Silhouette is synonymous with premium, stylish frames and has been since 1964. The brand has now taken the next step forward by producing lenses that are perfectly designed for their frames. Made in Austria. Optimised for seeing without boundaries. Every pair is bespoke. Silhouette frames and lenses combined together in harmony creating the sensation of perfect vision. The Silhouette Vision Sensation®.
With Vision Sensation, Silhouette International is setting a new milestone for the company by expanding its concept of “seeing without boundaries” with a new range of rimless spectacles. In 2017, Silhouette launched the concept of complete spectacles, thereby expanding the existing business model. By adding the production of top-quality lenses in the newly built Lens Lab at the family company's headquarters in Linz to its portfolio, Silhouette became a single-source supplier of top-quality, stylish eyewear.
COO Thomas Windischbauer talks about Vision Sensation, competitive advantages and market opportunities.
With more than 50 years of market presence, Silhouette is the world leader in the field of premium spectacles frames. Why is the Linz-based family company now taking one step further into the premium lenses segment?
Silhouette is well-known for its bold business decisions, its commitment to continuous innovation and the resulting unlimited visual experiences. A perfect marriage of frame and lens is vital for this. We have now taken this step. With our complete spectacles concept, we are securing a considerable competitive advantage for ourselves, paving the way for us to move towards "Industry 4.0". We are building on our existing position and establishing ourselves even more decisively as an expert in all matters related to an individual unlimited visual experience.
It's always been standard in our industry that the lens supplier doesn't know the design parameters of the frame and the frame supplier doesn't know the parameters of the lens supplier. We are now taking an innovative step by bringing two previously separate areas together. The most important advantage is that we know the parameters and requirements of both sides and can therefore create spectacles that are perfectly tailor-made for the wearer.
There are already many well-established producers of lenses – how will Silhouette set itself apart from them?
We are focusing on individually tailored premium progressive lenses perfectly matched to Silhouette frames, but staying away from the production of stock lenses. In this regard, we are not on the same footing as traditional lens manufacturers. Frames and lens will be developed, produced and put together under the same roof in Linz – from the first step to the last.
What products are in the new Silhouette Vision Sensation® business area?
In our Lens Lab at Silhouette International's headquarters in Linz, we are producing single vision
and progressive lenses for rimless and full-rimmed spectacles under our own name –
Silhouette Panorama®. The emphasis is on progressive lenses for rimless spectacles and
optimising vision right to the very edge of the lenses. The Vision Sensation
starting range will initially include transparent optical lenses and lightly tinted versions in five
different colours, each available in three variants.
We pay special attention to the optimised visual field right up to the edge of the lens, rather than focusing on – and therefore restricting ourselves to – progressive lenses optimised for either long or short-sightedness, like everybody else does. The result is fewer imaging defects and edge distortions or unwanted sway. At the same time, we are avoiding taking great leaps from extremely sharp areas into out-of-focus ones: the transitions between the individual fields of vision are arranged as harmoniously as possible in our progressive lenses, which creates a pleasant visual rhythm and therefore also image stabilisation.
How can you guarantee your usual premium quality in what is a completely new segment to you?
Together with Prof. Dr. Peter Baumbach, one of the leading capacities in the development of individual and personalized spectacle lenses and a professor at the Aalen University of Applied Sciences, we have developed the progressive lenses - Silhouette Panorama®. Prof. Baumbach has mathematically defined the optimal viewing zones in the progressive lens for us. Working with the Schneider company, a leading player in the machine technology sector, the machines were precisely tailored to our individual requirements for production using freeform technology. From a sustainability point of view, locating the Silhouette Lens Lab at the Linz headquarters also means short distances between departments, the ability to work closely with our own Research & Development department and consistent quality due to ongoing checks.
How and where are your Silhouette Panorama® spectacles lenses produced?
Our lenses are produced in the Lens Lab, our custom-built production facilities at the Silhouette headquarters in Linz, where they are also combined with our frames to make complete Silhouette eyewear. All stages of the production process are carried out by our hand-picked team of optical and lens specialists. This allows us to offer our partner opticians the shortest possible lead times – a vitally important factor in end customer satisfaction: we can guarantee a lead time of just 96 hours anywhere in Europe.
What advantages can you offer your partner opticians and their customers with Silhouette Vision Sensation®?
We offer opticians and end customers perfection in all areas: optical perfection, thanks to the development of the Silhouette Panorama® progressive lenses, thereby making them as easy as possible for first-time users or people switching over, as well as unlimited visual experiences. Geometric perfection due to the harmonious tailoring of the lens to the frame. Functional perfection due to the optimum ease of cleaning of the lenses. We offer our partner opticians perfect service by reducing handling costs, taking away the breakage risk by fitting the lenses in our own workshop and simplified consultation and ordering services due to the Vision Sensation App developed by Silhouette. The fact that we are in Austria and can deliver within 96 hours in the EU guarantees perfection of processing.
How does distribution work and how do you support your partners at POS?
The complete glasses are available through our partner opticians. As always, we offer them excellent levels of service and unbeatable sales support. We have developed a special service tool: the Silhouette Vision Sensation App. Previously, consultation and ordering for optically glazed spectacles were separate and were carried out using different tools. This all changes with the Silhouette Vision Sensation App – what used to be separate stages are now carried
out quickly and easily in one process. This frees up more time for the optician to carry out sales activities and deal with customers.
The experience of buying optically glazed spectacles has also been revolutionised for opticians and end customers alike. Using the Silhouette Vision Sensation App, customers get to see how the lens will look in their personal prescription – before they buy. This builds trust and makes the decision to buy Silhouette complete glasses easier.
Find out more about Vision Sensation at silhouette.com/vision-sensation.