Making a Spectacle

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Visionary A fitting for Tom Davies eyeglasses

Eyeglasses wearers would never order lenses that didn't match their prescriptions. And yet they seem perfectly happy to don frames that weren't designed for their faces. Pick up a pair of specs in a typical optician's, and they'll probably be too narrow or too wide. They might even pinch at the nose or behind the ears. That's because frames are traditionally built for a perfectly symmetrical head. And as everyone's ears, nose and cranium are uniquely shaped, off-the-shelf glasses fit few people perfectly.

Not all eyewear manufacturers are blind to these differences. Tom Davies is the founder of London-based firm TD Tom Davies,, which specializes in custom-made, fashionable face furniture. He launched his business in 2001 after spending three years designing glasses for brands including Tom Ford, Gucci and Puma. "I was frustrated that my mass-produced frames didn't really fit anyone," he says. "I wanted to create the equivalent of a bespoke suit." That vision has earned Davies fans such as Richard Branson and Kevin Spacey.

Before he can create a pair of uniquely-you specs, Davies first has to take some vital stats, including the distance between your temples, the width of your nose and the exact position of your eyes and ears. He'll then photograph your head and hand-draw a few sample designs based on your face shape and eyebrow line. The frames can be built from titanium, bloc acetate or buffalo horn, and colored to complement your skin and hair tones. This couture-design process doesn't come cheap: expect to pay an eye-watering $8,000. If that's too much, Davies also offers a customizing service through some 500 opticians across the world. For around $800, you'll be able to pick a pair of glasses from the existing TD collection and have them refitted and recolored to your specifications. That's a sight for sore eyes.