1950-1970 : k8363
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product code : k8363 : £ 175
  • 1960's black plastic and white gold metal frame
    marked 12KGF and AMERICAN OPTICAL

  • Can be glazed with Rx or sunglasses lenses.



other info
  • The earliest 50's American Optical catalogue we have is 1954 and the Sirmont

    is listed as it was fairly new, being first released the previous year. Its immediate

    popularity meant that the design endured for over two decades, also being worn

    by figures in American history: this was Malcolm X's signature frame and has

    become to be known as 'The Malcolm X' frame. This pair dates from the late

    1960's or soon after, when the amount of gold in the frame was reduced from

    1/10 to 1/20: '12KGF' translates as 1/20 12 karat gold fill. After this, with the

    spiralling costs of gold in the early 1970's, the amount of gold in the frame was

    reduced further to 1/30, then 1/40 then after that they were simply not marked

    with any gold fill. (FYI, modern frames, ie made for the past 20 years or so, have

    roughly 1/2000 gold in them which is why they corrode so quickly: these frames

    were rightly advertised at the time as lasting a lifetime.) This pair not perfect:

    the plastic is slightly raised near the left shield where there has been some

    over zealous tightening of the screw behind - but otherwise it is a fine example.

    It retains the earlier incised metal bridge - later, it became plainer - and the

    temples are the more desirable tapering shape. It looks hardly worn.

                                                           — klasik

vintage eyewear : mens : 1960's Sirmont by AMERICAN OPTICAL (USA)
back to : men's frames : page 1
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