The Essilor Group’s historical activity, optical lenses are technological products that meet visual health needs for correction, protection and prévention. Today, the Group continues to contribute major innovations, including the e-SPF® index, the Eyezen™ range of lenses, and technologies that filter harmful blue-violet light, all of which also benefit our other activities.

Corrective lens:
a combination of technologies

An ophthalmic lens is a high-tech product combining an optical surface, material, coating and tinting. The surface design gives the optical correction and there are several types of geometries that can correct different visual defects – from myopia, to hypermetropia and astigmatism. The choice of material is also important because it affects the weight and thickness of the lens and its resistance to shocks. There are three types of materials used in ophthalmic lenses: organic, polycarbonate and mineral (glass). The coatings applied on the front and rear surface of the lens increase visual comfort, the protection and prevention to visual health risks provided by the lens.

Explore below the different types of surface coating that can be added to corrective lenses.

Ophtalmic lens technology

Discover all the technologies that can be embedded in the lenses of your glasses.


Growth through

The Essilor Group is behind some of the most significant innovations in ophthalmic lenses. Corrective lenses represent the historical foundation of our business. In this area, the Group, formed in 1972 from the merger of ESSEL and SILOR, has never stopped innovating. In 1951, the Company of Lunetiers (the future ESSEL), one of two companies that later created the Essilor Group, filed a patent that revolutionized the progressive lens market with the launch of Varilux®. In 1959, LOR, a subsidiary of Lissac, another company at the origins of the Essilor Group, designed the ORMA 1000 organic lens. These two innovations launched in 1976 the first organic progressive lens, Varilux® ORMA.

In 1992, another major innovation was Crizal®, an anti-reflective, anti-scratch and anti-smudge lens. In 1995, the acquisition of Gentex launched the polycarbonate lens Airwear®. In 2013, Crizal® Prevencia® lenses protect eyes against harmful UV and Blue-Violet light. In 2015 Essilor launched Eyezen™, its lens solution for connected life. In 2016, Eye Protect System™ lenses won a Silmo d’or at Paris.

Did you know?

To provide quality vision protection in every situation, the Essilor Group also offers corrective sunwear.


Beyond Essilor’s own network and in order to cover all needs from premium to basic lenses, the Group relies on numerous partners including BBGR which joined Essilor in 1974. The partnership with Shamir Optical reinforced the Group’s offering in the midrange market. Early 2000 Essilor becomes a partner of the company Samyung Trading through its Chemi subsidiary, leader in the Korean market. In 2011, the Group acquired a participation in Wanxin Optical, one of China’s leading optics companies. In 2014, Essilor completed the largest acquisition in its history by acquiring the remaining 51% of the joint venture, created in 1991 with US-based PPG, which enabled the launch of the organic photochromic lens under the Transitions® brand. In 2015, the Group celebrated the 15th anniversary of Nikon-Essilor, the joint-venture launched in 2000 in partnership with the japanese company.



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