So, apparently famed Japanese celluloid frames craftsman Tai Hachiro has retired! I learnt this from one of the stores in Macau — it really pays to talk to sales staff! Anyway, I never quite appreciated the hype over handmade frames until a friend made me try on a pair last year.
Beemonday (Chinese / Canto) explains what these handmade frames are all about. Basically, frames are either made with Acetate or Celluloid. In the ’60s, European and US manufacturers started using only acetate, and Japan was the only one left producing celluloid frames. It’s rare now because even manufacturers in Japan don’t use celluloid anymore. However, these frames are so strong, they don’t require a metal skeletal! Each frame is made with so much care, a craftsman can only produce 200 – 300 a month; some even less. It’s a dying trade — the remaining craftsmen are mostly on the verge of retirement.
…which is why I have convinced myself that my most recent purchase is an Investment. I picked up a pair from Masayoshi. Word has it that he too is retiring soon, so grab your own pair while you can!
I foresee a Very Long Engagement with my new pair of glasses.