Restoring the Lenses in Your Expensive Vintage Sunglasses

Take a look back through some of these classic sunglass designs and try not to murmur under your breath ‘they just don’t make them like they used to’.

It’s true, the designs that came out of the 1890’s – 1980’s are unparalleled in terms of style, quality, and craftsmanship.

The models that precede the 1890’s are just as impressive, just check out these Chinese quartz tinted spectacles for example.

Damaged Lenses, Weathered Frames

If you are lucky enough to own a pair of vintage sunglasses, perhaps passed down as a family heirloom through the generations, it’s unlikely they are still in pristine condition.

The delicate frames are prone to bending out of shape, the hinges tend to get stiff and creaky, and the fragile lenses get worn down, scratched and dented.

But don’t relegate your retro sunglasses to the mantelpiece — there’s plenty of life left in them yet. Refurbishing your sunglasses is nowhere near as hard as you might think.

You can restore any pair of shades without leaving the comfort of your home, and we’re going to tell you how.

Lens Restoration

Previously, it was the lenses that were the trickiest part of the sunglasses to refurbish, particularly as some older sunglass models, along with their lenses, are no longer being produced.

Getting the lenses of your sunglasses replaced was a challenge. It was a job for an optometrist, who, as you can expect from the fancy name, could charge you an absolute fortune.

You could end up spending more on replacing the lenses than the sunglasses were worth when new.

But with new technology that offers high levels of precision, getting a pair of replacement lenses has become more accessible, and much less costly.

This also means that these days even the rarest and most unique sunglass models can be restored back to their former glory.

The Sunglass Fix

The Sunglass Fix will cut, shape, and fit lenses that are custom-made for your vintage sunglass frames.

They specialise in vintage lens replacement and will offer a bespoke service no matter how unique your sunglasses are.

Keeping the process in-house at their state-of-the-art laboratory means that they can slash the costs down, delivering you a quality product for a very reasonable price.

Just go on the The Sunglass Fix and see for yourself.

All you need to do is search their archives of over 100,000 lens models to see whether they already stock yours, and if not, get in contact and specify your needs.

Their skilled technicians have fitted lenses in thousands of different frames, so your precious retro sunglasses are in great hands.

UV Protection

Replacing your old lenses will not only mean sharper optics, but also more protection for your eyes.

The level of protection that lenses offer against the damaging UV rays emitted by the sun, reduces drastically with time.

As such, the lenses in your vintage sunglasses are most likely offering absolutely no protection.

Upgrading to polarized lenses will solve this issue. You can have all the health benefits of modern day eyewear, including scratch resistant coating, whilst keeping all the rustic charm of your retro sunglasses.

Frame Restoration

Plastic frames get worn down and discoloured over time, and tend to lose their shape.

They can be buffed up with a liquid plastic polish, and delicately moulded back into shape with a pair of pliers (with plastic tips).

If you choose to do this yourself, soak the plastic frames in some hot water (around 60 degrees celcius) before. This will soften the plastic and will allow you to slowly manipulate the frames back into shape.

A vital thing to keep in mind here when straightening your vintage sunglasses is not to force them into shape. You should apply gentle pressure to avoid the frames snapping, because broken frames are a lot more costly than ones that are simply a bit out of shape.

A Sustainable Choice

The lifespan of a pair of sunglasses these days is very short. Consumers tend to purchase a new pair (or two) every summer, simply discarding the old ones.

But with the 8 million metric tons of plastic that gets pumped into the world’s oceans every year, these consumption habits need to be curbed.

It’s time that we started looking at how we can restore retro accessories, refurbish vintage furniture and patch-up second-hand clothes, so why not start with your vintage sunglasses.

Don’t let them sit in the garage collecting dust, just follow our simple steps and and bring those iconic shades back to life.

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