by Jamie Bartlett May 26, 2021 2 min read
Titanium and stainless-steel Japanese sunglasses, handmade by the skilled makers of Sabae Japan.
These are out first ever dual-factory frames.
One factory to another.
Backstory | 裏話
In 2012, we set off to make the best acetate sunglasses.
Not, wood, horn or wire ones. Just acetate.
Being specialist has led us to become Scotland's only eyewear manufacturer.
Only one of three in the UK.
Proud to say that.
But our specialism gives us crystal clear strengths and crystal clear weaknesses.
We cannot be all things to all people.
Regularly, we receive emails requesting metal wire sunglasses we simply cannot make ourselves.
If we could, we would.
In the past, we enquired with the UK’s only metal wire frame factory in London. The trouble is, they only make their own brand of frames.
So, what do we do?
Work with the best | 熟練労働者
Globally, there are three main optical hubs.
Europe. China. Japan.
Collectively, they produce most of the world's eyewear.
But when it comes to metal wire sunglasses, there's one place that's renowned for its fine metal work and exceptional craftsmanship.
Located on the west coast of Japan’s largest island Honshu, this region is best known as the country’s leader of optical manufacture.
Combined with the neighbouring optical industry of Fukui city, both populations collectively produce 96% of Japan’s eyewear.
Reaching back to 1905, the city of Sabae dedicated itself to making the finest spectacles, sunglasses, hinges, screws, rivets, springs, nosepads and more.
That’s over 110 years of specialism.
Around the city, there are various sign posts that prove it.
Now that's specialist.
This collaborative sunglasses series offers 4 shapes, in a total of 7 colourways.
Handmade in Sabae from stainless steel or 100% titanium, these are comparably dainty to our own repertoire of solid acetate frames.
From one factory to another, we’re delighted to launch our first ever wire sunglasses frames.
As frame makers ourselves (without a word of Japanese) we really do speak the same language.
We hope you love their work as much as we do.
Japan is one of the three main optical industry's in the world, alongside Europe and China.
Most notably, the neighbouring city's of Fukui and Sabae pioneered the use of titanium in eyewear manufacture in the 1980's, becoming synonymous with their intricate production methods of high quality sunglasses frames.
Despite their geographical concentration, both these 'optical city's' account for the majority of Japan's eyewear industry. Between Sabae and Fukui, there is an estimated 400 independent factories whom create a sequential network of specialisms.
One factory can make the screws, whilst the one nextdoor can make the hinges. Both Sabae and Fukui are a bee hive of craftsmanship, positioning Japan as a leader of optical production.
Having spoken with several of these independents myself, I can personally report a infectious sense of pride in their skill and work.
They say, iron sharpens iron, but in this instance, titanium would be more fitting.
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