The History

First Parisian optician.
Multi-award winning inventor.
Supplier of the great and the good, armies and crowned heads…

Here is the amazing story of L’Ingénieur Chevallier.

Optician to Kings

In his boutique at 1, quai de l’Horloge, he received both emperors and kings of Europe: Jean Gabriel Augustin Chevallier was renowned as the best optician in Paris.

Scientists and astronomers swear by the microscope, one of the stupefying inventions by this exceptional optician. The “Tout-Paris” commissions his glasses!

The oldest Optician in Paris

In 1796, Jean Gabriel Augustin Chevallier inherits the oldest spectacle shop in Paris, opened by his grandfather in 1740, Louis XV has his eyeglasses made there.

The Academy of Sciences quickly awards Jean Gabriel Augustin the prestigious title of Engineer and rewards the genius of this passionate eyeglass maker with several gold medals.

The Precursor

A pioneer in advertising, l’Ingénieur Chevallier installs a giant thermometer of his own invention outside his shop to promote himself. Parisians flock to the foot of the instrument to watch as the mercury rises and falls at a rapid pace.

In 1810, he wrote “Le Conservateur de la vue”, the first work dedicated to the eye and glasses.

The Legacy

In 1883, the Maison de l’Ingénieur Chevallier is sold to the brothers Avizard, opticians in Paris. They merge with its historical rival, À la providence Chevalier – with only one “l” – from where emerged Nicéphore Niépce’s first photographic camera in 1825.

For over two centuries, L’Ingénieur Chevallier has been sought after by lovers of extraordinary optical objects. A clientele that shares a passion for noble materials and rare frames, and for whom true luxury is never ostentatious.


Jean Gabriel Augustin Chevallier’s grandfather, first optician in Paris, is installed in the Tour de l’Horloge du Palais by the King himself.


Jean Gabriel Augustin Chevallier invents the microscope. He supplies optical tools to astronomers, mathematicians, engineers, and the most illustrious scientists.


Among the numerous gold medals awarded him by the Academy of Sciences, l’Ingénieur Chevallier receives one for his achromatic lens.


The great rival of Jean Gabriel Augustin Chevallier, his namesake, Charles Chevalier, creates Nicéphore Niépce’s first photographic camera.


L’Ingénieur Chevallier, official optician to the King, is awarded a bronze medal for several of his optical and measurement instruments, including the thermometer and the barometer.


L’Ingénieur Chevallier’s efforts to improve his optical devices are judged “worthy of praise” by the Academy of Sciences, and he is awarded another bronze medal.


With the invention of the solar microscope, L’Ingénieur Chevallier is once again rewarded with a gold medal from the Academy of Sciences.


L’Ingénieur Chevallier designs the opera monocular, which becomes all the rage among regulars of the finest Parisian venues.


The opera monocular becomes opera glasses. Mother-of-pearl, ivory, tortoiseshell: nothing is too good for this theater accessory the luxury of which is equaled only by its elegance.


L’Ingénieur Chevallier supplies the army and the navy with “binoculars, compasses, sextants, and other instruments”, as indicated in the Almanach du Commerce et de l’Industrie.


The Avizard brothers put an end to years of rivalry and merge the two best opticians in Paris, l’Ingénieur Chevallier and La Providence Chevalier. The new store sets up shop on the right bank.


L’Ingénieur Chevallier chooses the Bonnet family to write the next chapter of its history. Heir to a long tradition of French Art Craftsmen, specialists in hand-made custom eyewear, the family agrees to take over l’Ingénieur Chevallier to restore its former prestige.