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Sports Vision Eyewear

Jack Bettridge
From the Print Edition:
Cuban Spy Scandal, May/Jun 02

You're racing along at 120 per, when the sun comes up over the autobahn. You reach for eye protection—but not just any sunglasses. From the case comes a set of Sport Vision Precision lenses. In the hand, the injection-molded frames share the characteristics of lightweight magnesium, sturdy titanium and flowing aluminum. As they unfold, each hinge (a series of miniature wheels) disappears far down the arms. When in place, flexible pads adjust snugly to the nose, the end-tips bend to grip the skull. The dark-green, polycarbonate lenses sit flush with the metal of the frames. Invisible behind them, the eyes enjoy 100 percent UV protection, yet see the world speed by in heightened contrast, even as the light dims in a tunnel. In short, performance and design match the name on the frame: TAG Heuer.

"I'm aligned with a company for which a millionth of a second is really quite vital." Ross Lovegrove, celebrated designer of computers for Apple and Walkmans for Sony, is explaining that designing the first sunglasses for a company that keeps time for Formula 1 and World Ski racing is a daunting prospect. "There is nowhere to hide any fat on a product like this."

Nor any cellulite. Three years in the making, Sport Vision marries space-age materials with the aesthetics of design. Lovegrove strove for the seamless integration of split lines found on a high-performance racing car. Even the integrated rubber strap and the molded case, which closes with the satisfying snap of a magnetic clasp, follow the sleek design ethic. "This world is full of banality, and I don't subscribe to that," explains the designer.

The glasses are available in three lens types: Precision for golf, tennis and driving ($330); multipurpose dark-gray Outdoor ($285); and dark-blue Watersport for sailing and skiing ($345). The relatively flat profile also allows ophthalmic lenses to be placed in the frame. Available at TAG Heuer dealers and high-end opticians.

For more information visit www.tagheuer.com.

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