About Us

The Story of RARE Eyewear

2002 is the year that it all started, when owner Curtis Hawes stumbled upon a huge collection of unused 1980s vintage Cazal sunglasses and frames. The collection contained one piece of every style of every color that Cazal made during those early years, the heyday of Cazal eyewear, when everything was produced in West Germany…an unthinkably “rare” find.

We named the collection “Rare Eyewear” and started the business by selling to edgy fashion boutiques in Tokyo and throughout Japan, where the collection was very well received.

One big discovery led to another, and we bought up whatever we could during those early days, traveling far and wide to build up the collection. This was before the rest of the world had really caught on to vintage eyewear.

Where do we find these treasure troves of vintage eyewear? Don’t bother to ask, since it’s top secret.

Every piece in the collection is chosen for it’s distinctive design and superior quality, and for it’s wearability. We don’t buy anything that we don’t feel confident selling.

We are constantly scouring the globe adding new finds to our inventory. The collection is constantly evolving. Keep checking back, you never know what new treasures you might find.

What is RARE Eyewear?

“Rare Eyewear” is the name we gave to our massive collection of vintage designer eyewear. “Vintage” in this case indicates items produced from the 1960s to the early 1990s. 100% of what we sell was manufactured at factories in Europe and the USA. A majority of what we sell was made by factories in Austria and Germany that are no longer in existence.

Each piece goes through a careful inspection process once it arrives into our hands, and only items in perfect, unused condition are offered for sale. Each piece is meticulously refurbished by our staff before being sold.

If you happen to be in San Francisco, be sure to drop by our store, Time Frame, at 418 Valencia St. We’d love to see you.