Here you will find all the information prepared for your reporting on the history, products and structure of ZEISS Vision Care. The Company Portrayal explains the history of the company, while the Fact Sheet gives you a tabular overview. The milestones provide a visual account of the company's historical development. Are you a journalist and have questions? Then get in touch with us!
Founded in 1846, the innovative strength and extensive optical expertise of ZEISS has played a central role in shaping the eyeglass industry since 1912. April 1st 1912 marked the beginning of medical technology and vision care at ZEISS with two key inventions, combining medical and optical expertise which is still unique in the world to this day. ZEISS launched PUNKTAL, the world’s first-ever point-focal imaging precision eyeglass lens.
It was a revolutionary new design developed in line with scientific principles and it would form the basis for all modern lenses. The dynamics of human vision were taken into account in a lens for the very first time. Instead of the “tunnel vision” associated with magnifiers, eyeglass lenses now offered unparalleled imaging across the entire lens surface – even when wearers turned their heads, moved their eyes or changed their viewing distance. That same day, the world’s first slit lamp was launched for performing eye exams.
The ZEISS Vision Care strategic business unit is now allocated to the ZEISS Consumer Markets segment. It develops and produces exceptional technological instruments and offerings for the entire eyeglass value chain. This includes the development, production and distribution of high-quality eyeglass lenses, diagnostic instruments and services such as:
- Single vision lenses (glass, plastic)
- Stock lenses (glass, plastic)
- Lifestyle lenses for driving, office work, digital natives and contact lens wearers
- Multifocal lenses (progressive, bifocal, trifocal)
- Full UV protection up to 400 nanometer in all clear and in all sun lenses
- Filter lenses (sunglass lenses, photochromic lenses, special filter lenses)
- Magnifying visual devices (for low-vision patients and for use in medicine and technology)
- Systems and instruments for analysis and customer consultations (screening, refraction, centration, ordering)
- Digital systems for customer consultations, eye exam, vision test, lens optimization, process handling, ordering and platform control
- Services and marketing solutions for eye care professionals (ZEISS Experience, ZEISS Relaxed Vision Center)
- Consumer apps for vision analysis and diagnosing consumer needs.
With production sites for semi-finished lenses, as well as stock, sunglass and self-tinting lenses, global Rx labs in America, Europe and Asia, and local service and glazing labs, and regional Rx labs, global distribution centers (USA, Germany, Mexico, China and Hungary), regional distribution centers, research sites in Germany, China and Australia plus and around 100 regional and local delivery centers, ZEISS Vision Care is a global player that operates on more than 60 markets around the world.
For over one hundred years, ZEISS has addressed the challenge of providing its customers with an optimal visual experience. Our daily work is sharply focused on the wishes and needs of our customers because every eye is as individual as a fingerprint and because individual demands for better vision require individualized solutions.
Innovations like ZEISS DriveSafe lenses and the ZEISS SmartLife portfolio, instruments and platforms such as the ZEISS i.Profiler plus, ZEISS i.Terminal, and apps like “My Vision Profile” have received multiple awards for their design, user-friendliness and technological excellence.
Dialog plays a central role at the company. Close contact with eye care professionals is an integral and key component of the ZEISS philosophy. After all, it is our customers who are in daily contact with eyeglass wearers. Therefore, a dialog-based partnership is an important requirement to develop solutions that offer the wearer optimal vision and thus better quality of life. That’s why ZEISS is focusing on brand partnerships with customers – they can engage with the ZEISS brand in-store, ranging from lens consultation to customer information. It’s important to note that ZEISS Vision Care is a partner for its customers, and not a competitor. Unlike other global suppliers, ZEISS does not operate its own stores, neither on- or offline. All offers, products and innovations serve the sole purpose of making ZEISS customers successful: ophthalmic opticians, purchasing groups, brand manufacturers and optical chains. Stores that carry the ZEISS brand are operated by independent eye care professionals, dealers and purchasing groups.
Dr. Matthias Metz (President & CEO), Paul Bilsdorfer (CFO), Axel Kaltenbacher (DTO/CTO), Sven Hermann (CSO/CMO), Dr. Benjamin Viering (COO), Jens Boy (North America)
The strategic business unit is fully allocated to the ZEISS Group and the ZEISS Consumer Markets segment. In fiscal year 2019/20 ZEISS generated 6.3 billion Euro revenue, the ZEISS Consumer Markets Segment 1.1 billion Euro revenue.
1912 - 1945
1. April 1912
ZEISS launches Punktal, the market’s first precision eyeglass lens, as well as the first-ever slit lamp.
ZEISS Development Head Moritz von Rohr and Swedish ophthalmologist Allvar Gullstrand received the Nobel Prize (Medicine) for their work on the eye’s physiology.
Production of bifocal lenses begins.
Launch of the sun protection lens UMBRAL; the first optical sunglass lens to feature a uniform tint and defined transmittance.
Introduction of PERIVIST frames which enable an anatomically optimal, secure position of the lenses in front of the eyes and a customized fitting.
Division of Carl Zeiss in Jena (East Germany) and Carl Zeiss in Oberkochen (West Germany). Re-establishment of ophthalmology in Oberkochen.
1959 - 1983
First anti-reflective coating, with a patent awarded to Carl Zeiss in 1935.
Introduction of plastic lenses, also by Scientific Optical Laboratories of Australia (SOLA), which was merged with the Carl Zeiss Vision Care to form Carl Zeiss Vision in 2005.
Umbramatic lenses launched; Carl Zeiss caters to the segment of self-tinting lenses for the first time. The first progressive lenses are introduced to the market; Gradal 1.
Successful breakthrough into the progressive lens sector with Gradal HS. Gradal enables the same visual conditions for the two eyes regardless of the direction of view.
1987 - 1995
First plastic lens from ZEISS under the brand name Clarlet Gradal HS.
World's first mid-index plastic eyeglass lens: Clarlet SL by ZEISS. Today, a refractive index of up to 1.74 allows lenses that are up to 40 percent thinner and therefore lighter than traditional indices.
Acquisition of American Optical (founded in 1869) by SOLA International.
2000 - 2009
ZEISS presents its first individualized progressive lens in the form of Gradal Individual®. In addition to offering a customized Rx, personal parameters of the wearer are now factored into the calculation of the progressive surface.
Merger of the ZEISS Vision Care division and the US eyeglass lens manufacturer SOLA International.
Introduction of Gradal Individual® FrameFit®, the first progressive lens that adapts to all frames.
Through wavefront measurement, i.Scription® allows the wearer's individual eye profile to be factored into the lens calculation. This technology considerably improves the correction of visual defects, particularly for night vision.
ZEISS Experience is presented as a modular retail concept with three key elements: ZEISS analysis, marketing and consulting tools as well as a special shop design.
2010 - 2020
Restructuring of the company financing: Carl Zeiss AG takes over 100 percent of the voting rights in Carl Zeiss Vision, which is integrated as ZEISS Vision Care into the Carl Zeiss Group.
MyoVision™ from ZEISS is an eyeglass lens specially developed for Asian children. Thanks to Peripheral Vision Management Technology™, this lens significantly reduces the progression of myopia and, consequently, the risk of severely limited vision later on. About half of all children between the ages of 11 and 13 living in cities and urban areas of Asia suffer from myopia – and the trend is accelerating.
First ZEISS Experience Vision Center opens in Berlin with the aim of offering a brand-new shopping experience in the 21st century. All the relevant aspects of the customer experience are taken into account: shop fitting, marketing material, sales area, instruments for vision analysis, refraction and centration, as well as cutting-edge ZEISS lens solutions – all in an innovative design.
With PhotoFusion®, ZEISS introduces the fastest self-tinting lenses on the market.
With technology for determining the maximum intermediate distance (M.I.D.) developed by the company, a ZEISS lens can be adapted with millimeter accuracy to the visual distance required by each individual user.
DuraVision Platinum is ZEISS’s hardest coating yet.
ZEISS Vision Care operates around the globe with a new brand image focused sharply on the power of the ZEISS brand; the emphasis is on the special and fascinating moments that customers experience with ZEISS products.
Global launch of the new ZEISS Digital Lens category. These lenses relieve the eyes of those who use mobile digital devices, particularly among 30–45-year-olds.
ZEISS progressive lenses are refreshed in four categories – perfectly adapted to the eyes and the digital world, to frames and switches to new frames, to a wearer’s facial anatomy and adjustment to their personal lifestyle.
ZEISS offers i.Com mobile, a new, tablet-based system for controlling measuring instruments, centrally collecting data and personal consultations – the system was honored with the Red Dot Award.
ZEISS has expanded its ZEISS DuraVision coating portfolio to include ZEISS DuraVision Silver and ZEISS DuraVision BlueProtect.
Global launch of the ZEISS DriveSafe lenses; designed to maximize safety and comfort for glasses wearers while driving and offer maximum safety and comfort even when worn all day long.
Global launch of the ZEISS EnergizeMe lenses for contact lens wearers.
“My Vision Profile” by ZEISS – the app for consumers offers an initial test for visual requirements and is a great way to get to know the ZEISS Vision Analysis at the optician’s – its design was honored with the reddot Award.
Thanks to UVProtect, ZEISS is the world’s first manufacturer to offer sunglass-level UV protection up to 400 nm for all clear plastic lenses.
ZEISS VISUFIT 1000 is a new platform for determination of 3D centration data in just a few clicks. Its 9 cameras and 45 points mean a 180-degree facial avatar can be generated for the wearer.
Introduction of ZEISS SmartLife - a complete premium portfolio of eyeglass lenses for all consumers no matter their age. The ZEISS SmartLife lens design factors in our modern connected and on-the-move lifestyle, dynamic visual behavior, individual visual needs, and age.
Status: January 2021