By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, August 31, 2022 12:52 AM
For over 100 years, Art-Craft Optical has called Rochester, New York its home. The company, which has been manufacturing workforce and combat frames since 1918, is currently helmed by the third generation of the Eagle family, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Art-Craft has been supplying all branches of the U.S. and NATO-aligned military with frames for decades, with a 0 percent defect rate—and this year, they’re bringing that same level of precision and durability to the consumer, too. Three years ago, the Eagle family began looking into design and then tooling for a commercial sun product line—one that they knew, without a doubt, would be made in the U.S.
Charlie and Christopher Eagle, owners of Art-Craft Optical, explained, “We spent time in Germany, Japan and Italy working to learn new techniques for tooling and manufacturing processes that include automated soldering machinery and the latest equipment innovations. We also beefed up our engineering department and brought back former production engineers from Art-Craft and Bausch + Lomb, as well as seasoned industry consultants from lifestyle and fashion categories for guidance in design, product development and marketing.”
The result is The Art-Craft Classic Collection, a complete sunglass collection that celebrates three of Art-Craft’s most enduring designs: The Aviator, The Sabre and The Clubman. The collection combines the authentic and historical heritage of Art-Craft’s frames with the modern finishes and high-tech lenses that the optical marketplace demands, creating a truly special offering with a rich backstory—all made in Rochester.
Charlie and Christopher told VM, “Our desire was to bring our 100+ years of high-precision manufacturing skills, honed by our Department of Defense work, back to the commercial market. We also felt, as did many of the former Bausch + Lomb folks we’ve been consulting with, that Rochester, once the optical frame manufacturing center of the U.S. could once again be realized… We dug through 100 years of our history and begin to reimagine products we’ve made over the past century, taking inspiration from our military and aviator DNA, for releasing this new sun collection steeped in our rich history of eyewear manufacturing.
“We are excited to be once again on the commercial side of the business and we are looking forward to what the next century has in store for Art-Craft Optical.”