The Nikon-Essilor partnership began in 2000 with a strong focus on innovation and the ambition of significant business growth in Japan and overseas. Technology, marketing and leveraging the Essilor Group network has strengthened its ophthalmic optics standing in Japan and success in overseas markets has followed.
Continued research and development has brought a series of innovations in materials, coatings, designs and processes. These include high index materials (1.74), a new generation of coatings, SeeCoat Blue – blue light control for enhanced vision on digital devices, SeeMAX – double sided custom made single vision lenses and digital tinting among others.
To widen fields of research, 2009 saw the creation of the Nikon-Essilor International Joint Research Center (NEIJRC) with a dedicated team of researchers focused on long-term innovation in fields like opto-electronics, precision optics and advanced materials.
Nikon benefits from strong consumer brand recognition. In 2012 Nikon-Essilor launched an international I SEE marketing campaign featuring Nikon ‘visionaries’ and brand ambassadors such as Olympic rowing gold medallist Hamish Bond and Michelin-starred chef Yoshihiro Narisawa. It has helped draw nearly 1 million international followers on social media.
The Nikon offer has a high-end positioning, with special expertise in optical design, high index lenses and coating. In addition to a flagship Nikon Lens Experience Center in central Tokyo, Nikon offers a full branding program to independent ECPs, supporting opticians with dedicated training and in-store dispensing tools to explain more clearly the vision benefits of Nikon lenses
Over 1000 staff work in the Nikon-Essilor joint venture in Japan, overseas labs and sales offices in countries including China, Canada, USA and UK. In 2015, Nikon-Essilor aims to further develop the Nikon brand in newer markets such as the Middle East, Russia and Turkey.