Who makes our loupes
Loupe System was born out of our quest to find a very high quality portable loupe to use to admire our watch collection, as well as the watches we were being shown in stores and watch fairs.
Most loupes, such as the ones you may have been given by watch brands before, just use a single optical element to provide magnification. While these loupes are often pretty and very light, they provide a good image only in the center of the viewing field: along the edges, you will inevitably see both chromatic aberration (i.e. diffraction, or color shift) and image distortion (i.e. the image becoming unfocused and/or straight lines appearing significantly curved).
These effects can be corrected in part by using additional optical elements in the loupe’s design. Some loupes, called “doublets”, aim to correct the chromatic aberration by using two optical elements glued together. These are made of two different types of glass, shaped so that the chromatic aberration of one is counterbalanced by that of the other. While this improves things, it still leaves significant image distortion at the edges of the viewing field. This is why other loupes, in this case called “triplets”, add a third optical element to this design to attempt to correct the distortion as well.
However, even the very best of them (e.g. the Carl Zeiss Triotar T* Loupe 5X, once made by Contax with Zeiss optics to examine 35mm slides), are rarely perfect, and will always show at least some amount of optical aberration at the edges of the viewing field.
Not surprisingly, certain types of camera optics, if designed with the right focusing distance and optical layout, can also function as loupes. This is how, when we discovered that we were unable to find a loupe which would meet our high standards, we ended up making our own!
We used a professional optical system for a camera from the early '80s, which was made of five optical elements arranged in three groups. You may think of it as a standard loupe with two doublets mounted above and below it, which are specifically designed to correct the image enlarged by the central element. Once modified, that optical system provided a clear 40mm-wide viewing field with 6x magnification, free from most chromatic aberration and image distortion.
Some of our friends saw this loupe, and decided that they wanted one as well. So we ended up making a few more, and taking them with us to the Basel watch fair. In a matter of hours, they were all sold out to clients like Philippe Dufour, Laurent Ferrier, Romain Gauthier, Bart & Tim Grönefeld, Stepan Sarpaneva, Roger Smith, Andreas Strehler, Kari Voutilainen and so on...
The first 32 hand-made loupes which were sold that day became the inspiration for the development of our current Model 01 loupe, which is but the first of a series of very exciting loupes and accessories which we plan on bringing to market over the next few years!
We hope that you will enjoy our new loupe, safe in the knowledge that we made it to the exact same high quality standards that we wished we had been able to find when we set out to seek a loupe for ourselves...
Loupe System Press Coverage
Here is a chronological list of the press coverage received thus far for the Loupe System Model 01 loupe:
Forbes [17 December 2013] - English
TimeZone [17 December 2013] - English
Beckertime [13 December 2013] - English
Horologium [7 December 2013] - English
Hodinkee [4 December 2013] - English
Gear Patrol [26 November 2013] - English
The Horophile [17 October 2013] - English
PuristSPro [14 October 2013] - English
Montres de Luxe [12 August 2013] - French
Mechanics of Style [9 July 2013] - English
Hodinkee [26 June 2013] - English
Timezone [22 May 2013] - English
WatchuSeek [28 April 2013] - English
Equation du Temps [31 March 2013] - French
WatchuSeek [25 January 2013] - English
Into Watches [21 January 2013] - English
Orologi di Classe [16 January 2013] - Italian
If you are aware of a review of our loupes which is not listed here, please let us know!