'Unbreakable' glass launched
- Tuesday 23 May 2006
The makers claim it is the most important revolution in glass since automated lead crystal production. Philippe Durand, Chairman of ARC International, the company which developed the process, would only say ‘Kwarx is a new material’ but jealously guarded the actual formula.
Kwarx glass is made to a secret formula and is supposed to retain lustre and transparency as well as being unbreakable.
It is certainly robust. David Cobbold, who presented the glasses (pictured), said ‘They are virtually unbreakable.’ He then banged his on his table to illustrate the point. Journalists enthusiastically followed suit, but none succeeded in breaking the glass.
The first use of Kwarx is for the Mikasa brand’s new ‘Open Up’ range. Each glass has an angled bowl. Unlike Riedel, Mikasa has developed just six glasses to accommodate all the world’s different wine styles.
Cobbold says the angle makes it easier to pour the right amount, while aromas and flavours are released faster. ‘These open up young wines,’ says Cobbold. ‘The major change in wine in the last 20 years is that we don’t cellar any more. Winemaking has adjusted, so Mikasa has adjusted the shape.’
Mikasa was originally an American brand, invented by Japanese Americans interned in California during World War II. The company is now owned by ARC International, which manufactures the glass in northern France. It took the company two years to develop Kwarx, whose name is meant to suggest ‘quark’ and ‘quartz’.