Monocle Madness

Monocle Madness - a portable reading device

The return of the monocle has been predicted by trend forecasters for the past decade, with The New York Times recently agreeing, and thanks to the launch of Monocle Madness this is a significant step closer to reality.

Gadget lover Jonathan Elvidge, who set up the Red 5 gadgetry business, has teamed up with Fan Frame founders Paul Gibson and Chris Birkett to bring back the portable reading device. Following a period of research and development, Monacle Madness is introducing what it described as modern, lightweight and virtually indestructible devices.

The earliest versions of the monocle, developed by the Prussian Baron Phillip von Stosch in the 1720s, to examine engravings and gemstones, were redeveloped in the 1800s with a gallery extension designed to fit between the upper and lower eye socket. They fell  out of favour after World War II when caricaturists often used the monocle to denote flamboyance or pretentiousness.

Described as offering a similar principle to 'ready readers', Monocle Madness has re-imagined the monocle with three different finishes and varying magnification strengths to suit the needs of customers. The company described the monocle as more relevant now than ever before, especially with the marked rise of portable digital devices.

Founding director Jonathan Elvidge described the launch: 'This new, updated version is a far cry from the stereotypical, pompous facial furniture of yesteryear. Decidedly elegant, and suitable for both sexes, it exudes a certain elegance - straddling perfectly the current revival for all things heritage while reinforcing the notion that the most classic, beautiful things are often the most simple.'

Monocles from the Hull-based company come packaged in a signature design tin with butterfly clasp and a choice of cords, starting from £24.99 RRP. They are also available in a bespoke Rx option.