. Everyone wants to look good. I think watching the world with clear vision has become a secondary need before looks and style.
If you will enter an Optic’s Boutique, you will find all varieties of spectacles from blingy Pradas to classy Tom Fords, in all shapes and sizes! And faint-hearted people might get a mini cardiac arrest while they explore the prices of these branded piece of eyewears. Ranging from 6K to 50K, for some it will always remain a far fetched dream. But the crux of the problem remains intact, is it worth investing such a hefty amount of money on something which has cheaper alternatives available? Is it all for that small brand tag that honestly very few people notice? Or is it because of the superior and durable quality that it offers, or does it really?
In this post, I will review my Ray-Ban spectacles that I have been continuously using (except when I play sports) for almost two and a half years now. Now before I commence, have you heard about this Italian eye-wear company called – Luxottica? Hold your breath if you haven’t! Luxottica is the world’s largest company in eye-wear industry. It owns Ray-Ban, Oakley and Persol. It retails it’s products through it’s retail outlets – LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut, Apex by Sunglass Hut, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, Eyemed vision care plan, and Glasses.com. And here’s an interesting fact, Luxottica also makes sunglasses and prescription frames for designer brands such as Chanel, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, Miu Miu, DKNY, and Tory Burch. So next time someone brags you about their D&G glasses, tell them about Luxottica with a grin on your face (don’t forget the grin!). Here’s another fun fact (well more amusing for the Luxottica equity holders), in January 2017, Luxottica announced a merger with Essilor which completed by mid-2017, resulting in combined market capitalization of approximately €54 billion. Remember the childhood board game we used to play, Monopoly? Luxottica is living it!
So does this mean all eye-wear brands (particularly spectacles) offer same quality and durability, the answer is both yes and no. While Luxottica has particular brand specific quality checks in place, it is manufactured under one roof, using almost similar raw materials. Coming back to the topic of discussion, is it worth investing thrice to four times money for a branded pair of spectacles. The answer is not in binary, it is a bit conditional. I bought my Ray-Ban spectacles from GKB Opticals, Gurugram (India) and it is a reputable authorized seller of Ray-Ban spectacles all over India. You will find thousands of optical boutiques that are not authorized sellers and ‘could’ sell fake copies of famous designer eye-wear brands. The brands are copied relentlessly, with knockoffs available for as little as a few bucks. So after careful inspection of the store, by going through their website, one should only buy branded eye-wears from an authorized store.
There are certain characteristics that I look for in a frame, such as:
- The Look and Feel – It should look expensive, should suit one’s face type (there are a lot of YouTube videos on it), should be sturdy (not Oakley sturdy but tough enough to absorb minor shocks).
- The Weight – Obviously, light is the preference.
- The Brand Logo – Logo should be visible but not prominently. You need to be careful here. Flaunting is good but should be done in a subtle way.
- The Nose Pads – I personally prefer nose rests merged with the frame but if it has nose rests, do check it properly! Make sure the frame is light weight and nose pads are big enough to rest properly on your nose.
- Temples Tips – Now this is something which no one inspects. Make sure the temple tips do not bend in too much deep into your skull at the back. Because if it does, it will certainly push itself in and will eventually be irritating and painful.
- The Hinges – It is also something which goes unnoticed. My Ray-Ban has a spring mechanisms holding both the temples giving a good support to the entire frame even if I take out the frame using one hand. It is an underrated specification which no one pays attention to but is really important.
Now another question pops up in one’s mind – can’t I get all this in an unbranded frame which will not cost a fortune? The answer is YES but you need to find it! A lot of local manufacturers produce good quality eye-wear products but it’s like finding a needle in a hay stack. Brands will save you that time and that is the reason they are a bit on the expensive side and I think this is something that’s on your face all day long, spending few bucks won’t hurt, right?
You don’t look at someone’s belt, you don’t checkout their socks, you look at their face. Eye-wears are kind of a window into you. I would like to have a shiny, classy window, wouldn’t you?
Till Next Time!!!
An IT Engineer working as a Consultant in one of the big four firms, Ernst and Young. Completed his executive MBA in general management from the Indian School of Business (ISB). Gadgets, Superheroes and Automobiles give me that kick which is required to sustain this monotonous corporate life. I am a huge fan of classic movies, geeky TV shows and random surfing of a website that was launched 12 years ago in 2005, Youtube!