product code : k5500 :
Say hello to 'Helios' - a frame made by Helmecke for Carl Zeiss' Umbral
sunglasses and launched in 1963*. All elements in this top quality sunglasses
line were made and assembled in Germany, and then imported and distributed
by their exclusive agent in London. Helmecke made outstanding optical frames,
so were a natural fit for Zeiss' ground glass tinted sunglass lenses made in their
West German factory. Zeiss recognised that very few could afford their sunglasses
in Britain in the 1960's - Helios cost a hefty 86s in 1965 - so they concentrated
on creating a small, elite collection of just a few designs. A sort of capsule
sunglass wardrobe of exceptional quality for the wealthy man, who could
initially choose between just brown or black for the frame, and either 85%
abs brown tint lenses or the paler 65% abs. These are the darker 85% Umbrals
and we also have this lens in the brown frame -
click here to view/buy.
We also have 'Helios'
in our original 1968 Zeiss catalogue - but note that it was
only available in a black frame by then, making the brown even more desirable
today, if that is your choice. Britain was Zeiss' dedicated market but these men's
sunglasses were few and expensive - hence we do not find many. We are pleased
then to offer these two 'Helios' examples, this one in black and another in their rare
translucent brown acetate that seem so right with the warm, rich "sherry" tint Umbral
lenses. Imagine driving off in your E-type, or Jensen or maybe your Mercedes in these
superlative 1960's men's European sunglasses.
* We don't have an archive photo until 1965, but for sticklers, expect they were the
same from 1963-65.