Author: Joan Grady

Feature Story
July 04, 2018

Nicola Del Din, CEO Blackfin

Precision design

Creative technology, innovative design, superior materials and gorgeous colours highlight Blackfin eyewear designs.
CEO Nicola Del Din shares with
20/20 Europe the latest patent achievements and unique tech concepts of the acclaimed Italian family-owned brand.

Q: Blackfin has the exclusive rights to a new patent - please tell us about the company’s latest and inspiring innovation?

A: The company’s latest patent is a unique technology called Blackfin Nano- Plating™. This is a treatment in which atoms of metal are deposited on frames to create special finishes. We have used this technique for two collections recently launched on the market: Blackfin Black Edition, with a plating of particular metal particles capable of creating a shiny gold effect, and Blackfin 24KT GOLD Limited Edition, in which the finish is pure 24k gold.

Q: Titanium is the hallmark of Blackfin frames. What are the advantages and the challenges of creating frames in this material with its extraordinary technological concepts? 

A: Titanium is a complex material and you have to learn all about it and give it due respect. It is a material that encompasses concepts associated with space travel, aeronautics, strength and high technology. It is particularly lightweight and non-allergenic, making it the perfect medium for spectacle and sunglass frames. However, it also presents some technical difficulties in colouring and soldering. We have been specialising in titanium eyewear since the 1990s; previously we worked with other metals. The purest titanium of all comes from Japan and this is the one we use for Blackfin eyewear. Thanks to the expertise we have acquired and our lengthy research we have been able to perfect our techniques. Today we are able to overcome all the previous limitations of titanium, producing utterly innovative colourings never before possible. We are proud to be able to say that we are the only company in Italy and one of the very few in Europe that produces titanium eyewear using complex techniques for a complete production cycle, from design to the finished product, all achieved in the very same building.


\\ Silverdale from the Blackfin Black Edition

Q: Nano-plating is a highly advanced technology. How does Blackfin utilize this process in the frame designs?

A: The Blackfin Nano-Plating™ treatment is an evolution of the well-known PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) treatment. It is a process that uses the physical deposition of metal vapours to create, molecule by molecule, a coating with an exceptional effect. It is an exclusive treatment, patented by our company, in which metal particles are vaporised in a vacuum, inducing sublimation that enables the particles to be deposited atom-by-atom onto the surfaces of the frame in order to obtain a final chromatic effect. It means that each detail will exude its brilliant splendour every day, and do it forever.

Q: Blackfin has also developed special tech details on the frames. In addition to understanding the importance of personalised uniqueness, what concepts are incorporated into the frame components, parts and hinges enhancing the entire product?

A: At Blackfin we pay great attention to detail to the extent that we have developed various patents and some technical refinements to add value to our frames and to guarantee the maximum comfort. For example, the Swordfish temple tips or the ultra-thin beta-titanium pad arms for a perfect, comfortable fit. Then there is the Sharklock patent for locking the lenses into the rims, plus the gold-coloured laser marking on the inside of the temples.

Q: Is the charming little patented Swordfish temple tip specific to something special with Blackfin?

A: Absolutely! It produces an amazing fit because the frame can be made to fit the face of the wearer to perfection. This too is one of our patents, simple enough to be truly revolutionary!

Q: Blackfin colours are beautifully refined and chic. In essence, beauty is truly the sum of its parts. What evolution is involved with the company’s colour techniques?

A: One of the limitations of titanium is the difficulty in creating certain colour effects. We have studied this problem at length and done a great deal of research to develop innovative techniques and to enable new colours, treatments and finishes to be produced to further raise the Blackfin profile.
Colour effects and finishing treatments do as much as the shape to give a frame personality. Indeed, sometimes an unusual range of colours can make a classic shape take on an unexpected personality.

Q: Inspiration and beauty are reflected in every individual design, with pure Japanese Titanium and extraordinary Italian craftsmanship. What progressive, revolutionary direction does Blackfin project for the future?

A: We are now in the second year of Blackfin Phase Three. Phase One involved creating the product, Phase Two gave it a soul by incorporating our story into it and now, in Phase Three, we are raising the bar, working on the brand, raising all aspects of it, including design. In absolutely no way do we want to lose the distinctive features of the Blackfin brand, we just want to add a bit of stardust to it. Where others see limits, we see opportunities to overcome them!

\\ Hand-processes and machines achieve beauty and perfect fit

\\ Ocean Park and Esbjerg by Blackfin from the 24KT GOLD Limited Edition

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