Journal

Cubitts' first garden tool

Cubitts' first garden tool
We've collaborated with Niwaki, makers of fine Japanese tools, to produce a spectacle frame designed to withstand the rigours of the garden. To celebrate the launch, Tom from Cubitts met up with Jake from Niwaki to talk tools and plant trees.

There’s a forgotten art to making frames for specific professions. In Lewis Sasieni’s 1961 book The Principles and Practice of Optical Dispensing (a gripping read), the author considers the spectacle wearing needs of professions including musicians, dentists, carpenters, shopkeepers, and of course gardeners.

As Sasieni relates, ‘This task requires a considerable amount of close detail seeing: as when inspecting plants for disease, pricking out, and labelling’. Indeed it might be argued that the myopic gardener’s most useful tool is their spectacle frame, which lets them look closely at the objects of their pruning. Then again, our friends at Niwaki would probably make a good argument for a good pair of secateurs or shears.

Sasieni doesn’t go so far as to suggest a design for a frame fine-tuned to gardening, but it might look something like Mirei. Cable ‘curl’ temples that grip the ear with a reassuring embrace. Originally developed for secure wearing on horseback, they perform the equally important task of keeping the proper distance between face and flowerbed.

Mirei’s lens shape is based on the classic ‘panto’ standard, developed in the 1930s as a more functional alternative to traditional round eyes or ovals. The panto – short for ‘pantoscopic’ lens – was invented in the 1930s, shifting the lugs up from the traditional round-eye to allow for a fuller field of vision. The first lens shape designed to adhere to the natural rotation of the eye.

Then there’s the clip-on, an additional flip-up sun frame that can be ratcheted up and down according to the sun’s rays. Gardening glove friendly.

Mirei is available on the Niwaki website, and in store at Niwaki Chiltern Street. Visitors will receive 10% off the Cubitts x Niwaki edit using the code CUBITTS10.