Strength in Numbers

“What’s in a Name?”

William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet

Since day one, we have numbered our frames. Before the 0101 – our first frame produced in quantity at our Atelier in the Italian Dolomites forty years ago – there were CG1, CG2 and so on for the very first bespoke frames that left our Knightsbridge shop. This original numbering system even came back for an encore in the ‘00s for the release of Graham Cutler’s capsule collection. 

Tony Gross, nor Graham Cutler,  never liked the idea of eyewear being gender-specific and they were certainly not ones to alienate either side by giving our frames overly feminine or masculine monikers like ‘Flora’ or ‘Buster’, as some other brands do. 

Names can also become dated as the world around them evolves and that’s something that didn’t sit well with Mr Gross, he believed his designs should be timeless. Numbering our frames also allowed for easy chronological dating, with each style number inscribed on the temple arm. The numbers also denote the edition and design context, glasses being highly technical things it seemed rather incongruous to stick them with any old name and be done with it. For instance, the 9101 refers to the 9mm acetate edition of our very first production model, the 0101. Read more about our celebratory 9101 here.

Our numbers carry meaning, rather than esoteric names that mean little to very few, every number on a Cutler and Gross frame tells you something. The DNA of each frame, if you like, each figure denoting either the edition or the lens, temple and bridge width. As seen above on our 1378 Blue Light Blocker (BB).

Although not intentionally created to become what is now one of our identifying traits, it certainly has. Avid collectors of Cutler and Gross would have little trouble arranging their collection by date, as should be the case with all good collectables. It makes sense then that Mr Gross was first and foremost a collector; first of tin toys, then ‘70s pulsar watches, art, of course, and then other more amorous artefacts such as erotic literature. 

Back to numbers and the beauty in their infinite nature, whilst you may now understand our rationale, the last word goes to prominent British mathematician and Cutler and Gross customer Professor Marcus du Sautoy;

“Numbers aren’t all the same. Each has its own unique personality. 101 is a prime number. 169 is a square number. 233 is a Fibonacci number. But thanks to Cutler and Gross I discovered numbers even have their own individual style of glasses. What’s special about your number?”