It started out of frustration as a collector sought a high-quality portable loupe to admire his own collection as well as the watches that were presented to him in stores and at watch exhibitions. With even the very best loupes available on the market exhibiting some degree of optical aberration, the collector could not find one to meet his own exacting standards. So he decided to make his own.
The company now known as Loupe System Ltd. was thus born on this collector’s kitchen table, as he hand made his loupes using optical elements from professional cameras from the 1980s. The first 32 prototypes, using five optical elements arranged in three groups, were presented at Baselworld in 2012 and were quickly snapped up by serious watchmakers like Laurent Ferrier and Romain Gauthier.
Loupe System Model 01 and Model 02 loupes are now available commercially, retailing from 525 US dollars excluding tax. They are designed and built according to the same principles as a camera lens, with each lens covered with several coatings to maximize contrast, colour saturation and colour fidelity and to minimize flare. The complete absence of chromatic aberration and the fact that the loupes can show more detail than the human eye can actually process ensure a crystal clear image at magnifications of three times (for the Model 02) and six times (for the Model 01).
The latest range of accessories, which were on show as prototypes at Baselworld this year, opens up a whole new range of possibilities for this high-end loupe. Mounting cases for the iPhone and iPad allow the loupe to be used for macro photography, a high quality clip can be used for other smartphones and acts as a handy grip, while a rechargeable illuminator with both white and ultraviolet LEDs allows even more stunning close-up photography.
Loupe System is also reaching out to jewellers and stone traders with its new Model 03 loupe with ten times magnification. It will most likely be sold only in combination with the new ring light system, with the UV light helping to show fluorescence in stones. Of course, it also works great as a macro photography lens for the iPhone and other smart phones!
The Loupe System Model 01 and Model 02 are available fully clad in silicone rubber, with a carbon fibre middle section or a black or brown alligator centre grip. Personalisation is also possible for larger orders. For more information, please visit www.loupesystem.com.
Click on the image above to see the gallery of images taken by WorldTempus at BaselWorld using a Loupe System Model 01.