Masunaga Optical is a Japanese eyewear manufacturing company which has been in business for over a hundred years. The creation – G.M.S LIMITED 2013 won Silmo d’Or 2013 ‘Jury’s Special Award’ for its frame to which Masunaga proudly states that, “ We are the first to combine bamboo with titanium and gold”.
Existence of various eyeglass frame materials greatly expand ones options for uniqueness and fresh look. Innovation in design and technology of frames, eyeglasses or sunglasses, is mostly about experimentation in colors, durability, lightness, hypoallergenic materials, uniqueness and price, specially from the buyers perspective.
One of the most important factor while analysing an eyewear could be the frame material as each type has its own unique strengths. Usual frame materials comes in two broad categories – metal and plastic. While, the recent trend to bring uniqueness to the design and technology has brought popularity to unusual frame materials based on bamboo, bone, wood, buffalo horn, silver, gold, leather, velvet, semi precious or precious stones, crystals, feathers, the list keeps growing with the will to experiment and urge to create newness.
G.M.S LIMITED 2013
The G.M.S. Limited is a frame that has temples in solid 18 carat gold and beta titanium, welded using a new technology to give a smooth transition between the two materials, and an interesting colour contrast between the luxury metals. The rims and the saddle bridge are fabricated from titanium overlaid with bamboo. The frame lens are designed in a classic, circular shaped silhouette inspired by a frame that Masunaga Optical presented to the Emperor of Japan in 1933. They come in a bamboo boxed case with the brand name etched in the box. the style has been given a modern touch using advanced technology that has added to the luxury eyewear segment.
Masunaga Optical is a brand that has gained a global reputation after creating a niche in South East Asia. They are one of the oldest eye wear manufacturers. Masunaga Optical premiered the production of eyeglasses in Fukui in 1905. The company’s founder Gozaemon Masunaga established a guild like system where full-fledged craftsmen could create their own businesses. It can also be rightly stated that Masunaga Optical was the founder of the optical industry in Fukui, Japan in 1905.
Masunaga’s mission statement since the establishment is “We manufacture excellent eyeglasses. We want to make a profit if we can, but we don’t hesitate to take a loss. It is always in our thoughts to manufacture excellent eyeglasses.” These words are still the basis of the conduct code of employees even more than 100 years after its establishment.
What makes Masunaga frames so special?
Meticulous craftsmanship is evident in the countless steps of the manufacturing process. Masunaga does not rush the process. No shortcuts are taken, no compromises made in the creation of each Masunaga frame.
Every part of a Masunaga frame is manufactured by the company, right down to the plastic and metal bits. Each piece is carefully monitored for quality before it can move to the next manufacturing stage, and the final product is hand assembled in the Japanese plant.
A true innovation prize, the silmo d’Or rewards the creativity and the creative spirit of a whole profession. But more importantly, it underlines the interest of professionals, producers and opticians to create a unique quality label in the sector. Created in 1994, this prize is a label of quality and originality which rewards the inner values of the profession: technological innovation and creativity.