By Pattarawadee Saengmanee
The Nation Weekend
BILLING ITSELF as the Asean optical fair, Silmo Bangkok recently returned to Impact Exhibition and Convention Centre for its second edition, showcasing innovative optic lenses, advanced phoropters and fashionable eyewear from around the world to delight anyone who needs to wear glasses as well as quite a few who don’t.
A younger sibling of the world-renowned Silmo Paris, this year’s fair was designed around the theme Business Meets Fashion and brought together more than 250 leading manufacturers from 15 countries including France, the US, Australia, Spain, Italy, England, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.
Visitors could stop at Essilor’s treatment room for a complete eye examination.
“Silmo Paris has been the leading eyewear trade show for more than 50 years and established itself as the trendiest hub of the global optical industry. Capitalising on its huge success last year, Silmo Bangkok 2019 has drawn an even greater number of entrepreneurs from across the world. Thailand and Asean have the fastest growth in the eyewear industry. This show offers the new eyewear trends,” said Jerome Colin, president and chairman of Groupement des Industries Francaises de l’Optique or Gifo, the organiser of Silmo.
Recognised for its progressive lens Varilux, the French ophthalmic company Essilor once again draws attention from fairgoers by setting up a treatment room offering visitors a full eye examination to assess their vision, ability to focus and conditions likely to affect them.
Popular with leading hospitals and optical shops, Essilor’s Wam700+ fully automatic wavefront aberrometer offers complete anterior chamber analysis and visual assessment. Based on Shack-Hartmann wavefront technology, it provides seven detailed measurements in 90 seconds for both eyes and simplifies the screening of eye wellness – you quickly learn if you’re at risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma or keratoconus.
Another new innovation is the high-tech Vision-R 800 automatic phoropter featuring a patented automated optical module that provides simultaneous and instantaneous changes of sphere, cylinder and axis for speed, accuracy, precision and extra comfort. Using software called Smart Tests, the special algorithms conduct the refraction procedure with variation steps, making it easy to adjust to patient sensitivity.
Roav is famous for its super thin, foldable sunglasses.
“In the traditional refraction procedure, values are rounded to 0.25 D at each stage and inaccuracies accumulate. In the precise Digital Infinite Refraction procedure, all the refraction is conducted with 0.01 D increments and the final value is rounded to the nearest 0.25 D, providing a more reliable result,” Dhanon Bhanurujpong, manager and senior lens specialist of Essilor Distribution (Thailand), told The Nation Weekend.
“The smooth power changes and a wider field of vision make refraction very comfortable. At the end of the test, the patients can compare refractions in simulated real-life scenes to ensure the refraction is really accurate,” he added.
American eyewear brand Roav took the opportunity to introduce its new collection of 0.8mm thin, foldable specs that are fashioned out of quality stainless steel and constructed with a press formed screwless hinge.
Perfect for everyone whether they’re sportsmen or forgetful old men, these glasses weigh only 0.12 to 0.15 grams and are durable, flexible and strong, meaning you can put them into the back pocket of your jeans and sit on them without worry.
The frame is topped off with scratchproof ion plating, while the nylon polarised lenses protect the eyes from UVA and UVB rays. They’re available in 18 designs and different colours and priced at Bt6,250.
“Roav was set up two years ago by a group of friends determined to create super thin, ultra lightweight, foldable sunglasses that everyone can afford and that suit all lifestyle. People with myopia up to 400 degrees, which is moderate shortsightedness, are able to use the Roav frames. Our sunglasses with mirrored lenses in pink and green are particularly popular with the younger generation,” said Paritta Trakulmechokchai, general manager of Ignis Asia, the sole distributor of Roav in Thailand.
Also under the umbrella of Ignis Asia is South Korean brand Frank Custom, which offers a wide selection of vintage-style specs made from beta titanium, making them durable and flexible. Roav and Frank Custom’s collections are available at Siam Center, Siam Paragon and Central Chidlom.
Blake Kuwahara produces oneofakind, handcrafted sunglasses with twotoned different textures.
Even the smallest infants are susceptible to harmful rays and French firm Izipizi has created a striking edition of colourful antibacterial sunglasses for newborn babies. Using advanced injection moulding technology, the Sun Baby models come with adjustable straight arms and polarised lenses that provide the little ones with 100-per-cent UV protection.
“Inspired by the sea, the Sun Baby models are simple and boasts plastic lenses that are safe for kids even when the lenses are ruined. Parents must protect their kids’ eyes from harmful UV rays. We have more than 20 designs for them to choose,” said Trinupab Jiratritarn, founder of Cobalt Jedi, which sells Izipizi in Thailand.
Popular with skiing and mountaineering enthusiasts, the Sun Glacier series boasts a striking contemporary design and provides optimum protection to protect your eyes from the cold, snow and intense light found on the mountain peaks. The Sun Nautic edition, meanwhile, is designed for water sport fans and drivers, providing 100-per-cent UV protection for normal vision and presbyopia (farsightedness).
Another member of the Cobalt Jedi family is Blake Kuwahara from Japan and its eye-catching edition of one-of-a-kind, handcrafted sunglasses made with the finest Japanese craftsmanship. The sunglasses boast classic designs and are mostly made with acetate, titanium and stainless steel with polarised lenses providing UV protection.
“The brand was founded by Japanese ophthalmologist and designer Blake Kuwahara. He has used special techniques to create different two-toned textures on the frame that resemble wood grain and marble,” Trinupab says.
Renowned Italian brand Tavat offers its award-wining SoupCan sunglasses designed by Norman Schureman. Made from stainless steel, they are inspired by the tin cans of the 1930s and manufactured almost entirely by “coining” Alpacca and “dyeing” components before being completely assembled by hand.
“Schureman has used advanced laser cut technology to create the sandwich frames. The lenses are coated with melanin to provide UV protection and accuracy,” Trinupab explained.
Tavat takes an inspiration from the 1930s tin can to create its sandwich frames.
Originally designed for pilots but now offered to everyone, the Airman series features medical stainless steel frames, hypoallergenic nose pads and anti-fog melanin lenses that can protect your eyes from UV rays and dust.
For 15 years, the German brand Mykita has produced screwless handcrafted optic glasses and sunglasses that are lightweight and fit all facial shapes thanks to advanced hinge techniques.
“Now, the brand has developed several kinds of quality materials like stainless steel and acetate for the front frames, nose pads and legs. All frames are mostly formed with high-tech 3D printing and Micron technology helps make them resistant to heat and chilled weather” said Chutima Natirat, sales representative for We Do Asia, which distributes Mykita in Thailand.
And the Kingdom also has plenty of eyewear talent with Silpakorn University’s product design student Nichakamon Tuncharern winning first prize in the Silmo Bangkok Eyewear Design Contest. Inspired by Wat Arun, her detailed glasses, which will be displayed at Silmo Paris in September features the King’s crown on the top of a pagoda, a fishnet-shaped pagoda, Chinese doll statues and colourful porcelain pieces.