In the early days of mountaineering, the gear was rudimentary and the risk was high but the reward was immortal glory. Be the first to summit a peak or venture up a new route and your name goes into the history books and into climbing lore for good. Glory aside, there was always pure joy of the sport and the rare feeling of being on the first wave of something big. While innovations in clothing and climbing gear have (thankfully) been vast, the aesthetic of the area remains an inspiration to designers. French heritage eyewear brand Vuarnet—founded by an optician and olympic skier—pays homage to the pioneers of mountaineering with their highly functional yet stylish 1315 Glacier Sunglasses.
Originally developed for long days at high altitudes, the 1315s are designed for full optical protection from the elements, but are completely at home in the city. Leather shades on each side of the lenses keep out peripheral light and contribute to warmth in high winds. Simply hit the hidden magnetic button to remove the shades if you’re not summiting Mont Blanc or the springtime temperatures have come early. A removable leather neck strap adds to the utility and styling while a unique, inset acetate loop around the lenses lends durability. It’s in the lenses where the 1315s really prove their mountain readiness. With anti-glare coating and bi-shading, they can handle a range of light conditions while a hydrophobic and oleophobic treatment means they’ll repel water and oils from sunscreen, leaving you with a clear view of the mountain or city.
Meticulously manufactured in France at Vuarnet’s proprietary factory, the 1315 Glacier Sunglasses are available in three colorways from Westerlind for $540.
Images courtesy of Vuarnet