During our annual pilgrimage down to Las Vegas for Interbike, we had a chance to stop by the Bushnell Eyewear booth to checkout their current lineup. For those of you who are not familiar with the Bushnell Eyewear name, they are the parent company of Bolle and Serengetti – two high end eyewear lines. But it wasn’t the offerings under those two names that piqued our interest, it was a third name in the booth, Cébé, which caught our eye.
Cébé (pronounced ‘SAY BAY’), might be new to the U.S. market, but they have been around for over a century. Established in France 120 years ago, Cébé has positioned themselves as a ‘premier outfitter of technical sunglasses for Europe’s adventure sport enthusiasts’, according to the Bushnell press release. In 2009, Bushnell purchased Cébé and they have decided to bring seventeen models under three collections into the U.S. this year.
The SPORTECH Collection – This collection is geared towards the action sports market – the frames and lens materials are optimized for activities including Nordic skiing, cycling, trekking, and triathlons. Each model is engineered to deliver peak optical clarity, complete protection, and comfort in even the most extreme conditions.
The Cinetik, Wild, and Eyemax models are the Cébé sunglasses that cyclists and runners will want to checkout. Not only do they have design features of more expensive models, like interchangeable lenses with three lens sets (tinted, yellow, and clear), but they are also extremely ultra-light. With frames weighing a mere 5.8 grams, they felt feather light when we lifted them off of the display stand at the show. The Cinetik, Wild, and Eyemax models range in price from $49.99 to $69.99.
The ICE 8000 and Base Camp models are available with Cébé 4000 Mineral lenses, which are engineered for use at high altitudes. The ICE 8000 features fold down sideshields in the temple area that provide additional protection against sunlight from the side. The ICE 8000 ranges in price from $79.99 to $109.99 and Base Camp from $99.99 to $109.99.
The price points of the SPORTECH line may make these seem like lower budget sunglasses, but that could not be further from the truth. Not only does Cébé eyewear have the features detailed earlier, but there are numerous additional options to select from when purchasing. Cébé has six different types of lenses ranging from impact resistant Polycarbonate, a Polarized option, a couple of Photochromic options to even an Infra-Red coating lenes designed specifically to reduce the “sensation of heat” at high altitudes. Also, most of the models also have adjustable nose pieces, ventilated rubber temples to adjust the fit to the wear’s head, and can even accept prescription inserts. These features are not available on each model, that is where a quick trip to their website is helpful.
The SPORT ACTIVE Collection – This collection is more fashion oriented than the SPORTECH line, but that doesn’t mean that they can not be used during your favorite sports activity. Along with style, the SPORT ACTIVE line has a list of ‘performance’ features. All models, S’Kiss, S’Teem, and S’Sential, feature SymbioTech – a v-shaped temple shaped to follow the natural shape of the head, distributing pressure evenly for a more comfortable and secure fit. The S’Teem and S’Sential have ultra-wrap lenses for protection and improved peripheral vision. The SPORT ACTIVE line ranges in price from $39.99 to $79.99.
The JUNIOR Collection – Cébé hasn’t left the kids behind. Their JUNIOR line Robust are available with the Cébé 2000 Melamine lenses that mimic the pigment that makes skin tan, shielding young eyes from harmful UV rays and blue light. All models have bi-material frames with Grilamid® on the outside for durability and soft material on the inside for comfort. The JUNIOR line starts at $29.99 and top out at $49.99.
It should be noted that the SPORTECH and SPORT ACTIVE sunglasses will be sold at sport specialty and independent retailers while the JUNIOR collection will be sold exclusively by eye-care professionals. While we only had a brief glimpse into the Cébé product line, it is obvious that the 120 years of European eyewear experience has armed them with the design experience to make them a hit with the U.S. market.