For Götti eyewear, Sven’s goal is a high performing product that elicits the same aesthetic and sensual reaction as a piece of beautiful jewellery or artwork. He explains: “When I hold the finished product in my hands at the end of the design and production process, and I am completely satisfied with the result, a pair of eyeglasses can make me feel really happy. The scent of freshly polished acetate, the contours, and the intense colours which blossom through hand polishing never fail to amaze me. The same goes for titanium glasses – these are created with tools weighing many tonnes that use enormous controlled force to press out thin balanced shapes. They are light as a feather and yet full of strength. Natural horn, which is handcrafted into Götti glasses frames through many elaborate processes, becomes radiant and as pleasant to the touch as cashmere.”
Founded in 1993, initially as an optical store which, five years later, evolved into a design studio, Götti eyewear is rooted in classic Swiss design. Pared back to their essential elements, Götti glasses and Götti sunglasses are sleek, minimal and elegant. But simplistic they are not – they are precision engineered to provide the highest levels of efficacy, stability and comfort, and hidden within their design are a wealth of understated details such as dual eye wires that create a 3-D appearance or colours hidden within layers of acetate that produce a subtle glow when they catch the light. Götti branding is similarly subtle – its logo comprises two square dots, which represent the umlaut in its name.
Despite its restrained approach to design, Götti is at the forefront of eyewear innovation and its ingenious Spin & Stow technology has won awards around the globe. Spin & Stow glasses have hinges that allow the arms to rotate completely, allowing them to fold into the frame to create a flat, streamlined shape that can be easily stored away – especially useful for sunglasses, which are put on and taken off throughout the day.
Sven’s perfectionism has taken him all over the world in search of the right factories or workshops for the manufacture of his products. His hunt for the ideal combination of cutting edge technology, skilled craftspeople and a team that shares his vision of beauty enhanced by exquisite workmanship means that Götti eyewear is made in four different countries, which are specialists in their respective fields.
Titanium frames are made in Japan, renowned for its production and handling of small and delicate parts. Chosen for its hypoallergenic and lightweight properties, the titanium is reinforced using a complex and high-tech strengthening process. The frames are then coloured and sealed using a ceramic coating that protects them from environmental damage and gives them a subtle and distinctive hue.
Götti’s acetate frames start life in Italy where this versatile material is layered and stretched in all directions to produce unusual and distinctive shades and patterns before an acetate plate is produced. These are then sent to Austria to be finished in a labour intensive process that can take ten days for polishing alone, using wheels made of cotton, yarn, wool or leather in a process similar to polishing a diamond to allow the colours and facets to shine through.
Götti natural horn is ethically sourced from Asian water buffaloes and sent to a specialist workshop in Germany, where experienced artisans examine these huge structures in minute detail to discover the relatively small sections that will yield enough raw material to make beautiful, high quality frames. Each piece is unique, with colour tones ranging from jet black and dark chocolate through to champagne, pale honey and snow white, and buffalo horn is renowned for its strength, lightness and comfort.
“I like to compare designing eyewear to the composing of melodies,” remarks Sven. “New songs can be written again and again with a defined number of notes. Variations in shape are my notes, and only the perfect notes sound right. Quality and charm make Götti glasses more than a companion – they become part of the person wearing them.
“Götti glasses are intended more as jewellery than as an accessory,” he adds. “They are valuable and enduring objects that make the wearer look and feel great.”