Artisan eyeglass makers, a little-known trade
Behind the acronym ‘MOF’ there lies one of the most prestigious titles in the world of craftsmanship: the Meilleur Ouvrier de France or Best Craftsman of France. While the awarding of this distinction for carpenters, florists or pastry chefs is more widely acknowledged, the MOF eyeglass makers are less well known. Here we take a look at this unique trade.
A mark of prestige, from peers and fellow countrymen
Created in 1924, the Best Craftsman of France competition aimed to inspire interest in artisan trades and vocations, as well as to reward the most highly qualified professionals.
Since then, every three or four years, a range of different professions are showcased, notably thanks to the awarding of a medal and honorary State diploma. One of the categories for this qualification concerns makers, manufacturers and distributors of eyeglasses.
What kind of training does an MOF eyeglass maker require?
The first MOF eyeglass makers’ competition took place in 2008 at the International Optics and Eyewear Fair (SILMO). The 14 prizewinners of this first fair then founded an association called MOF Lunetiers (MOF eyeglass makers) in order to represent the discipline at national level in France, as well as at international level.
It was for this reason that in 2011, six instructors, who are themselves MOF Lunetiers, decided to open an MOF Lunetiers school, in Morez, in the Jura department of France. They give training workshops on artisanal manufacture and the customization of frames to those who aim to participate in the MOF Lunetier competition.
The MOF eyeglass makers’ competition
Candidates in the MOF Lunetiers competitive exam must compete against one another in a series of challenges that require a range of qualities and skills.
Every candidate who achieves at least the average score is awarded with the title of MOF Lunetier.