Tonic Cove and Torquay
- Tonic Eyewear
Cove and Torquay are the first fashion frames from Tonic Eyewear, which has become “the new leader in fishing sunglasses” through the high-performance formulation of its polarised lenses and the lightweight comfort of its frames. These two design elements deliver unrivalled performance for the extremely demanding fishing market, which requires all-day comfort, exceptional glare reduction and extreme optical clarity. After 2½ years of steady sales growth in the fishing market, Tonic has developed Cove and Torquay to enter a more fashion-conscious market. Regardless of style, all Tonic polarised sunglasses comply with EN1836:2005+AI2007, ANSI Z80.3-2008 and AS/NZS 1067:2008.
Design Excellence: Tonic has addressed two common problems with fishing sunglasses –wrap-around distortion and excessive weight – by designing its lenses unlike others. The 8 curve (near maximum possible curvature) used to block out extraneous light would normally place the optical “sweet spot” to the side, like a lizard, and glass lenses are heavy. VistaView de-centring puts the sweet spot in front for clarity, while heat-toughened UltraOptic glass is 30% thinner (and 30% lighter) than other glass lenses, thus giving the user sharp vision and all-day comfort. Frames design also prevents lenses popping out, even in extreme use.
Design Excellence: A previously untapped opportunity in the fishing sunglasses market is for more stylish frames than the generally utilitarian styles available. Tonic has developed two new fashion frames (in addition to its six existing styles) that deliver its unrivalled lens technology to people who would not buy utilitarian-looking fishing sunglasses. By retaining the performance of Tonic’s other styles without compromising their fashionable look, the Cove and Torquay are designed to achieve incremental extra sales from the fishing market, and to introduce Tonic to caravan and RV users as the first step into a wider leisure market.
Design Transformation: Although innovative design was always fundamental to Tonic, it now follows fashion as well as function. Initially, Tonic was all about functional superiority in lens and frame designs (with the exception of overtly beautiful packaging) but it is now also about opening up new markets which care about style. Torquay and Cove are the first Tonic frame designs developed to appeal to fashion-conscious leisure consumers beyond the pure fishing market. They have enabled an expansion of the dealer network beyond traditional fishing and boating outlets, and future styles will further broaden the market appeal.
Design Impact: Tonic’s early success has been built entirely on superior functional design, but half way through its third year, its fashion frames are winning new and different customers. For May 2014, in addition to average year-to-date monthly sales of 303 units for its traditional styles, the two fashion frames added 39 extra sales – a 13% gain. This adds to the traditional fishing market, where sales averaged 181 units per month in the first financial year and 245 units in the second year. Tonic’s functional design continues to build its base, while fashion design opens up new markets.
Design Innovation: High-performance wrap-around sunglasses present unique challenges for combining function and fashion. The 8 curve that keeps out unwanted light from around the edges is at odds with the flatter 5 or 6 curve of most fashion frames, and the Cove and Torquay address this in different ways. In the Cove, the frame itself wraps sharply away from the relatively flat lenses, while Torquay has an inclined inner brow which keeps out the light from above while not being apparent when viewed from the front of side, thus achieving a more angular look without compromising performance.