Ok, so now I have three pairs of Gunnar glasses. I figure I have enough experience with them now to make a compare and contrast review if you are considering any of these models.
My first pair was the Groove model. When I got it, I was somewhat disappointed by the rubber arms – I was thinking they were metal from what I saw in the pictures. The Groove has good-sized lenses and a decent wraparound design. However, the Groove’s nosepads are not articulating. If they don’t fit right, you need to bend them into a comfortable position. I actually gave up on the Groove for an extended period because I could not get the nosepads to stop digging into my nose. That is what led me to my second purchase. But while waiting for shipment of my second pair, I was able to find a position that fit and felt excellent, and they became my standard work glasses.
The next set I purchased were the E11vens. My primary reason for buying them was the hard plastic, fixed bridge. I figured that would be better than the nosepads that were burrowing into my skin on the Groove. When I got the E11vens, I was disappointed by the cheap black plastic. Plastic doesn’t have to be cheap-sounding, but this is. Very tinny and light sounding. However, despite that, the E11vens are lighter than the Groove and the bridge is comfortable. Also, this model excels in an area that the others don’t. It’s wraparound design is totally up on your face, like goggles. Because of this, if you get dry eyes, these will keep the moisture in your eyes and you will praise them at the end of the day. The other positive about the E11vens is they have the largest lenses of the models I own. This means you can look all around without needing to move your head as much. While I was using the Grooves at work and the E11vens at home, Woot had yet another Gunnar sale. This time, they had a model I’d been watching and hoping for.
I purchased the Emissary model last week and just got them today. The full name is Attache Emissary, to give you an idea of the image they are trying to convey. And when I opened the box and pulled the glasses out, I was stunned. They were beautiful. Where I was disappointed with the materials used in the other two, I was highly impressed with the sturdy feel of the metal frames and their hinged arms. The glasses felt feather-light, but they probably weigh about as much as the E11vens. It’s probably just a perceptual trick because the Emissary frames are so thin and the E11vens are so bulky. The lenses were tiny, unlike the other two. The Emissary looked very similar to the Ray Ban prescription glasses I wear. So from a stylistic perspective, there is no comparison. If you want style, this is the one to have. But that style comes at a price. The lenses are very small, so you need to move your head more to keep the your vision through them. Because they are small, they don’t have any of the wrap-around benefits like the E11vens, so your eyes may dry out quicker.
Looking at the Gunnar online store, The Groove isn’t available anymore, nor is the E11ven, and the color of Emissary I bought isn’t available. That’s all fine. Woot is a clearinghouse for older and discontinued stuff, and the glasses work just as well as the new models. The model I have my eye on now is the Epoch, which is similar to the Emissary, but with thicker frame lines. Go for four? Why not? I used to have a massive collection of sunglasses in my younger days. I guess this is the adult computer geek version of that hobby.