Essilor’s heritage offers a journey through more than 400 years of optical history. The Group is committed to preserving this exceptional collection to promote its history and that of ophthalmic optics.

A unique
industrial collection

The Group has thousands of objects, photographs, films and oral testimonials related to its history. Through this collection, Essilor retraces its industrial and business venture back to 1849, and that of the men and women who have contributed to the development and success of the company. The collection also tells the story of the Group’s exceptional innovation history by highlighting inventions that have revolutionized the world of optics. Essilor pays great attention to preserving and studying its heritage, ensuring that it is passed on to future generations and diffused both internally and externally.

A step back into
the history of optics

Acquired by the Essilor group in the early 2000s, the former Pierre Marly collection is currently on display at the Musée de la Lunette in Morez (Jura, France), which features more than 300 pieces in its permanent collection. Located in the heart of a French region renowned for its eyewear expertise, the Musée de la Lunette is a lively venue, labeled as a ‘Musée de France’, that preserves and enhances the industrial heritage of its region, retraces the history of eyewear and offers an opportunity to explore the phenomenon of vision.

Pierre Marly (1915-2015), a renowned creative optician, built one of the most beautiful optical collections in the world. Essilor acquired more than 2,500 rare historical items dating from the 16th to the 20th century, including pince-nez, eyeglasses and binoculars plus other instruments and scientific works related to optics. Among the most beautiful pieces are: besicles, the glasses of Victoire de France, daughter of King Louis XV; lorgnettes, including that of Sarah Bernhardt; glasses from Asia; Inuit glasses; and also frames designed by André Courrèges or Pierre Marly himself.

  • Spectacles and their sharkskin case, 19th century


  • “Dalaï-Lama” glasses in engraved silver and silk, 19th century


  • Lynx glasses equipped with small fold-up blue lenses to reduce ‘night-glare’, 1925


  • Modern eskimo glasses created for fashion design house Courrèges by Pierre Marly, 1965


Did you know?

Essilor and the museum of Morez in the Jura have developed a collaborative project around the Essilor-Pierre Marly collection to widen knowledge about ophthalmic optics.



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