American Optical vs Randolph: A Comparison of Iconic American Eyewear Brands

When it comes to eyewear, American Optical and Randolph are two legendary American brands that have been at the forefront of manufacturing high-quality sunglasses and optical frames.

Both brands boast a rich history, a commitment to exceptional craftsmanship, and a loyal customer base. In this article, we will delve into the world of American Optical and Randolph, exploring their origins, products, and what sets them apart from each other.

1. American Optical:

American Optical (AO) holds a prominent place in eyewear history, with roots dating back to 1826. Originally established as a small spectacle shop in Southbridge, Massachusetts, AO quickly gained recognition for its superior quality lenses and frames. Over the years, AO became renowned for providing eyewear to the U.S. military, including the iconic aviator sunglasses worn by American pilots during World War II.

Products: AO offers a diverse range of eyewear options, including sunglasses, prescription glasses, safety glasses, and goggles. They are known for their classic and timeless designs, with the Original Pilot and General models being among their most popular offerings. AO sunglasses are celebrated for their exceptional optical clarity and durability, achieved through meticulous craftsmanship and the use of high-quality materials.

2. Randolph:

Randolph Engineering is another esteemed American eyewear manufacturer, founded in 1972 in Randolph, Massachusetts. Originally specializing in producing high-quality frames for the U.S. military, Randolph has since expanded its product line to include sunglasses and prescription eyewear for civilians, while still maintaining a strong connection to the military community.

Products: Randolph sunglasses are characterized by their robust construction, attention to detail, and an emphasis on functionality. The brand is widely recognized for its aviator-style sunglasses, such as the iconic Aviator and Concorde models. Randolph frames are made from premium materials like stainless steel and hypoallergenic alloys, ensuring durability and comfort. The brand also offers customizable options, allowing customers to select frame color, lens type, and various other features.

American Optical vs Randolph: Quick Comparison

  • Heritage: Both American Optical and Randolph have a long-standing heritage deeply rooted in American eyewear manufacturing. American Optical’s history dates back almost 200 years, while Randolph Engineering has been a prominent player in the industry for over five decades.
  • Military Connections: One key distinction between the two brands lies in their military affiliations. American Optical has a strong historical association with the U.S. military, having supplied eyewear to servicemen and women for generations. Randolph Engineering’s roots also lie in military contracts, and they continue to provide high-quality eyewear to military personnel today.
  • Designs and Aesthetics: While both brands offer classic, timeless designs, there are subtle differences in their aesthetics. American Optical sunglasses often feature a more traditional, understated look, with an emphasis on clean lines and minimal branding. Randolph sunglasses, on the other hand, exhibit a slightly bolder and more contemporary style, with distinctive frame shapes and sizes.
  • Material and Construction: Both American Optical and Randolph prioritize using premium materials and superior craftsmanship. American Optical frames are typically made from cellulose acetate or metal alloys, while Randolph frames predominantly feature stainless steel and other high-quality alloys. The construction techniques employed by both brands result in durable, long-lasting eyewear.
  • Price: Generally, American Optical sunglasses and frames are positioned at a slightly lower price point compared to Randolph. The non-polarized Aviators from Randolph are $149, while the non-polarized Original Pilots from American Optical are $84.This can make American Optical a more accessible option for budget-conscious consumers without compromising on quality and style. On the other hand, Randolph sunglasses are often considered a premium brand, reflecting their meticulous craftsmanship, military heritage, and use of high-end materials.While Randolph’s higher price tag may be a consideration for some, it is important to note that their products are built to last, offering excellent value for the investment. Ultimately, the price difference between the two brands may influence the purchasing decision depending on individual preferences and budget constraints.

American Optical vs Randolph: So, Which is the Superior Option?

Determining the superior option between American Optical and Randolph ultimately depends on individual preferences, needs, and priorities. Both brands have a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality eyewear with excellent craftsmanship.

Consider the design aesthetic that appeals to you the most. American Optical offers classic, timeless designs with a more traditional and understated look, while Randolph offers slightly bolder and more contemporary styles. Assess which brand’s designs align more with your personal style and preferences.

Pricing is another factor you must consider before choosing one. Choose the price range that you are comfortable with. American Optical generally offers eyewear at a slightly lower price point compared to Randolph. However, it is important to remember that Randolph’s higher price reflects their premium craftsmanship and materials, which may be worth the investment for those seeking exceptional quality.

You also must take into account the materials and construction methods used by each brand. American Optical frames are typically made from cellulose acetate or metal alloys, while Randolph frames predominantly feature stainless steel and other high-quality alloys. Assess which materials align with your preferences for durability, comfort, and aesthetics.

So overall if you have big budget then obviously Randolph is the better and superior option for you. But if you are little tight at budget then even American Optical is good to go for. If possible then try on eyewear from both American Optical and Randolph, to determine which brand provides the best fit, comfort, and visual appeal for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Clean Your Randolph Sunglasses?

Cleaning your Randolph sunglasses is a simple process that can help maintain their clarity and condition. Here are the steps to clean your Randolph sunglasses effectively:

  • Gather the necessary supplies: You will need a microfiber cleaning cloth, warm water, mild liquid soap, and a soft, lint-free towel.
  • Rinse the sunglasses: Start by rinsing your sunglasses under lukewarm water to remove any loose dirt or debris. Avoid using hot water, as it may damage the lenses or frame.
  • Apply mild soap: Place a small drop of mild liquid soap on your fingertips or directly on the lenses. Gently rub the soap on both sides of the lenses and the frame, ensuring that you cover all areas.
  • Clean the lenses: Using your fingertips, carefully clean the lenses in a circular motion. Pay attention to the corners and edges to remove any smudges or fingerprints. Avoid applying excessive pressure to prevent scratching the lenses.
  • Rinse thoroughly: Rinse the sunglasses under running water to remove the soap residue. Make sure all traces of soap are thoroughly washed away.
  • Dry the sunglasses: Use a soft, lint-free towel or the microfiber cleaning cloth to gently pat the lenses and frame until they are mostly dry. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as it may cause scratches.
  • Polish with a microfiber cloth: Take a clean microfiber cloth and gently polish the lenses and frame in a circular motion. This will remove any remaining moisture and provide a streak-free finish.
  • Store properly: Once your Randolph sunglasses are clean and dry, store them in a protective case to prevent scratches and damage when not in use.

Additional Tips:

  • Avoid using paper towels, tissues, or rough fabrics to clean your sunglasses, as they can scratch the lenses.
  • Do not use harsh chemicals, solvents, or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the lens coatings or frame finish.
  • If your sunglasses have stubborn stains or smudges, you can repeat the cleaning process or use a lens cleaning solution specifically designed for eyewear.

How Do You Tighten the Randolph Sunglasses?

By following these steps and regularly cleaning your Randolph sunglasses, you can ensure they remain in optimal condition and provide you with clear vision and stylish protection.

If you find that your Randolph sunglasses have become loose or need tightening, you can follow these steps to adjust them:

  • Identify the loose areas: Hold your Randolph sunglasses and gently move the frame and temples to identify the areas that feel loose or require tightening. Pay attention to the hinges and any other movable parts.
  • Locate the screws: Randolph sunglasses typically have small screws that hold the frame and hinges together. These screws may be visible on the front or hidden on the inside of the frame.
  • Use the right tool: Depending on the type of screws used in your Randolph sunglasses, you may need a small screwdriver or an eyeglass repair kit that includes various screwdriver heads. Ensure you have the appropriate tool to avoid damaging the screws.
  • Tighten the screws: Insert the screwdriver into the screw head and gently rotate it clockwise to tighten the screws. Be careful not to overtighten, as it may strip the screws or cause other damage. It’s best to tighten the screws gradually and test the tightness after each adjustment.
  • Test the fit: Once you have tightened the screws, try on the sunglasses to check if the desired tightness has been achieved. The frame and temples should feel secure but not too tight or uncomfortable. If you feel any further adjustments are needed, repeat the process as necessary.
  • Seek professional help if needed: If you are uncomfortable or unsure about adjusting the sunglasses yourself, you can visit a professional eyewear store or an optician. They have the expertise and specialized tools to make the necessary adjustments and ensure a proper fit.

Remember, it’s important to handle your Randolph sunglasses with care during the tightening process to avoid any accidental damage. Regularly checking and tightening the screws will help maintain the integrity of your sunglasses and ensure they stay securely on your face while providing optimal comfort and functionality.

How Do You Store Your Sunglasses?

Always store your sunglasses in a sturdy and protective case specifically designed for eyewear. The case should have a soft lining or pouch to prevent scratches and provide cushioning. When placing your sunglasses in the case, ensure they are properly closed and secure.

Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures. Extreme temperatures, such as excessive heat or cold, can damage the lenses, frames, and coatings of your sunglasses. Avoid leaving them in hot cars, on windowsills, or in freezing conditions.

To prevent accidental damage, store your sunglasses in a location that is out of reach of children and pets. This reduces the risk of them being mishandled or chewed on.

Avoid placing your sun glasses on bed, sofa or chair as it increases the risk of accidental damage. They can easily get knocked off or crushed when someone sits or lies down on the bed, potentially causing scratches, frame misalignment, or even breakage.


American Optical and Randolph are two iconic American eyewear brands that have stood the test of time. With their rich histories, commitment to excellence, and exceptional craftsmanship, they have become symbols of American-made eyewear. Whether you prefer the classic elegance of American Optical or the contemporary style of Randolph, both brands offer a range of high-quality sunglasses and optical frames that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. Ultimately, the choice between American Optical and Randolph boils down

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