Glasses with interchangeable parts have the advantage of quickly switching between styles. But out of the experience with different manufacturers, I want to talk a little about the differences and the downsides of glasses with interchangeable parts.
There are a couple of well-known manufacturers with brands and each of them has its own system. This means some of them enable you only to switch the temples while others allow you to switch every part or quickly switch between lenses. Those brands are:
- Switch It! [All parts can be changed with the rimless models]
- Change Me [Temples can be switched]
- Carrera [The whole front can be changed with the model 5022 & 5023]
- eye:max [Interchangeable temples]
Switch It! is probably the most known company with interchangeable parts. Most of the frames they offer have interchangeable bridges, and temples. The mount for the attachment to connect the glasses and the frame is usually drilled in the lenses. Everything holds with tiny screws and nuts.
The variety of frames is incredible. You can find every color you can think of and they also have them in different shapes ready when it comes to the temples. The materials used are plastic and metal. When you do not find your favorite design you can them custom-made to your liking.
In the picture above you can see a switch it frame. All the parts are interchangeable. I picked this picture because it shows you transparent parts so you can see the metal underneath. This metal is mounted directly on the lens and works as a holding for the plastic temples. When you interchange parts you need to make sure to not scratch the antireflective coating of the lenses.
In most cases, this is not a problem at all but when your ability to handle little parts is limited I would not recommend going with such a system. The good thing is if you are interested in it and you are not sure about this system. Simply visit an optician with those frames in stock and ask if you can just try to interchange the parts before buying.
Change me glasses frames have a system where you can switch the temples on your own. The hinge is specifically designed so you can interchange parts easily. When you have the ability to change less when it comes to the glasses they will you provide with a more rigid fitting compared to the switch it frames. This can be an advantage when it comes to progressive glasses where perfect adjustments are key. But of course, compared to Switch It you have a middle part that can not be changed in color.
Carrera is not specifically known for producing frames with interchangeable parts but they also have two models where you can switch the front of the middle part of the glasses. This enables you to switch the style of your glasses very quickly and you actually do not need to click in as many parts compared to the change me or switch frames. But the variety of models is far more limited compared to the other manufacturers listed in this article.
The eye:max frames give you the ability to change the temples fairly easily. Down below you can see a video of the interchangeable glasses. Compared to Switch-it! frames the frames feel more rigid and you have fewer worn-out parts. But also here you do have not the ability to switch out every part of the frame.
The Problem of Glasses With Interchangeable Parts
In most cases, buyers do not realize directly that glasses with interchangeable parts do wear out faster compared to normal glasses when parts are often switched. For example, when click-in systems like Switch it glasses wear out after a few months the parts start to fit in less snug with the other parts. When they lose up you can always go back to your optician and he will readjust the parts or the frame with a little heat and a little bending.
The glasses frames with interchangeable parts also oftentimes sit a little crooked more easily compared to normal glasses as the wearers try to push or pull those frames in improper spots. When a few readjustments had to be done the wearers oftentimes tend to not change the parts anymore of the glasses.
Frequent switching of the parts can also mean you could see signs of wear out earlier when it comes to the surface of the glasses frame. A problem with interchangeable parts of glasses for example is spots that are rubbed of a little more. This can happen where the parts you need to change sit very closely at the lenses or on the frame itself.
Are Eyeglass Lenses Interchangeable?
Eyeglass lenses work perfectly only with one kind of model. So when the wearer of the glasses wishes to switch one pair of lenses into another frame it works best when it is the same model. With the same model of frame, it is also oftentimes easy to pop the glasses out and put them back in as described in this article here (how to put them in) and here (how to pop the lenses out.) In this case, they would be interchangeable.
But when the shape of the lenses needs to be altered in order to fit a new frame you can not put them back into the original frame. So in such a case, it would be better to get a frame like the Carrera 5022 to just switch the front of the glasses.
One exception where eyeglass lenses are interchangeable is sports glasses like the Oakley Flak Jacket or HEAD Pro models. Those frames have click-in systems to switch lenses fairly easily. Depending on what lenses you want you can prepare your glasses before you start your session with your bike.
As you can see in the video above interchanging the lenses is actually fairly easy. Just make sure before you do it to clean your hands and the glasses to prevent damage on the lens surface.