SALT Optics and Japan luggage company Briefing have released their collaborative project: an indestructible sunglasses-and-case combo that is the perfect addition for your next trip outdoors. Well, maybe they’re not completely indestructible, but SALT and Briefing designed their respective products with the strongest scratch- and tear-free technology such as CR39 frames and an inner flash mirror for the glasses and ballistic nylon for the case.
So, these aren’t exactly your average, cheap pair of shades. These handmade specs go for $600 and are built for those scaling mountains or traveling the world — like all things SALT. Hell, the glasses and case even have some steez to them, making sure you look great and never have to worry about a eye-wear slip-up.
We spoke to former Pro Surfer and SALT Head Designer David Rose about the collaboration with Briefing to see just how these glasses and case came to fruition.
Salt Optics is an eyewear company based in California, while Briefing is a renounced luggage label company out of Japan. Do you think Salt’s manufacturing location played a role in this collaboration?
“Yes. I first discovered Briefing while traveling in Japan and was immediately attracted to the brand. One of the things I noticed about them was that they were designed in Japan and manufactured in the U.S. which is just the opposite of SALT. I also noticed the amazing quality from the Mil-Specs they use to the Ballistic Nylon, YKK zippers and overall craftsmanship.”
How exactly did these collaborative efforts come about and what role did each company play in the creation of the product? Did you have any say in the design of the eye-wear case or did each company head the product they know best?
“I spoke to a friend in Japan that had a connection with Briefing. He put me in contact with them and we immediately started working on the collaboration. Part of the appeal of the collaboration is that we did it together which lead us not only into designing the case, but a sunglass frame as well.”
What was the inspiration behind the design?
Well, SALT is an acronym for Sea, Air, Land & Timelessness, so it was important to me that we produced a case that was in line for those elements. Out of this, dual compartments for storage of multiple pairs of eye-wear and other accessories such as phones, keys, or money were needed. The case also had to have a strong endoskeleton and soft interior to prevent damage under significant weight and harsh conditions.
What is the Inner Flash Mirror, and even though the flash mirror is 100 percent scratch-resistant, does that make the entirety of the lenses 100 percent scratch-resistant?
“Well most mirror coatings are applied to the front surface of the lens, which make them susceptible to abrasions. SALT’s inner flash mirror lenses are 100% scratch resistant as the mirror coating is between the lens wafers. This ensures the mirror coating will never scratch or wear off. As of today, there is no lens material in the industry that is 100% scratch proof. But our lenses are treated front and back with a clear, scratch-resistant coating that makes the lenses much harder and more resistant to scratching.”
What’s your personal favorite within the design?
“Detailing always excites me. So I think the vintage plaques we chose for the front temples are great. The plaques were inspired by a frame that dates back to the 1950’s.”
Considering the use of more durable nylon, self restring power and metal parts to prevent reflections — this pair sounds indestructible. Would they survive if a piano fell onto them? If not, what extreme can you take them before they break? (As in, are these good hiking glasses, or glasses for sport? Or are they casual?)
“Haha! Well, I wouldn’t say they would survive if a piano fell on them, but they are designed with outdoor adventure in mind and urban exploration, not to mention they look pretty sharp too.”
Is there anything else your consumers should know about the glasses?
When kicking ideas around for frame names, I stumbled across an old nautical quote “Fair Winds and Following Seas”. It means “safe journey: good furtune.” So, I went with the name Fairwind. It seemed fitting