Our Craft: Riveted Hinges

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A Bailey Nelson Hinge is Crafted
Above: A rivet is carefully hand hammered through the acetate arm of a Bailey Nelson frame. 

What do the two metal dots on our glasses mean? Are they Morse code, half an emoticon, or an unfinished sentence?

When you see metal pins on most glasses, you’re meant to think they serve a purpose. In simple terms, they’re designed to look like a functional rivet.

Riveting is a technique for attaching the hinge to the frame: metal pins are carefully hammered through the acetate frame and welded to the hinge. This is the strongest and most durable method to attach hinges, which is important as they bear more stress than any other part of a frame. But, like a decorative pocket that leads to nothing, the two metal dots on most glasses imply detail that isn’t there. They’re just glued on. And that’s where our frames are different.

We work with a family owned Italian/French company that has been crafting hinges for seventy years. In modern times, that means an expertly engineered three or five barrel, hand made hinge that’s paired with nylon coated screws. The temples (also known as arms) on our frames are designed to open and close smoothly, time after time.

It’s a small detail, but something you’ll notice every time you unfold one of our frames.

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