Optrafair: Looking through lenses

Optician editor Chris Bennett examines some of the lens developments on display at Optrafair 2017

Tipping points are not easy to predict but the convergence of frames and lenses is one that has long been expected but one that has proved tantalisingly difficult to predict.

There is nothing new about offering complete spectacle packages. Alongside the many collaborations between frame and lens suppliers were lens casters such as Hoya and Rodenstock have been happily offering complete pairs as well as stock and surfaced lenses to all comers.

More recently the tide appeared to have turned. Complete packages became largely stock lens affairs while the lens giants moved ever-onward with premium lens technologies. But no longer.

This year’s Optrafair took place just weeks after global frame giant Luxottica and international lens colossus Essilor announced their intention to merge. Ironically both were at the show; Essilor showcasing its Bolon frames and Luxottica its Ray-Ban prescription initiative. Both initiatives continue a trend which has seen Maui Jim announce its prescription plans, while at Optrafair both Silhouette and Dunelm were describing how their expertise in frame and lenses made their complete approach a natural choice.

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