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 it's 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 the world's largest manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses. They invented "Varilux", the world's first varifocal lens in 1959 and have been improving on a great idea ever since. Essilor also has an impressive array of photochromic, tinted and high index lenses as well as lenses for special applications.