Behind the scenes at our optical lab

Manufacturing handcrafted heritage eyewear

Traditionally, words like handmade and heritage are applied to shoes and clothing, yet we seldom think of eyewear in those terms. The Steven Alan Optical collection aims to change that. Ours is a line of eyewear that is completely handcrafted, from start to finish.

The facility where the lenses are produced in Brooklyn, New York, perfectly balances high-tech production and hands-on finishing. Our lenses are carefully tended to from the first moment of production to the last polishing rinse by skilled craftsman. The lenses are cut, polished and inspected before they are ready to be mounted. These days we generally assume, if not expect, that even the simplest manufacturing is mechanized without any human contact. Steven Alan Optical is proud of the care and craftsmanship evident in each pair of our eyeglasses.

Eyewear frame tracing process
The first step on the journey to a complete set of Steven Alan Optical lenses takes place on a machine called the tracer. The tracer uses sophisticated computer software to measure the inner dimensions of the frames. This measurement is used to cut the lenses down, producing an exact fit between the lenses and frames.

The factory in Brooklyn, NY where the lenses are made maintains the perfect balance of high-tech, cutting-edge production and old-world hands on finishing.

Edging a prescription lens
The lenses proceed to a machine called an edger to be precisely cut and shaped. The edger uses a fine abrasive wheel to grind the lens to the specific dimensions measured by the tracer. The abrasive wheel also creates the thin groove at the edge of each lens, that is finally cleaned and hand polished for a perfect fit into each frame.

From start to finish the lenses are cared for by an individual craftsman who monitors each step in the process from edging, polishing and inspection for the highest quality and clarity.

Polishing and cleaning prescription lenses
Finally, the lenses spend time in a rinsing machine that uses jets of water and fine buffing pads to polish the the lenses to crystal clarity.
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