By Linda Conlin, Pro to Pro Managing Editor

When we think about titanium frames, Charmant is the first name to come to mind. Now a leading multi-national corporation for fashionable eyewear products, Charmant (the name means “charming”) began its journey of innovation from more humble roots. Let’s follow the journey from small manufacturer to globally recognized producer of quality and cutting-edge design titanium eyewear.

In 1956, Kaoru Horikawa founded the company in Japan as a manufacturer of optical spare parts. Continuous innovation to improve manufacturing technologies led to the development of Charmant’s own brands and products in 1975. The company began a new phase in 1980 with the introduction of titanium as a frame material and continued development of special manufacturing techniques.

Image courtesy of Charmant
The first Pure Titanium collection was born in 1983, followed by the Titanium Perfection collection in 1987. The combination of comfort, fashion and function for both men’s and women’s designs make Titanium Perfection the number one brand in the Charmant Group. Continuing the quest for even lighter and stronger materials led to the development of Beta Titanium in 1990. Charmant Beta Titanium is an alloy consisting of 75% titanium and 25% aluminum, chrome and vanadium making it even more durable than pure titanium.

Memory Titanium, a highly elastic memory titanium alloy, comprised of 50% nickel and 50% titanium debuted in 2007. This material not only retains its shape, it has ten times the elastic behavior of steel. Quick on the heels of Memory Titanium came Z-Titanium in 2008. This new alloy consists of titanium, zirconium-titanium and niobium. The material is also used in the medical field because it is light, elastic, gentle, and safe for the human body. Z-Titanium frames provide a softer and gentler wearing comfort than even that of Pure or Beta Titanium.

But Charmant didn’t stop there. 2009 saw the launch of Excellence Titan, exclusively invented for eyewear by Charmant in cooperation with Tohuku University. The result of eight years of research and development, this lightweight titanium and nickel alloy combines shape memory with flexibility for Charmant’s most comfortable frame material. Could comfort in eyewear go any further? Yes! One of the newest additions to Charmant’s titanium brands is Charmant Perfect Comfort. Here, it’s not just about weight and strength. The frames are scientifically engineered and ergonomically designed for the best fit, incorporating curved temples, adaptive nosepads and curved temple tips.

While high tech materials are the basis for high-performance frames, materials have to be coupled with design and manufacturing technology. One facet of that technology is the precision laser welding technique, able to join extremely fine parts directly, using no medium material that could cause possible breakage. It results in high-strength welding and gives a beautiful finish to fine eyewear. The typical welding method would cause problems such as the loss of the metal’s original characteristics, but precision laser welding offers limitless design options ensuring frames that are both aesthetic and comfortable with seamless joints.

Titanium’s strength requires ramping up the processes used to manufacture frames made of other metals. A computerized pressing process provides the extra pressure needed to mold titanium. Likewise, Charmant uses a 3-D process to bend titanium into delicate eyewires. For surface treatments, ion plating not only results in fashionable colors, but reduces peeling for durability and function. At the end of that high tech manufacturing process, however, frames are inspected and finished the old fashioned way – by hand.

What does more than sixty years of research and development of materials and manufacturing technology mean for you and your patients? Frames that are lightweight, flexible, highly durable, corrosion-free and hypoallergenic. Not only functional, the frames hold their adjustment, are comfortable, beautiful and exquisitely designed for both men and women. In short, Charmant eyewear embodies top quality, innovative design and cutting-edge style. Your patients value those qualities, resulting in high satisfaction and willingness to pay more for the best. Win-win!

Learn more about the unique titanium and titanium alloys Charmant produced through technological innovations as the original developers and producers of titanium eyewear, the challenges of the manufacture of titanium frames, the features and benefits of titanium frames, and more, with our CE, The Many Material Benefits of Titanium Frames, at