When you’re not just popping into the store to ask “if you have to pay to park in one of these spots” – we love your questions. Seriously, we love curious you. So here’s our answers to all of those general, weird and oddly specific questions
Sorry, we don’t have one. But we do love dead-stocks and good stories.
Beyond being a Brussels based workshop, we’re above all a team of curious eyewear addicts, born into a family where a passion for optics has been shared since 1934. Frames, lenses, temples, hinges and screws were always part of our everyday discussions, and still are. Come on in, we need to talk.
We dedicate our lives to chasing, checking, hacking and updating existing quality glasses worth preserving for future generations. We bring back to life the pairs we unearth while on digging trips by repairing, adapting, transforming and refreshing them in-store.This process provides the independence we need and allows us to bring you perfectly upcycled frames, at a fair price. They could be glasses from yesterday or decades ago. Age doesn’t matter. But quality and history do.
When not in the workshop, we hit the road as often as possible and head to the birthplace of the optic industry. With a lot of luck, a bit of boldness and the help of archives collected along the way, we wind our way through valleys and villages where millions of frames were produced. Think Privincia de Belluno in Italy or Haut-Jura in France. Once there, we obsessively search through cellars and attics, questioning locals and entering closed-down factories to unearth old stocks from frame designers and manufacturers, whether small family businesses or bigger names.
When we don’t have the opportunity to go that far, we track down retired opticians wherever we are, so that we can browse through their back rooms and learn from the best. These trips indulge our endless curiosity, as we uncover new regions where manufacturers and sub-contractors meticulously crafted thousands and thousands of frames, hand-drawing and shaping every screw and every hinge. These people and their glasses are the ones we want to hunt down, and we hope to be doing exactly the same for years to come.
Since the early days of Bidules, we’ve tried to select our lens suppliers carefully, to fit with the kind of glasses we want to offer, both in quality and price.
We always say no to exclusivity contracts, keeping the freedom to make our own choices.
This means that we can work with more affordable stock lenses in most cases, instead of lenses that have been tailor-made unnecessarily.
But sometimes, one of you, or one of us, wanna be a little more specific. That’s fun too.
Depending on your prescription, the shape of the glasses you chose its technical requirements, what you’ll want to wear them for and the size of your wallet, we’ll get your corrective lenses at Zeiss, Tokai
We edge two different materials depending on the glasses we’re working on, either CR39 or Polycarbonate.
Recently we have installed a new double filter process that makes sure the water used during the lenses edging and finishing process is clean and free from particles.
The closed-circuit system allows water to be fed from a storage tank when in use during the day. This tank contains a filter drawer that performs the first filtration, retaining the largest cuttings while the smaller particles settle at the bottom of the tank. At night, the filtering cycle is run. Water passes alternately between the storage tank and the filtration tank to remove any suspended particles and clean the storage tank. Particles are then collected and stored in a filter bag.
Like you, we spend a good part of our lives exposed to the blue light coming from the many screens that surround us. Like this one. So we’ve made sure that your glasses, whatever era they come from, can be equipped with lenses specially treated against artificial light. Prices starts from 40 € / pair, and we also offer same-day service.
Don’t panic! Each pair of glasses we sell comes with a guarantee against product fault for two years after your purchase. If you’ve had your frames longer, or if the damage was self-inflicted, remember that we love nothing more than salvaging frames.
Lost a screw? Sit on your favourite frames? Swing by the store whenever you want or get in touch, we’ll do our best to find a solution.
Honestly, we couldn’t tell you. There’s thousands upon thousands of frames in our stock. What you see in the store is only what we’ve been working on over the last few weeks, so we can demonstrate the scope of all of the eras, regions and creators that we’re fond of. Have a browse and let us know what you like (or don’t!) then we come up with a sharp selection of frames that suit you best – those that match your needs and style.
There aren’t enough hours in a week to upload all the gems we have (and continue to add) to our inventory. Maybe in the future when robots are humans and humans are robots. Most importantly, though, this website could never replace the advice, fitting, adjustments, and care that we offer in store.
But if you couldn’t possibly wait any longer, there is a small reflection of Bidules in our GLASSES section
Let’s get right to it: our prices start at 89€ for glasses without lenses and non-prescription sunglasses. The vast majority of our frames are priced between 100€ and 150€. Of course there are a few exceptions – we have frames priced as low as 59€ and extra-rare frames that go for over 200€.
Our sunglasses always include Zeiss UV400 uncorrected lenses.
The price of prescription lenses varies depending on qualities like refraction index, treatments, and prescription complexity. Most clients can expect to pay between 48€ and 100€ for prescription sunglasses and 80€ and 180€ for optical lenses (tax incl.). These prices include an eye test, required measurements, cutting the lenses, and custom adjustments done by a trained specialist from our team.
Transparency is important to us, so we want to give some insight into our pricing logic. We don’t aim to be the cheapest option out there, our approach is based on being a little bit more expensive in price, but a lot more value in terms of quality and durability. It’s also important that we pay decent living wages to our staff and the community of artists, freelancers, and suppliers that we work with.
We know it’s not always simple, but we like to avoid one-size-fits all strategies at Bidules.
Do you do sales?
Nope! Because offering a fair price for high quality glasses is important to us no matter the season.
The vintage pieces in our shop don’t follow industry trends, and consequently we don’t have as much pressure with regards to stock and inventory management. So, our prices stay quite consistent 🙂
Visit us – we’re ready to help you find the pair of glasses that fits in your budget, anytime.
No, we don’t own a secret restaurant in the back room, sadly.
That smell is typical of high index organic lenses when we carve them on our edger. This lense material is so thick that the machine heats up and its intense chafing results in that lovely garlic smell. Mmm.
We order and work on these kinds of lenses for glasses that require a more complex assembling process (nylon, rimless, …) or for heavy prescriptions. High index lenses are indeed the right option if you have a strong prescription, as they are thinner, lighter and allow us to avoid those bottle-bottom glasses.
99% of the time, the answer is no. When luxury brands started to license their name to manufacturers to put on frames, there was a significant drop in quality. Why? Because product value became less attached to intrinsic quality, and more attached to the immaterial value associated with brands, logos, and advertising. The names you’ll hear at the store won’t necessary ring a bell, but those manufacturers have produced high quality frames for generations. When we build the inventory for the store, we focus on periods and regions, cooperatives, traditions and techniques. It’s not all black and white, some big brands have made great glasses (we said some…). But one thing is sure, we never buy a brand for a brand!
We’re pretty sure she kept them in a good state, but we don’t buy or sell second-hand frames. What we could do instead is change the lenses, bringing them back to life for you (or your grandma).
With this project we aim to reflect the diversity that characterizes our community, but also our selection of frames. So, we don’t select based on personal criteria or acquaintances. Glasses and people we love. Who knows, you could be next.