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Points de Vue, International Review of Ophthalmic Optics, N60, Spring 2009

Points de Vue 60

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Dear Readers,

The year 2009 is marked by several anniversaries of considerable importance in our field and we intend to illustrate them with articles to be published throughout this period, even extending into 2010.

Firstly, this Spring edition celebrates the 50th anniversary of Varilux, presented for the 1st time in July 1959 in Paris. Then, the following Spring we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first man on the Moon and, more prosaically, the 30th anniversary of your Points de Vue magazine…

To go back over these past 50 years of constant innovation by Varilux, we start, of course, with the genesis of this iconoclastic concept. Xavier Fontanet, our President, underlines the permanence of innovations made to this unique product since 1959. Bernard Maitenaz, its inventor, illustrates the period that begins with Benjamin Franklin and his invention of double focus lenses in 1786 through until the first concepts of progressive lenses to result, finally, in Varilux. I continue by retracing briefly the history of the arrival of this innovative product on the world market.

Three people, representing, respectively, the three professions in vision, Prof. Yves Pouliquen for ophthalmology, Dr Irving Bennett for optometry and Claude Darras for optics, demonstrate to us just how this innovation changed their respective practices.

Hélène Amidieu, Head of Market Analysis at Essilor, tells us what the penetration of progressive lenses onto the market for presbyopia correction represents.

Gilles Le Saux, from the R&D department at Essilor, tells us of directions for future developments for Varilux.

Experiences are then related by people for whom Varilux has been an important aspect in their activities. These include a German optician, two Brazilian ophthalmologists, a Canadian optometrist, a Swiss optician and two English optometrists, including the first person to wear Varilux in space, the Russian cosmonaut, Valery Poliakov, who still holds the world record for space travel, 438 days in micro-gravity.

Sonsoles Llopis, Bruno Decreton and Marc Moilier, from Essilor Strategic Marketing show us how, in celebration of its 50th anniversary, Varilux is opening the doors to «virtual reality».

Finally, Jean-Pierre Chauveau, Projects Director at Essilor, introduces us to an instrument that works towards innovation in ophthalmic lenses, the «Visioffice » which results in greater comfort for the spectacle wearer thanks to the precision of the data which is collected.



50 years of Varilux

Message from the President of Essilor

Xavier Fontanet

Franklin to Varilux

Bernard Maitenaz

Varilux celebrates its fiftieth anniversary

Marc Alexandre

Impact on vision professionals

Presbyopia, Varilux, Ophthalmologist

Yves Pouliquen

How Varilux came to the USA: an inside glimpse

Irving Bennett

The story of an astonishing prototype… that became Varilux

Claude Darras

Progressive lenses and their market

The impact of progressive lenses on the market
for the correction of presbyopia

Hélène Amidieu

The Design of Progressive Lenses «From segmentation to personalization»

Gilles Le Saux

Testimonial excerpts

Hartmut Wander • Germany

Aderbal Alves, Ricardo Uras • Brazil

Jacques Bouchard • Canada

Armida Robustelli-Gehriger • Switzerland

Howard S. Bainbridge, Graham Sims • Great-Britain

Valery Poliakof • Russia


As part of its 50th Anniversary celebrations, Varilux opens the doors to virtual reality

Sonsoles Llopis, Bruno Decreton, Marc Moilier

Visioffice, an instrument serving innovation in ophthalmic lenses

Jean-Pierre Chauveau



About us


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Points de Vue, International Review of Ophthalmic Optics, N60, Spring 2009

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