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Optics: the revival of the French basin

Optics: the revival of the French basin

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Things are moving in the optical industry. France, and particularly the Jura region, is benefiting from a renewed interest in eyewear. The Kering Eyewear group is finalizing the acquisition of a new American player, the eyewear manufacturer Maui Jim.


The French optical sector seems to be regaining its appeal and is investing to meet demand. It is in the heart of the Jura that the magic is happening. In the Thierry frame factory, 500,000 frames are delivered each year. And if the name of the subcontractor is not known to the general public, it is a reference in the sector. It is the largest eyewear production plant still active in France. In all, nearly 3 million frames are produced each year by French manufacturers.


For the past ten years, the family business has been investing about 1 million euros per year, or 10% of its annual turnover, in the modernization of its production site in Morbier. But this modernization does not prevent the traditional know-how that remains present, especially in the basement, in the polishing workshop. “We have stayed with the traditional method, which is more precise. You need real know-how to control the polishing workshops: it changes according to the seasons, the temperature, the hygrometry”, explains Joël Thierry, the boss, who is also the president of the Jura Eyewear Manufacturers’ Professional Union.

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Featured photo : © Maui Jim

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