They say fashion always goes full circle – and in the case of O & X’s OT-280, this turns out to be nearly as literally as figuratively true. Back before even MY time, American Optical designed a lens shape that was known as the P3. It was almost round, but with the top flattened just a bit, with just a touch of a steeper curve at the very bottom. I believe it was first popular in the 40’s, and then made a resurgence in the 70’s, popularized by a similar frame, John Lennon’s signature round glasses.
O & X revives this classic style with a metal front, zyl temple combination frame with a semi-rimless mounting. The front is a very slightly burnished golden bronze tone. The bridge is nicely sculpted, with additional metal providing a dimensional highlight, followed by a bit of minimalistic sculpted cutouts that gently taper to a point below the bridge. Another bit of sculpt work in a rectangular shape is on the outside edges, which is additionally embellished by two faux rivets to evoke the manufacturing methods of a bygone era.
The demi-amber zyl temples are slender stems without embellishment of shape, texture or color, excepting a very small silver end piece at the hinge to lend structural integrity to the mechanism.
One of the reasons the P3 shape was so popular was due to its ability to look good while bringing several technical advantages to the table. The lens size is 45mm; this somewhat small size helps keep lenses thinner, and therefore lighter and aesthetically more pleasing. The end pieces extending from the lens to the hinge area is slightly longer than normal, so that patients with a more narrow PD but wider features can have a frame that fits well without the imbalance of too large of a lens. For more info on why lens size matters, click here.
All in all, the OT-280 takes the best design elements from the retro P3 shape, and minimally tweaks them with superior methods of current manufacture, and creates a winning combination.
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