KOBERG goes Titanium for the First Time
The next level of titanium eyewear is here. And not from Denmark, but from the quaint town of Munster, Germany. With their third collection, eyewear label KOBERG is premiering their first line of titanium frames. SPECTR sits down with Frank Tente about the ins and outs of this milestone, and how the new titanium models fit into the overall collection.
Hello Frank, your relatively young KOBERG label is launching its third collection. What are the similarities to previous offerings?
KOBERG is an eyewear collection that stands out through craftsmanship. The glasses are made with a focus on quality and wearable design. We’re into small, craftsman details and also put an emphasis on using the best possible materials.
What has changed in your latest collection?
The new collection has been crafted entirely from block titanium. And the cylindrical hinge featured in our first two collections has been transitioned into a flatter design element in our titanium models, due to the properties of the material.
Will titanium only feature in part of your collection or are you making a complete switch?
Only a part of the collection, for now. The stainless-steel models still offer a variety of creative options that titanium cannot match.
What is the general idea behind branching out into titanium?
We initially started the KOBERG collection with milled stainless steel and its unique processing options. And in our acetate models, we had the impression that machined materials still have some untapped potential. So it was only logical to take a look at titanium as a new material.
Which advantages does titanium offer, and do you see it as a long-term commitment?
Sustainability has always been a major cause for us. And titanium offers real longevity as a material that also works great for eyewear: It’s extremely robust and antiallergenic. But working with sustainable materials also requires sustainable, durable designs.
On that note, how and where do you design your products?
In 2019, the design team at Studio Spektakel already contributed its signature style to the second KOBERG line. This modern and international look translated the characteristic, cylindrical KOBERG hinges into delicate shapes that made extremely thin hinges and temple shapes possible. The team now delivered great work in our third series. With the decorative element on the temples, they created a premium designer product.
How is the manufacturing process structured? We imagine that you are not producing titanium frames at your Munster headquarters.
Exactly. Here in Munster, we ‘only’ manufacture our acetate pieces. The stainless-steel collections have been made by Alex Picicci in Gerlingen since day one. We also have maintained a partnership in South Korea for many years, with a specialization in premium milling techniques. This is where the raw pieces for the titanium collection are machined and then welded, coated, and assembled in Gerlingen.
Are there recognizable design elements typical for KOBERG?
KOBERG models always have a special accent at the intersection between hinges and temples. First the screwless and cylindrical hinge and now the embedded tile ornament.
What can you tell us about the ‘tile’ accent?
Adding a cylindrical element at the hinges would be rather unfortunate working with block titanium. So in essence, we went and ‘flattened’ our cylinder and that led to this sort of cover for the hinge. It’s manufactured and coated by hand in Germany in an elaborate process.
What are other standout features of the Titanium Collection?
We rely on a rather robust raw material, in order to be able to machine different levels of thickness at the lens borders, hinges, and temples from the same block of titanium. We place special focus on the edges with a slight bevel. And with the amazing colors from Berlac, used from the start in KOBERG eyewear, we create some subtle accents once again.
Are you looking to serve a new target group with your titanium frames?
Basically, our target group remains the same: People who appreciate quality and design at an equal measure. We have learned that part of this demographic also happens to value titanium.
Does the new collection present somewhat of a shift in the KOBERG design DNA?
Definitively not! We simply apply everything that characterizes KOBERG to a new and exciting raw material.
What other areas of focus can we expect over the coming years?
Acetate of course! From our own factory.
Thanks for the interview.
Find out more about Koberg’s current collections here: https://www.koberg-tente.de/
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