Finding a new pair of sunglasses for me is an event.
I tend to think I look good in a variety of pairs, because A: I hate my face and sunglasses cover a good majority of that mess of flesh, and B: because my beard also masks a lot of the imperfections so covering more square inches is always accepted. Make sense? Whenever I look for new ones I always try and go for a style I don’t have yet, or a frame color that might work with a certain look I’m going for (read: somewhat matching), or maybe a new lens material that cuts down glare without affecting what the image actually looks like. I take a lot of photos and sometimes polarized lenses can change the way an object looks, which is why I tend to keep the polarized lenses only for driving. It’s science.
So when I heard that there was a brand on the opposite side of the planet using a different type of lens material I haven’t tried and also some nicely styled pieces, I figured it was time to see (puns baby) for myself. I like Australia, or at least the idea of it, so I figured I’d give them a try as new headwear for my dome-piece.
Otis uses mineral glass—which has a high optical clarity and is also endlessly recyclable—that they tout as being some of the best in the world for scratch resistance and distortion free performance. Basically like the sea glass you’d find in a large body of saltwater (yes, the ocean). I’m not sure how they stack up against scratches, but each pair is polished and treated with chemical curing agents and thermal hardening, which can apparently take abuse. And for me that’s good, because even the name Reckless Abandon is fitting since as much as I try and train myself not to bend over when my sunglasses are in my chest pocket, it never a fails that they’ll fall out and come crashing to earth. I think my dog can be trained more efficiently. And at 9.8 meters/second, it happens fast, so having that piece of mind that they might survive the plunge without a forever eyesore on the lens, you can rest a little easier.
While Otis’ Reckless Abandons aren’t the cheapest glasses at $180 for non-polarized lenses, I don’t find them too bad because like I said I use them for photography when I want to keep my glasses on, and for normal street glasses it’s right in the wheelhouse of other high-end brands. They feel solid in the hands and the hinges have a nice steady action to them. You can’t open them up by flicking and you don’t have to muscle them closed; it’s a nice mix of tension. As for the visual cues, the logos, or lack thereof, are a refreshing change from some companies who feel the need to make sure the boldest and most in-your-face font is available for advertising. Honestly, that’s held me back from purchasing Smith glasses in the past.
I like wearing brands that aren’t “the norm” and haven’t had the foothold in the market for as long as established brands. So the fact that Otis is trying to come into a saturated sunglass market with some new tech and style, the Reckless Abandon glasses aren’t a bad place to start.