MASUNAGA // The Art of Paying Attention to Detail
Imagine bringing together legendary Japanese craftsmanship, first-class materials, engineering excellence and understated design. It may not surprise you, but all of the above are united in Masunaga‘s eyewear pieces with the new collection being no exception. Here‘s an homage to the brand‘s long-standing art of paying attention to detail and staying true to the original vision.
To eyewear aficionados, Masunaga‘s level of craftsmanship is visible at first glance. It’s all about intricate engravings, three-dimensionality, distinctive rivets, fine finishes, durable hinges and many more fine details. Some of the mastery reveals itself later – at a second or third glance. How did the Japanese brand arrive at such a level of mastery? By staying true to the guiding principles that have guided the way ever since the establishment of Masunaga in 1905.
Back then, company founder Gozaemon Masunaga initiated the production of eyeglasses in Fukui. The year thus marks the birth of the company, but also the slow rise of the area as a hotbed of eyewear production. Masunaga‘s key was establishing a guild-like system where craftsmen would create their own business. The increasing number of experts, in turn, attracted more companies and gave Fukui the reputation we can see today.
Only six years after taking up production, Masunaga won a national gold medal at the manufacturing trade exhibition. And the success story continued throughout the 20th Century. The brand was even able to present three solid gold optical frames to the Emperor as a gift in 1933. Almost 90 years later, all three are still beautiful and haven‘t deteriorated. And what’s true for the frames, is also true for the principles that have guided Masunaga along the way. While productivity and profitability are honored, they never became the overarching goals.
Masunaga is about manufacturing excellence. Where other companies are trying to automate processes to reduce the human factor, the Japanese company is all about craftsmanship. There are as many as 200 manual processes involved in making an optical frame. And Masunaga, in an anachronistic and beautiful way, makes sure that all of the steps take place in-house. With maximum vertical integration, Masunaga is in charge of everything from raw materials to production and finish. This improves the quality substantially. Even the molds are always built in-house and any flaw can be corrected instantly.
The mission statement of the company is „we manufacture excellent eyeglasses“. It’s a simple message and that’s key. Masunaga makes no shortcuts and no compromises. In this era of mass production, outsourcing and supply chain management, the company has chosen a path that relies heavily on the hands-on creation process. It’s a rare statement of dedication.
To check out the brand and their new collection: https://www.masunaga1905.com/en