A pair of Savile row eyeglass frames is like a piece of jewely, carefully handcrafted with over 130 steps to the manufacturing process. Savile Row Glasses had humble beginnings. It all started with a company called Max Wiseman and Co. founded in 1898. In 1932 they acquired a German company and brought over all the machinery and craftsman to London’s East End, The Algha Factory. The same factory and buildings were in use until they were forced to close during the recent COVID Pandemic.
During the WWII Algha helped out the war effort by producing eyewear for gas masks and Aviator glasses for the British Army. After the end of World War II Algha was contracted to manufacture all all eyewear for the NHS.
In 1947 the British goverment started paying for eyewear for all citizens via the NHS public Insurance system. Getting this contract meant Algha works had the entire Britain as their customer base. Algha quickly grew to employ 150 employees and serve over a million customers a year, including the likes of John Lennon and the Queen of England. An era of prosperity.
Savile Row Eyewear
In 1988, the NHS ended their free eyewear, choosing to pay for only those in desperate need. Algha lost a large part of its customer base and was forced to reinvent itself. This is how Savile Row Eyewear was born. Algha downsized from 350 employees at it’s peak to 10 employees, and reinvented itself as a boutique manufacturer producing 20,000 frames a year.
Under this brand Algha made frames for many celebrities, including Denzel Washington, Johnny Depp, Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Ben Kingsley as Gandhi, and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. Up until the pandemic Savile row eyewear made vintage style frames by hand and using the same machines and processes that were brought over from Rathenau in 1932.
Berkshire Chase Glasses
Berkshire Chase Limited is the American distributor of all Savile Row Glasses, including The 18 Karat Rolled Gold Classic Collection. Some of their classic frames:
Savile Row Beaufort Panto Glasses
Savile Row 18Kt Warwick (Harry Potter)
Savile Row Round 18k
Savile Row Orford 14k Oval
Savile Row Windsor Panto Glasses
Berkshire Chase Warwick Glasses
Due to the pandemic Savile Row was forced to close the Hackney factory (You can see the empty factory space here.) They are in the process of reopening elsewhere. If you are looking for similar style frames we reccomend going back to the source of the inspiration, antique windsor eyeglass frames. We also have a selection of similar round glasses below.
Click here for our entire selection of round glasses.