Spine is an entirely new concept in eyewear that comfortably and gently grips to the face. Designed for your most active spectacle wearing patients, this frame lets them get on with the job without losing their focus.
I well remember trying Spine eyewear on at Silmo Sydney. I dropped my head backwards and forwards, nodded, bent over and looked from side to side. I was super impressed with the way the frame didn’t budge. A video playback of visitors to Silmo doing exactly the same proved that this unique frame really sticks to the face.
So, what is it about Spine that makes the difference? Spine Eyewear was invented by an Italian engineer named Guido Medana. The hinge is a result of his lifelong career in engineering and his experience as a spectacle wearer. Having suffered through numerous frames that slipped from his face leaving him vision impaired at the most inconvenient moments, Guido wanted to come up with a concept that would fit everyone well, one that wouldn’t slip down the nose or need to be continually tightened or adjusted.
By working on the technology behind both the frame and the hinge, that’s what he did.
The hinges gently flex to fit virtually any head size, and they lightly grip which means no more slipping down the face
Spine Eyewear’s lead designer is Sebastien Brusset. An optician by training, he educated himself in the art of eyewear design and manufacturing using computer aided design tools and set up his own company at age 24. After designing many high fashion frames, he chose to specialise in designing frames with a functional advantage. Sebastian joined the Spine project team in 2016 and was happy to explain the technology to mivision.
“Typical optical hinges have ‘dead points’, meaning they are either open or shut with nothing in between. Spine is exceptionally durable as each part of the hinge works together seamlessly, sharing each other’s load. There are no screws within the working mechanism of the hinge so there won’t be any loosening, which tends to happen with traditional hinges. The dual spring and cable shut automatically when removed from the face, making it a truly unique experience.”
As simple as that… or maybe not.
Spine frames are made using three main materials; cellulose acetate, stainless steel and aluminium. Aluminium is known for its strength and lightweight properties, which enables a thick metallic aesthetic to be achieved without the weight. The Spine hinge is made of stainless steel using the CNC method.
“To achieve the engineering precision demanded by the patented Spine hinge system, only CNC milling, a specific form of computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining metal working process, can be trusted to create such complex forms in one single operation,” explained Sebastien.
A spun wire cable is at the heart of the patented Spine hinge. Its diameter is a mere 0.60mm and at full tensile strength, can hold up to 300kgs, much stronger than the rest of the frame.
There are five working Spine ‘vertebrae’ in each frame, which constantly and seamlessly interact with each other. As every element helps the other to take the strain, they rotate only 18 degrees meaning they share the load, making wear from friction virtually non-existent.
Dual springs provide the pulling power of Spine, allow the articulation of the vertebrae and enable the unique auto-shut mechanism when the frame is removed from the face.
Designed for Men
Sebastien said Spine Eyewear is designed for men although they’re finding that some women prefer these frames over traditional women’s collections. Perhaps that’s because of the contemporary design, as well as the comfort and performance.
“Comfort and performance are the two main reasons someone would choose Spine,” said Sebastien. “The hinges gently flex to fit virtually any head size, and they lightly grip, which means no more slipping down the face. The comfort of the product is the best you will ever wear and it lasts.”
He said the frame is particularly well-suited to the increasing number of customers who are prescribed with progressive lenses. “Any patient who looks down and is annoyed by their frames slipping is the perfect candidate as well as any progressive lens wearer or someone with a high prescription. This is because the Spine frame doesn’t move and will therefore keep the optical centres of the lenses in the right position for the best vision.”
Since its launch in 2015, Spine has flexed its way onto the Optician Awards 2015 Frame of the Year shortlist with optical frame SP1001. However, according to Sebastien, “the best reward is when we hear the success stories from our own Australian practices telling us how fantastic Spine is for their customers”.
Spine, along with the patent over this unique technology, is owned by Mondottica International Ltd, designers of eyewear for some of the biggest brands in fashion, with licences for Christian Lacroix, Pepe Jeans, Ted Baker, Joules, Marimekko and more. Currently only available as a spectacle frame in Australia, there is a Spine sunglass range available in the United Kingdom that will, no doubt, make its way to our local market in the future.
Due to its highly technical and innovative design, Sebastian says staff training is essential for prospective stockists. “Spine needs to be treated differently because patients need to ‘experience’ this unique technology. It’s a totally new category in eyewear,” he said.
Contact: Mondottica Australia (AUS) 02 8436 6666