Once the mold disc is milled, it’s time for the “winding.” From a vast amount of wire kept in rolls in a huge cabinet, they select the one that exactly resembles the material from which the frame of the future glasses will be made. “Then we wind the wire around the mold disc by hand,” explains Knoblach – and the resulting object immediately has a shape that looks like a lens. The second mold is produced in exactly the same way. The pair then sets about soldering, sanding, and bending. The bridge is fitted, followed by the hooks that hold the lenses, and the temple for holding everything together.
Next, Knoblach needs to use the pantograph. This is a mechanical device from the 1950s that enables molds to be milled to smaller scales—in this case the words “Porsche Design,” which are to be engraved into the temples of the glasses. To do this, Knoblach places a template with the lettering magnified ten times into a bracket. He then runs a needle over the template—and the pantograph engraves a tiny version of the letters into the previously milled temples made of titanium. Knoblach checks everything with a watchmaker’s loupe, his hand guiding the instrument as steadily and precisely as a surgeon would a scalpel. Precision down to tenths of a millimeter is required. Everyone else in the room maintains a reverential silence. “If you mill too deep, you’ve obviously lost the material. Then you have to start again from scratch,” he says.