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The man who wears a Savile Row suit and likes his shirts and shoes hand made is unlikely to view the world through any old spectacles. Yet too many ‘exclusive’ brands lack the hand crafted quality that a bespoke aficionado might expect.

Not so those of the ‘Savile Row’ eyewear brand which, like a Savile Row suit, are bespoke. No less than 130 hand production processes go into making just one spectacle frame and every completed frame undergoes 25 separate inspections.

Made by craftsmen at the long established glassesrimless.jpgAlgha Works in London, these frames have graced the noses of the rich and the famous since the brand was launched over 20 years ago. John Lennon, Harrison Ford, Ralph Lauren and most  recently, Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter are just some who love this extension of the Savile Row magic.

These are the frames that optician Richard Pakey of the Eyewear Centre is now seeking to bring to Savile Row. He plans an exclusive service through a Savile Row tailor that will allow customers to order a pair of Savile Row glasses to go with their Savile Row suit.

Above, rimless glasses; below style Panto. Below, right, style Domino, and at bottom, the round shape made popular by John Lennon.

glassespanto.jpg“We share the same clientele as that of the tailors,” he explains, “those who like the finer things of life, individuals with a high net worth, who demand exclusiveness and quality.”

With over 12 years experience as an optician, he realised there was a gap in the market for supplying high quality spectacles and set up his Eyewear Centre business three years ago to do just that. His online business sells all the top brand names in the market but it is in the area of exclusive, bespoke spectacles that he is especially successful.

“We have worked with Bentley to create the Bentley Eyewear collection that is being launched in Bentley showrooms this summer.  These glasses are priced around £30,000.”

The procedure is similar to that of a bespoke suit. A meeting is arranged – “It might be at the Connaught, or at their office,  or anywhere appropriate,” says Pakey – where the initial discussion and glassesdomino.jpgchoice of frames takes place. Bespoke measurements are taken and then there is a fitting, and a final fitting. The process will take from 2 to 6 weeks, depending upon requirements.

“A client typically has his own optician, so we don’t have to do eye tests. Our role is to use his specifications to have the finest pair of spectacles created.”

So what makes them so special? Partly it is because they are made from the highest quality rolled gold, which is created by bonding a layer of 14kt gold to a durable base alloy on to which a final coating of 24kt gold is applied. This process means the gold moves with the base metal as one uniform material.

The practical advantage of rolled glassesround.jpggold frames lies in the thickness of the gold surrounding the base metal, which is usually three to six times that found in gold plated frames. They are unlikely to show any visible erosion of the gold within a normal lifespan; and are easily repaired as they are unaffected by heat.

Other advantages are that gold is inherently hypo-allergenic, and corrosion resistant and durable, - as well, of course, as having its own glowing charisma.

But it is also the skill of the craftsmen at Algha , backed by the expertise of a family-run company, and Richard Pakey’s own marketing dedication that makes these glasses suitable for the Savile Row man. Typically, they may cost between £200 to £300.

 “We’re working with Aston Martin and Mercedes and Jack Bentley on special collections,” says Pakey, “so we understand the demands of individuals in these high end sectors.”





Summer 2011 edition

:: SAVILE ROW Style Magazine ::





contact Home - Contents in brief
contact Style 1 - New young talents in bespoke
contact Style 2 - An excuse for dressing Up - the London Season
contact Style 3 - The Royal Wedding and the Prince's tailor
contact Style 4 - Warrant Holder to King George Vl
contact Style 5 - Woman at the top in male textiles
contact Style 6 - Made to fill a vintage shortage
contact Style 7 - Seeing through golden spectacles
contact SUBSCRIPTION - Savile Row Style Magazine
contact Drinks - A man's heart lies in Burgundy
contact Travel - Dandy hotel in Mayfair with spooky past
contact Interview - Westminster Lord Mayor visits Savile Row
contact Culture - Guide to London's finest antique areas
contact Compendium - Links to the really best brands and services
contact Contact - Details and registration
contact Tailors of Savile Row - listing of top tailors and interviews
contact Archive - Back Issues




WONDERFULLY brightly coloured socks are to be found at Purdey in South Audley Street. This famous gunsmith also carries a full range of clothing and accessories suitable for field and country sports, much of which will be snapped up by those whose country pursuits are distinctly limited.

This includes the thick,hand knitted socks. Teamed with Purdey’s new tweed slippers, they will be good for wear in draughty country castles as well as out on the shoot.

New in the classic shoot jackets and breeks are some organic tweeds, very soft, plus some superior denim for breeks. Duke of Windsor-style Fair Isle sweaters complete the country-house, Wodehouse style of this utterly British, high quality collection


SAVILE Row suits may generally be classic and restrained but accessories provide the outlet for flamboyance.

Catering to this indulgence is the collection of Appleby Parva, a new company specialising in hand crafted, luxury British items, which are available online from www.applebyparva.com.

Made in stirling silver or leather, the collection is sourced applewalletred.jpgfrom artisans and workshops throughout Britain, with an engraving service available, and provide scope for colour and originality

The wallet is a bright alternative to the usual black or brown leather, made in calfskin by Ettinger.