Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rimmed Pince-Nez

In past articles I've discussed the rimless fingerpiece and hoop spring variety. These are the most common types of this variety. However, there is a significant number of rimmed fingerpieces and hoop springs. Is this type for you? What are the advantages / disadvantages to this particular style?

As you may remember in a prior post, about two months ago I purchased a hoop spring trial fitting set in very poor condition. I was surprised that most of the pince-nez were the rimmed variety.

As for personal aesthetics, the rimmed pince-nez does not appeal to LeDandy. In my opinion, the rimmed frame detracts from the minimalist appeal. But as with Astigs, I learned that some styles work very well with certain people. Michael, a reader of this blog, looks superb in the Astig. Will the rimmed pince-nez suit your face? Only you can tell. Since many pince-nez can be bought for under $20, you may want to pick one up and see if you like it if you are so motivated.

rimmed pince nezThe young man at left, who is no longer young, is wearing a rimmed hoop spring. The big advantage to this style is that opticians prefer making lenses for a rimmed frame rather than the rimless one. However, be sure that the frames have screws for the lens mount. The cheap mail-order reader frames, as seen in my post referenced above regarding the trial fitting set, do not have screws and the lenses cannot be replaced. Also, it may be possible to change the shape of the lens mount from round to somewhat more oval. You will probably want the services of a professional for this procedure if it can be done.

The zyl (plastic) rimmed pince-nez were quite popular and have a distinct look. Zyl rims are almost always found with the round lens. Last year on Fedora Lounge, a young woman posted a picture of herself wearing this variety. Unfortunately she took the picture down but it was very impressive. If you can wear round lenses, you may want to consider the rimmed zyl fingerpiece. It definitely lends a scholarly air to the wearer.

zyl pince nez fingerpieceIf you are interested in the zyl fingerpiece to wear, you must get the one with screws securing the lens mount. This will allow you to change lenses. The picture below is an excellent example of a quality zyl fingerpiece. Note the screw mount blocks used to secure the zyl rims.

zyl pince nez fingerpieceThe young man below is wearing a complete zyl rimmed fingerpiece. The only hint is the fingerpiece end visible on the inner edge of his right lens. After the mid 1920's pince-nez design tried to copy (without temples of course) the latest style of spectacles. The 1920's saw the enormous popularity of tortoise shell rimmed spectacles with round lenses. [this paragraph and photo taken from my friend's Flickr page]

zyl pince nez fingerpiece


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