Craftwork: 40 Years of Made in Italy

The Cutler and Gross atelier in Cadore, Italy

 

Traditionalists at heart, every Cutler and Gross frame is the result of an unrivalled ability to unify past and present. 

Having originally created frames by hand above our Knightsbridge shop, today our production takes place at our wholly-owned atelier in Cadore, Italy. Our highly skilled team of optical craftspeople carefully create each frame from scratch, honing skills that have been passed through generations in a region renowned for being the centre of optical manufacturing excellence.

Bringing heritage to life takes time (months in fact) and involves 42 separate procedures – all of which are guided or completed by experienced hands.

Whilst we won’t list each and every step, take a look below at just a few of the steps it takes to create your Cutler and Gross frame.

Assisted with imagery shot in our own atelier, with our own highly-skilled craftspeople.

Cutting

Distinctive techniques are steered by knowledge; it’s a definite, precision-lead operation where the human element is paramount. When we say hand-crafted, we mean it.

One of our craftspeople, Amilcare, cutting the acetate on a mill into smaller sized pieces called tablets. These tablets are destined to be frontals or temples of a frame.

 

Tumbling

Our glossy frames are the result of being tumbled for 24 hours in wooden barrels packed with resin chips, pumice and oil. This is the first stage of the polishing process.

The design of the wooden barrel for the tumbling has been largely unchanged for 100 years.

Polishing

After tumbling, our frames are smooth enough to then be polished by hand. Finishing each frame on the polishing wheel gives our frames an enduring and durable polish for which Cutler and Gross frames are famous for.

 The polishing wheel, pictured, is the final part of the 96-hour polishing process for our frames.

Quality Check

At each stage of our production process, our frames are individually checked by hand. Masters of this intricate process, honed over decades, even the tiniest defects will be picked up and duly dealt with. We will never let a frame leave our Atelier until it is perfect.

All our frames are meticulously checked by hand by a member of our team.

However, it is important we must make the distinction between perfection and uniformity. No two frames of the same style number will ever be 100% identical.

As opposed to the speedier version favoured by other brands, we don’t dunk our frames into an acetone bath for colour. Instead, each frame is hand-mopped layer by layer to build bold and unique pigments. 

We’ll keep this step to ourselves though, as some things are best kept secret.

Once finished, they’re ready to start the next part of their journey. Finding their way online or to any one of our stores in London, Bath, New York, Los Angeles or Toronto. The last call is yours to make.

 

 

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