As a teenager growing up in the '80s one of my prized possessions was an original pair of Porsche Design folding sunglasses. I don't remember exactly where I got them, but they were a huge hit among my friends and I loved their big frame and the way they simply folded in half for storage. It was a very sad day in my home when I finally lost them. Since then both my personal style and tastes have changed. What hasn't changed, however is my preference for the classic aviator style sunglasses. So, when Porsche Design asked if we wanted to review their newest sunglasses, the P'8478, I jumped at the chance.
Unlike my original Porsche Design folding sunglasses, the P'8478 don't fold. What they do offer, however, is a first in the world design mechanism that provides an interlocking, quick release method of switching lenses for different lighting conditions or style/look. Watch the quick video below and you can see how it works better than I can explain it.
The frame of the Porsche Design P'8478 is manufactured from a high quality and extremely lightweight titanium. The lenses are made from scratch resistant, "unbreakable" polycarbonate (I didn't put this to the test, but they seem pretty strong) and provide 100% UV protection. Each pair comes with two sets of lenses (so you can start switching them out right away if you want).
Choices, Choices, Choices
All told, the sunglasses are available in eight different frame colors with a choice of five lens colors across four different sizes. As mentioned above, when you purchase a pair of the P'8478 sunglasses, they come with a second set of lenses (mine came with the purple gradient you see in the pictures as well as a set of mercury colored lenses that are close to mirrored), a cleaning cloth, a carrying case (more on that below), a guarantee card and instructions on how to swap out the lenses. If you like the idea of swapping out lenses in different lighting conditions or for different looks you can purchase lenses for $60 to $68 depending on color.
The sunglasses come in 4 different eye sizes (size of the lens) and Porsche Design says their two most popular sizes are 66 and 69. I opted for the 66, which is pretty big, but wanted them for wearing at the beach. These will definitely work for that. If you want them for driving or other activities you might consider the size 63.
The lenses themselves are quite light due to the polycarbonate construction. While they aren't polarized, they do offer 100% UV protection and seemed to reduce glare when I wore them. More importantly, I detected no distortion of any type when viewing objects from any angle.
My only complaint, if you can call it that, is the lack of an ergonomic carrying case. A very nice carrying case is included. You can see it above. It's very sturdy and protects the sunglasses well. The only issue is its size. At a little over 7" long and 2 1/4" deep x 2 1/4" high, it doesn't fit in your pocket and I found it hard to find a place to stow it in our Cayenne or 911. With that said, I don't really use cases these days. Instead, I mostly keep my sunglasses in a small bag made from the same micro-fiber fabric used to clean the lenses, and use hard-sided cases for longer-term storage.
All in all, I like these glasses a lot
I love the fact I can switch lenses for different lighting conditions (and my wife loves that there are different colors so I"m guessing she'll be wearing them, too). I'm very happy with the oversized frame as they're perfect for the beach, people watching or keeping the sun out when I'm getting driven around in my better half's new Boxster. If you're interested in a pair yourself, or as a gift, you can purchase them online or at a Porsche Design store near you.
Full disclosure: Porsche Design is a sponsor of FLATSIXES.com and they sent us a pair of these sunglasses for us to review. We're glad they did!