From Paris to Normandy and back – with the Citan to custom-made glasses.

Optician Jeremy Acoca and his Citan set off for the Atlantic to pick up handmade glasses at the workshop of eyewear maker Jérôme Aupin. We were allowed to accompany him.

An optician on four wheels.

North of the French capital, Jeremy Acoca and his black Citan meander through the picturesque streets of Chantilly until he leaves the city and enters the unspoilt nature of Normandy. His route takes him to the “Côte Fleurie” (flower coast) in the seaside resort of Deauville. He took the long road to visit the eyewear maker Jérôme Aupin in his workshop and pick up a custom-made glasses frame for one of his customers.

A Mercedes-Benz Citan drives along a harbour

No journey is too far for hand-made glasses: in his Mercedes-Benz Citan, optician Jeremy Acoca drives to Deauville to pick up glasses.

L’Opticien de Chantilly – A passionate optician.

Jeremy Acoca has been working as an optician for 25 years. His optician shop L’Opticien de Chantilly is a concept store with a focus on exquisite selection and tailor-made eyewear. One thing is particularly important in his profession: to be passionate about serving customers. As an optician, he is responsible for selecting the right type of lenses that best fit the frame, then shaping them and inserting them into the glasses, explains Jeremy. The idea of service is particularly close to his heart. “Fast, readily available and effective” is how he describes his “service à domicile”. If his customers can’t come to his shop, he takes his Citan to their home. “I love the contact with people and their satisfaction when they find what they were looking for,” Jeremy sums up with a smile.

We founded the home service for people who can’t come to our shop.
Jeremy Acoca stands in the doorway of his optician's shop L'Opticien de Chantilly

L’Opticien de Chantilly: customer-friendly service is Jeremy Acoca’s top priority.

The optician on home visit – This is how the mobile eyewear service works:

  1. The customer can make a preselection of spectacle frames on the Internet.
  2. An appointment is made over the telephone.
  3. Jeremy drives to the customer with his preselection of spectacle frames.
  4. The customer chooses a pair of glasses.
  5. Jeremy adjusts the glasses, polishes the lenses into the right shape and inserts them.
  6. Last but not least, Jeremy brings the finished glasses home to the customer.

Glasses made to measure by Jaupin Eyeware.

The craftsman and eyewear designer Jérôme Aupin manufactures his frames completely by hand according to an old tradition. He knew early on that he wanted to set up his own company. He developed his expertise over ten years with the most exclusive Parisian opticians. “I started out as an optician, but quickly got bored,” he remembers. Beautiful glasses had always made his heart beat faster, but nobody could explain how they were made. One day he had the opportunity to meet a “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”, an award-winning eyewear designer. From him he learned what was important when making glasses. Shortly after his apprenticeship, he developed his very own personal style. In 2014, he was finally ready and founded his own company to devote himself entirely to the creation of individual glasses.

  • The individual parts of a pair of glasses lie on a worktable
  • Jérôme files the spectacle frame
  • Jérôme refines the frame in his workshop

Craftsmanship at the threshold of possibility.

Using materials such as buffalo horn, acetate, metal or solid gold, the eyewear maker creates wearable works of art – freely according to the motto “can’t, doesn’t exist”. “Give me a new challenge and I will accept it,” he replies with a smile. You have to learn to understand the different materials, because they all react differently, explains Jérôme. During production, he has dedicated himself to the rules of traditional craftsmanship and works everything by hand. Glasses are an accessory that require a great deal of attention to detail. If, for example, he chisels too much in one place, he has to start all over again. “I try to improve my skills every time by trying out new techniques, working on new materials or creating an unprecedented design. It’s a job where I learn every day,” enthuses the master craftsman.

From the drawing to the finished frame.

The first step in eyewear design is the creation of a technical drawing. He can already imagine exactly what the end product will look like. “The most difficult task is to put what’s in your head on paper,” he explains. Then a prototype is made, which is later used as a template to cut the glasses out of the desired material. He particularly appreciates the technical and creative aspects of his work: “I like being able to think up new shapes over and over again and to consider how I can implement them.” With each model he tries to achieve even more beautiful, even better results, which can be realized more and more technically. “I am fascinated by the whole process. When I listen to my clients during the meeting, I also visualize the right shape that gives them the perfect look.”

The glasses are in a box in the optician's shop

Each pair of Jaupin eyewear glasses bears the refined signature of its designer.

The design: authentic, timeless and exclusive.

With each of his eyewear models he wants to create an unmistakable style. “The glasses can be regarded as a work of art – there are no limits to the customisation. There are so many designs and details that make every shape look different.” In the future, Jérôme wants to concentrate entirely on new forms. His vision: to create unique pieces, each more crazy than the other. With eyeglass frames that bear his very own signature. The good cooperation with the optician is still indispensable: “It is exciting to work on the same project for a common customer. We share our experiences.” At the end of the day, the new pair of glasses changes hands. With the unique specimen in the trunk of the Citan, Jeremy returns to Chantilly, where he gives a satisfied customer the perfect view.

The optician and the spectacle master look at the finished spectacles

Precision down to the last detail: Jérôme and Jeremy are united by their love of craftsmanship.

The Mercedes-Benz Citan parks on the roadside

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

The metal frame of the glasses is machined

Unusual materials, such as solid gold, require special treatment.

The eyewear maker holds the finished eyewear in his hands

The combination of design and craftsmanship creates an unmistakable style.

Jeremy looks at glasses carefully

An exacting look: The work of an optician demands maximum precision.

Jérôme and Jeremy in front of the workshop

Opticians and eyewear designers work hand in hand.

Photos: Nadine Laux

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