I was in Rhode Island this weekend hanging out with my friend Clay Taylor and got to tour the Swarovski Optik United States Offices. Here's the modest outside. Here's an interesting bit of trivia for you:
Right across the street from Swarovski is a maximum security prison! Hm, I bet they get to test those optics on some interesting doin's a transpirin' when the inmates are outside. As if a hardcore correctional facility isn't weird enought, on the other side of Swarovski is:
I was very excited to see that they had the fancy crystal pocket binoculars. I've seen these on the internet and just think these would be too cha cha for words. I love the idea of being on a pelagic and then whipping one of these babies out.
I was allowed to handle a pair and try them out. They are beautiful and for pockets these have exceptional clarity, but much like a sexy pair of shoes, they aren't very comfortable. These are meant to be opera glass and held by ladies wearing gloves.
The fun part for me was seeing the assembly and repair area. I got to handle the insides of Swarovski binoculars including the prisms--those were pretty an if put on the proper chain could be worn as jewelery. Above we have a columnizer (I hope I'm spelling that correctly). From my understanding, this contraption aligns your binoculars, I would imagine working here would be like working in mad scientist laboratory.
I didn't realize that if you need to get your binos tuned up, they can do it right here in the United States and have a fairly quick turnover time. Spotting scopes need to be sent to Austria, but the binos can be done right here. I was looking at the repair shelf and they had a pair of binos that had been run over by a truck. The incredible thing was that the case was still intact--the objective lenses were FUBARed and the prisms probably need to be replaced but the casing of the bino was still intact (yes it was repairable).
Okay, here's a quiz for you. What does this machine do to binoculars? It's very important to a quality pair of optics. The first correct answer in the comments section with a name attached to it gets their choice of the latest National Geographic Field Guide or Pete Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion.