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TAG Heuer 27 Degree Air Sunglasses - Sporting Shades

Posted in Product Reviews on January 1, 2010
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Photographers: Courtesy of the Manufacturer

When we think of sunglasses, TAG Heuer is not the first name that comes to mind. Expensive watches? Yes. Shades? No. Shades for the outdoor adventurer? Definitely no. But TAG Heuer is changing that notion. The maker of timepieces has delved eyes first into the sunglasses market for the past few years and has recently crafted what it calls "intensive" high-definition sunglass-lens technology that enhances both UV protection and dimensional visual details — attributes that make it ideal for land-based pursuits like four-wheelin', the company says.

To prove it, TAG Heuer sent us a pair of its 27 Degree Air shades, marketed as being the first all-around "sports utility glasses." Do they hold up to rigors of rockcrawling, mud-bogging, or snow-wheeling? Our unscientific testing suggests that this Swiss company might be onto something. The 27 Degree Air is a sleek pair of shades that is ideal for almost any outdoor activity — whether it's in your rig, at a campsite, or even at a game of flag football at the park.

27 Degree Air

Manufacturer: TAG Heuer
Lens Type: Polycarbonate
Retail Price: Starting at $310

Lenses
These polycarbonate lenses are the most high-tech we've tested. They greatly reduce the amount of light that reaches the eyes, thanks to highly reflective silver flash. But the true magic works when the sun isn't at full blast.

The shatter-resistant lenses automatically darken depending on the amount of sunlight — making it easier for our pupils to adjust whenever we're 'wheeling during partly-cloudy days or dawn/dusk hours.

Plus, the lenses' vermilion color contrasts against blue and green, shielding our retinas in bright light while providing strong perception in low light.

Comfort
Looks don't mean a thing if sunglasses don't sit on our noses unnoticed for hours on end. So, customization is the key here. This TAG Heuer pair has an ergonomic design as well as bendable nose pads and arms — ensuring that the shades will stay on your head, whether you're on a bumpy 'wheeling excursion or a sweaty afternoon hike.

Aesthetics
Though other companies have similar wraparound glasses, these shades stand out for combining fresh technology with rugged aesthetics.

If you have the cash, you can switch out your lenses for a different color. In fact, there are 18 interchangeable color-and-feature combinations, each dedicated to different types of activities, like water sports or off-road racing.

Named 27 Degree Air due to the angle at which the arms bend, the sunglasses has "invisible" titanium hinges that help maintain its aerodynamic appearance.

Verdict
TAG Heuer's 27 Degree Air is one of the most advanced pair of sunglasses we've ever tried. Versatile, durable, and slick, these shades should be an essential part of any outdoor adventurer's journey — if your wallet can handle it.

At more than "three bills," the 27 Degree Air is definitely a case of paying for what you get. For you cash-strapped 'wheelers out there, take heed: You might find some online sources selling these shades for cheaper.

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