Amazing German brands // Kerl

Another amazing eyewear brand that is fully made in Germany, is Munich based Kerl Eyewear. For 5 years, the two material engineers Dr. Jaromir Ufer and Dr. Johannes Dillinger worked on the first carbon fiber material specifically developed for the requirements of spectacle frames. Then they joined forces with Markus Moser, an expert in eyewear design from the Swiss trendsetter long-established company Alpenglühn. Together, they enhanced the frames into timeless and never before seen carbon designs in the premium segment. Since 2017, a team at two German locations has been developing and manufacturing one of the lightest handmade eyewear from the innovative and unique carbon material Flexarbon.

Founders of Kerl Eyewear: Dr. Johannes Dillinger, Dr. Jaromir Ufer, Markus Moser (from left to right)
Wolfgang Schattling – Head of Media and Customer Relation, Aston Martin Team R-Motorsport with Kerl Eyewear CARB-008 in color raw coffee
Ferdinand von Habsburg – Aston Martin R-Motorsport race driver with Kerl Eyewear CARB-009 in color raw gold
Aston Martin R-Motorsport – DTM race car

Despite the distinctive appearance, their frames are light as a feather. On average they weigh less than a sheet of paper. This results in unbelievable and unexpected wearing comfort and is made possible by the in-house developed carbon technology. The material is only 0.7mm thick, yet it accommodates up to eight ultra-thin fiber layers developed for the aerospace industry.

Perfectly matched to the designs, a silky-matt texture appears, depending on the ambient light ranging from simple anthracite to elegant three-dimensional with a very special depth structure. Another innovation is the dyeing process, giving the material different color shades while still retaining the charm of the characteristic fiber structure. Their frame designs are timeless and do not follow erratic trends. The most important aspect of Kerl is quality. It is ensured every day in the manufactory production with precise processes for every single frame. Kerl pays attention to every detail. The patented hinge, for example, withstands over 100,000 movements. This means that the glasses can theoretically be opened and closed three times a day for 100 years. Kerl’s special carbon fiber composite Flexarbon is designed to withstand all the stresses and strains of everyday life with ease despite its fabulous lightness.

Kerl Eyewear CARB-005 in color raw gold
Kerl Eyewear CARB-005 in color raw night
Kerl Eyewear CARB-005 in color median night
Kerl Eyewear CARB-014 SUN in color raw night
Kerl Eyewear CARB-008 SUN in color raw night
Kerl Eyewear CARB-009 in color raw night

You make a conscious decision when going for a Kerl Eyewear frame. Kerl makes sure that you will not regret this decision even after many years.

Technology

Every Kerl frame is handmade in Kerl’s Germany-based factories by very experienced and careful employees. Where appropriate, the most modern machines are used. To put this into context: sheet metal is bought ready to use and then cut to size. The Kerl carbon composite material Flexarbon is produced according to a strictly secret recipe. First, the blank is created, the main component being carbon fibers that are spread and woven into ultra-thin layers. The various carbon fiber fabrics are individually embedded by hand in different matrix resin materials and cured in a sophisticated process with high pressure and temperature. After several hours, the Flexarbon material that eventually represents the basis for the manufacturing of the carbon eyewear parts is finished. Following a quality check of the blanks, the spectacle parts are milled in a computer-controlled process, in a reproducible and highly precise fashion. The level of detail of each of the components is so demanding that milling tool diameters of less than 0.8mm need to be applied.

The individual eyewear components are ground and deburred by hand. This complex process requires the highest level of manual skills, which only Kerl’s most experienced employees have. Before the frames are assembled, the parts are individually engraved. This gives each pair of glasses its unique signet and inimitable mark. In the last step, the carbon parts are assembled along with the remaining components made of titanium, high-precision sintered nylon, and silicone. To put this into perspective: already the titanium nose pad is as complex and demanding in terms of the necessary production steps as an entire middle section of a metal frame. Not to talk about the nylon hinge axis…
The result inspires. Every day anew.

Author: maarten weidema

After being a freelance eyewear designer since 1999, TEF founder Maarten Weidema now solely writes about his fellow designers in the optical industry. His passionate mission is to promote independent eyewear to the international optical arena, backed up by a large group of bloggers and journalists from all over the world. He has recently been awarded "International Optical Personality of the Year", "Leading Innovator in Optical Social Media Marketing", "Social Media Marketing Company of the Year" and received several awards for "best eyewear blog" for his efforts to promote independent eyewear to a community of 517.000 eyecare professionals.

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