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Savile Row Handmade Glasses

Savile Row Handmade Glasses
Savile Row Handmade Glasses


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Savile Row Handmade Glasses

A Piece of History

Step into the legacy of England’s oldest handmade rolled gold eyewear maker, where every frame tells a story of unparalleled craftsmanship and heritage.

In 1898, Victorian entrepreneur Max Wiseman founded Max Wiseman and Co., marking the beginning of an eyewear legacy that would span centuries. Fast forward to 1932, Wiseman expanded his vision by acquiring two factories in Rathenow, Germany, and transporting their operations and skilled artisans to Smeed Road in East London. This pivotal move gave birth to Algha Works, setting the stage for a remarkable journey in eyewear craftsmanship.

During the war years from 1934 to 1945, Algha Works became a crucial player in the defence industry, supplying the RAF with Aviator sunglasses long before Ray-Ban existed. The company also manufactured gas masks and aviation goggles, showcasing its versatility and commitment to the war effort. In 1940, amidst the chaos of the Blitz, a bomb exploded in front of the Smeed Road factory. Miraculously, Algha Works survived, continuing its operations against all odds.

The post-war era saw Algha Works awarded a significant contract in 1948 to supply the newly-formed National Health Service. The iconic round eye designs from this period remain a vintage reference in the eyewear industry today. By 1967, Algha Works had captured the hearts of The Beatles, who chose their eyewear during the release of their groundbreaking album, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club' Band.

In 1971, John Lennon composed ‘Imagine’ wearing his iconic gold round eye specs, designed by Savile Row. These frames became legendary, with a pair selling for £1m at auction and a replica displayed at the Beatles Museum in Liverpool. The legacy continued in 1981 when Harrison Ford donned Savile Row’s ‘Beaufort Panto’ glasses with chestnut rims in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’.

The mid-80s brought challenges as the NHS discontinued its free glasses program in 1985, marking the end of an era for the factory. However, resilience prevailed when American Optical sold the company back into private hands in 1996, preserving Algha Works' unique history. The new millennium saw a magical moment as Daniel Radcliffe wore Savile Row’s rolled gold Warwick frames throughout the Harry Potter film franchise, starting in 2001.

In 2014, Savile Row opened a new acetate production floor, continuing its tradition of handmade, bespoke eyewear. The name Savile Row became synonymous with high-quality, timeless elegance. The journey took another exciting turn in 2020 when Algha's ancient machines were refurbished in Italy. By 2022, Savile Row relaunched from Kudos, offering eyewear with unmatched quality and attention to detail.

Our Collection

Savile Row’s handmade, 18-karat rolled gold frames epitomize refined craftsmanship and sophistication. Each pair is meticulously crafted by skilled artisans, ensuring every detail meets the highest standards of quality and elegance. The process of creating these exquisite glasses can take around 8 weeks, reflecting the dedication and expertise involved in their production.

Timeless Classics Our Timeless Classics collection features outstanding, instantly recognisable metal frames from our world-renowned archive. These frames are a tribute to the enduring legacy of Savile Row, combining historical designs with unparalleled craftsmanship. Every frame in this collection is handmade to order, ensuring a perfect blend of vintage charm and modern sophistication.

Contemporary Elegance The Contemporary Elegance collection merges the timeless appeal of rolled gold with luxury acetate, creating a new look that seamlessly blends vintage and modern aesthetics. These frames are designed for those who appreciate the finer things in life and seek eyewear that makes a statement.

Moreover, Savile Row glasses are fully customizable to meet the unique preferences of our discerning customers. From choosing the perfect frame style and material to specifying lens types and finishes, our bespoke service allows you to create truly one-of-a-kind eyewear.

Explore our collections and discover the legacy and innovation of Savile Row glasses at [Your Opticians], where history meets contemporary fashion in every pair.

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