Essilor was formed in 1972 with the amalgamation of two French companies Essel and Silor.
Essilor has had a presence in Britain since 1881 when Société des Lunetiers opened its British operation in Hatton Garden, London. It maintained a presence in the city until 1975 when the company moved its offices and production facilities to Thornbury, near Bristol.
Essilor is world famous for the Varilux lens, the world's first varifocal, which was invented in 1959.
A total of 300 million people around the world wear, or have worn, Varilux lenses with a new wearer every three seconds.
Essilor has 5 major brands that embody cutting edge lens technology - Varilux, Crizal, Xperio, Optifog and Transitions.