Paris to Normandy and back – the Citan transports tailor-made glasses.

Optician Jeremy Acoca sets out from Chantilly to the coast in his Citan to collect a pair of hand-made glasses from glasses maker Jérôme Aupin. And we were able to join him for the journey.    

An optician on four wheels.

North of the French capital, Jeremy Acoca winds his way through the picturesque streets of Chantilly in his black Citan. Once he's left the town behind him, he heads off into the untouched nature of Normandy. His journey takes him along the "Côte Fleurie" (flowery coast) to the seaside resort Deauville. He's made the long journey in order to visit glasses maker Jérôme Aupin in his workshop and to pick up a tailor-made glasses frame for a customer.    

Optician Jeremy Acoca: no journey is too fair for these hand-made glasses.

   

L'Opticien de Chantilly – an optician with a passion.

Jeremy Acoca has been working as an optician for 25 years now. His shop "L'Opticien de Chantilly" is a concept store with a focus on an exquisite selection and tailor-made glasses. In his line of work, there's one thing which is especially important: working passionately for the customers. As an optician, he is responsible for selecting the type of lens which best fits the frame and then assembling them all to create a pair of usable glasses, Jeremy explains. The idea of providing a service is of particular importance to him: "quick, ready for action and effective" is how he describes his home delivery service. If his customers can't come to his shop, he drives to them in his Citan. "I love being in contact with others and seeing them happy when they find what they were looking for," summarises Jeremy cheerily.

Service that goes the extra mile.

We've created a home delivery service for people who can't come to our shop.

Glasses made to measure by Jaupin Eyewear.

The artisan and glasses designer Jérôme Aupin from Deauville, Normandy creates his frames true to tradition entirely by hand. He knew from a very early age that he wanted to set up his own business. He gained his expertise over the course of ten years working at the most exclusive opticians in Paris. "I started as an optician but I soon started getting bored," he recalls. Attractive glasses have always made his pulse race but nobody could explain to him how they were made. One day he had the possibility to meet a so-called "Meilleur Ouvrier de France" – an award-winning glasses designer. I learned from him what was important when creating a pair of glasses. Already before completing his apprenticeship, he began developing his own personal style. In 2014, he was ready to found his own business in order to focus entirely on creating individually tailored glasses.

Craftsmanship which borders on the impossible.

Using materials like buffalo horn, acetate, metal or solid gold Jérôme Aupin creates works of art to wear – completely true to the motto "there's no such thing as impossible". "Give me a new challenge and I'll happily take it on," he says grinning. He explains that you just need to understand the different materials as they all react differently. To make his glasses, he follows the traditional rules of the craft and produces everything without using a single machine. Glasses are an accessory which require a great love of detail. If he happens to chisel off too much material in one place, he has to start the whole thing again. "I try each time to improve my skills by testing out new techniques, new materials or totally new design ideas. It's a job in which I learn loads on a daily basis," enthuses the master craftsman.

From designs to the finished frame.

The first step of designing a pair of glasses is the creation of a technical drawing, Jérôme says. With this, he can imagine precisely how the final product will look. "The hardest task is bringing the idea in my head onto paper," he explains. Then a prototype is made which will later serve as the template for cutting the glasses out of the desired material. He especially appreciates the technical and creative aspects of his work: "I love coming up with different shapes each time and thinking about how I can put them into practice." With each model, he tries to achieve even more attractive and better results which are becoming even more technically complex. "I'm fascinated by the whole process. When I listen to my customers during the meeting, I immediately start visualising the right shape to give them the perfect look." 

The optician on a home visit: here's how the mobile glasses service works:    

    1. The customer can make a pre-selection of frames on the website    
    2. An appointment is arranged by phone.    
    3. Jeremy drives with the pre-selection of frames to the customer.    
    4. The customer picks a pair of glasses.
    5. Jeremy grinds the lenses to the right shape in his workshop and then fits them.
    6. And finally, Jeremy brings the finished glasses to the customer's home and adjusts them appropriately.  

The design: authentic, timeless and exclusive. 

With each of his glasses frames, Jérôme seeks to create an unmistakeable style. "You can look at the glasses as a work of art – when it comes to tailor-made products, there are no limits. There are so many designs and details which allow each shape to have a different impact." In the future, Jérôme wants to concentrate wholly on developing new shapes. His vision is to create unique pieces, whereby each one is more crazy than the previous one. Creating glasses frames which bear his own signature style. The great collaboration with the optician remains, as ever, crucial to his success: "It's really exciting to be working together on the same project for our customers. We share our experience with one another." At the end of the day, the hand-made pair of glasses will be handed over to its new owner. Jeremy returns to Chantilly with a unique piece in the load compartment of his Citan. Upon its arrival, it will give one of his happy customers perfect sight.    

L'Opticien de Chantilly – a love of detail.

Proud of his work.

L'Opticien de Chantilly: customer-friendly service is a top priority for Jeremy Acoca.

The perfect colleague.

Compact all-rounder: the Citan can be flexibly adapted to the needs of its user.    

Working with a love of detail.

Unusual materials such as solid gold require special working methods.

A scrutinising glance.

An optician's work requires the greatest of precision. 

Jérôme's work of art.

Each pair of glasses from Jaupin Eyewear bears the refined signature of their designer.

Photos:

Nadine Laux

More links to discover:

L'Opticien de Chantilly - www.opticienchantilly.com, @Facebook

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