This testing and review opportunity would never have come to fruition without the help of James Katz. At this time, I’d like to thank Mr. Katz for giving me the opportunity to test product from Bolle Eyewear. Mr. Katz does public relations for Bolle Eyewear through public relations firm Breakaway Communications. In the weeks leading up to the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show I had exchanged several e-mails with Mr. Katz with plans to meet during the show.
While we met at the Bolle Eyewear booth Mr. Katz talked me through the upcoming product range from the world-renowned eyewear brand. A brand that I’ve been familiar with since the late 80’s. I used to do a little bit of cycling (mountain biking) and during that time I had a pair of Bolle sunglasses. Those sunglasses were high-performing, comfortable and stylish (hot pink). To this day I don’t know what happened to them.
In case you aren’t familiar with Bolle Eyewear the brand is a subsidiary of Bushnell Corporation. A company that has roughly 1,000 employees and generates a revenue of over $60M. Bolle was created in 1888 by Seraphim Bolle who created combs out of horns of animals local to the region (South East France). In the years following WWII Bolle would become known for molding nylon to the highest of standards ever seen at the time. In 1950, Bolle started to produce safety glasses and goggles and later on (in 1956) Georges Bolle created the trendy and famous “cat-eye style” of sunglasses. In 1960, Bolle introduced the world to ski goggles and as we fast forward the clock to 2018 the brand is known for ski helmets, ski goggles and eyewear for cycling, marine and of course golf.
Through discussions with James regarding golf-specific products offered by Bolle Eyewear one thing became very obvious. The golf-specific product range of Bolle Eyewear was deep and packed full of performance enhancing features. Models like their Bolt, Aeromax and Flash offer features like adjustable nosepieces, interchangeable lenses and Thermogrip which is a registered product of Bolle that absorbs moisture to keep your eyewear in place.
With so many intriguing and feature packed offerings from the Bolle line-up we decided on one of two exciting models. In the past, Bolle has been known for their rimless or semi-rimless designs while featuring their “Modulator V3 Lenses”. With the “new for” 2018 “King” and “Anaconda” models the popular Modulator Lenses are employed in a full frame. These full frames offer more versatility for on and off the course applications and in some cases are a better style choice for those with faces that are more full (like mine). For this reason, we agreed on me testing the King model.
Before continuing on my observations I just wanted to share some of the technical information involving these high performance sunglasses from Bolle Eyewear.
Thermogrip – As mentioned Thermogrip is a registered trademark technology that belongs to Bolle Eyewear. Thermogrip uses hydrophilic material which are molecules that interact stronger thermodynamically with water than oil. By placing Thermogrip on the temple and nose pieces glasses like the King stay in place providing more comfort and performance.
Anti-Fog – Through the utilization of a treatment process on the lenses these lenses will not fog up. What’s more is that they don’t only just repel the moisture but the vision seemingly gets better with the application of moisture.
Oleophobic/Hydrophobic Treatment – Have you suffered with dirt, grease, fingerprints or water spots on your glasses? The coating used on the lenses prevents those issues from becoming just that. Issues. The coating prevents the aforementioned from sticking to your lenses making them easy to keep clean.
B-Clear NXT Lenses – “B-Clear lenses offer unrivaled optical quality. Lighter than polycarbonate, these lenses allow for larger designs and fuller coverage – giving you enhanced protection from the elements without the added weight that can slow you down”.
Modulator Lenses – The Modulator lenses developed by Bolle are a technical marvel. These lenses work on a molecular level that lighten or darken based on the needs of an individual in any environment. Otherwise known as “Photochromic” this technology will provide you optimal light transmission. Bolle’s photochromic lenses “have dyes embedded in mass and internally, confined close to the front surface of the lens. With this technology, the photochromic function will not wear out”.
My testing process actually started back in January the day of my meeting with Mr. Katz on the show floor. Mr. Katz sent me home with a sample pair and I would wear my King sunglasses for the drive back to Plant City (where I was staying). The one thing that amazed me about these lenses right away was how well they battled the setting Florida sunshine as I headed west towards Tampa. I was able to combat the UV rays and keep focused on the tight traffic ahead of me. Also impressing me was the fact that the amount of tint was “just right”. I would wear these golf-specific glasses during three rounds of golf during my stayin the Sunshine State. On two occasions the sky was high and bright while the third round was overcast. I feel that it’s the overcast round where I really liked the performance of the King sunglasses most. My vision during that round seemed “vivid” where usually in that type of lighting I struggle to see. Not to mention the colours of my environment seemed to really “pop”.
Unfortunately, the sun of Florida turned into the white snows of winter in Canada. I would wear these glasses all of the time while driving and in fact the King sunglasses have become my “go-to” pair of sunglasses for driving. If you haven’t experienced the glare of white snow and blue sunny skies you haven’t lived. The brightness can downright “punish” your eyes. The technology in the lenses of my test pair shone brighter than the snow. Never, at any time while wearing these sunglasses did my eyes feel strained. All that I can say is that the years of research and development have paid dividends for Bolle. Bolle knows eyes and how to protect them. Have I mentioned that these lenses filter out approximately 88-95% of the Blue Light?
My testing of the photochromic qualities of the lenses has been such that I’ve kept wearing the King sunglasses while driving through a tunnel going from bright sunny skies… to dark lighting in the tunnel and back into the sunny skies. The tinting is the best I’ve ever experienced.
When it came to playing rounds of golf up north I had the same impression as I had in Florida. Whether in subdued lighting or bright conditions the amount of tint is always perfect. But as the cold early spring golf weather has turned to suddenly hot weather I’ve had a chance to wear these sunglasses in nearly oppressive heat on the range and golf course. The Thermogrip used on the temple and nose pieces works famously! I haven’t experienced any sort of slippage on any occasion. I’ve even tempted fate by looking over bridges while wearing the King sunglasses taking a chance on losing them. These sunglasses are very well designed and sit right where you put them on. These frames are a perfect fit for my rather large Eastern European face. The fit is snug and there’s a sense that the frames just “hug” my face. Honestly, I don’t even notice that they’re on until the tint changes.
When it comes to the oleophobic/hydrophobic treatment the application of the coating simply works. Not only do the lenses seem nearly resistant to grease and dirt. But these sunglasses are extremely easy to maintain. These lenses are super-easy to keep clean. All that it takes is a couple of quick circles with the provided cloth that comes in the provided carry pouch. To date, I haven’t seen any waterspots and I’ve worn these sunglasses in the rain and snow. The anti-fog treatment shouldn’t be left out or looked as an afterthought because during my testing process not once has my vision become hindered or obstructed in those sorts of conditions. Also, I’ve never noticed any sort of distortion which is not only important for golf but everyday functioning.
In closing, if you’re looking for a fantastic pair of high-performance eyewear that perform exactly as advertised than look no further. The king sunglasses from Bolle or any of their models that feature the same technology will not leave you disappointed. The King sunglasses retail at a very fair and affordable $120. For more information please visit www.bolle.com.
Until The Next Tee!!