During the 1950s and 1960s , Staffan Preutz embarks on his lifelong commitment to experimenting with glasses. His interest in the wide world has been stimulated at an early age and serves as a driving force throughout his life. At the age of 15, Staffan starts work as an apprentice in his father’s optician’s shop and soon begins to dream of his own glasses factory.
1971 marks the establishment of Preutz Optik in Luleå, Sweden, where the first rimless glasses see the light of day. By this time, Staffan Preutz has already built up a successful career as a glasses designer, and is building up a significant network in Europe. The new shop is a great success, and the innovative glasses quickly become a popular trend.
1979 is the year in which the Polaris company comes into being and opens its first manufacturing facility in Sävast, a small village located between Luleå and Boden. The dream that Staffan has been cultivating since his teenage years has reached fruition, and production increases at a rapid pace as the unique Polaris glasses become a major trend both in Sweden and abroad.
In the early 1980s , Polaris glasses receive a publicity boost in the United States, and Polaris products sell like hot cakes on the American market – from a prestigious address on Fifth Avenue in New York, for example. At this time, the glasses are anything but discreet. On the contrary, they are heavily decorated with stars, facets, stones and golden temple sides.
1981 sees the rimless trend move east as the Japanese market discovers Polaris. The Iwaki family, which runs a chain of exclusive optician’s shops in Tokyo, starts to sell the brand. And the rest, as they say, is history. Japan has remained one of the most important markets for Polaris ever since.
1986 The famous rimless glasses have conquered the globe! They have now become the very height of fashion – a worldwide trend.
1998/1999 An important innovation – SP – is born. SP is the result of an innovative new departure that generates appreciable impact in the world of design and wins a string of awards. The new glasses are extremely light and fix at the temple – SP is like nothing the world has ever seen before.
In the early 1990s, Polaris creates a concept called “Personal Design”, which constitutes a unique way of manufacturing frames for a specific customer. The whole process is intended to ensure that the glasses suit the customer’s own colour, facial shape and personal style. Polaris provides individual advice and then manufactures unique frames for the customer. This concept has been refined over the years, and today it goes by the name of “ByYou”.
2004 New design line: Staffan Preutz Design – a glorious combination of frames and rimless. SPD marks a turning point for Polaris Eyewear as it stands for something entirely new that customers all over the world – men and women alike – truly appreciate. Staffan Preutz Design premières at a trade fair in Milan in 2004.
2006 Peet Gården. After comprehensive and painstaking renovation, the seventeenth-century farmhouse is ready for its official (re)opening! Over the year, opticians, agents and a host of other Polaris friends from all parts of the world have had the opportunity to experience the warm atmosphere of the authentic farmhouse, and to enjoy the adventures that await around every corner. Exotic and beautiful – a visit to Peet Gården becomes a memory to cherish for life.
2010 Change of generation in the owners’ family, when Urban Svalling becomes CEO and daughters Anna Svalling and Jenny Preutz take up senior management positions.
2016 – Swedish Design, Handcrafted in England. The 30 year partnership between Polaris in Sweden & Pure Optics (formerly Polaris UK) in England sees the production relocate to Milton Keynes with the design still inspired by its home in Boden. Awards
Japan. Good Design Award on two occasions. This award is a well-known symbol in Japan, and designers from all over the world compete for the prestigious prize every year. An essential criterion for eligibility for the Good Design Award is that the product in question must be a genuine innovation in its field.
Sweden. Staffan Preutz has twice been awarded the prestigious Swedish distinction of ”Excellent Swedish Design”, presented by the oldest design company in the world: Svensk Form, which was founded in 1845. Justification for the decisions included phrases such as: “a vision of the future” and “creative and innovative in the world of glasses”.
Germany. Polaris/Staffan Preutz Design has been nominated for the German Design Award (German Design Council/ Rat für Formgebung). This design company has a proud history stretching back over 60 years and recognises superior design from all parts of the globe every year. The German Design Council is one of the world’s defining centres for design and possesses expertise in a full range of design areas.