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Eyewear brand Silhouette begins manufacture of its own lenses

14. March 2017

Silhouette is now not only a frame manufacturer, but also makes complete pairs of glasses.

Family business Silhouette has finally achieved its ambition of designing and manufacturing both spectacle frames and lenses in house. Lens Lab, the company’s new lens-grinding facility, has been built at its Austrian headquarters in less than a year.

For the first time since its foundation in 1964 the company is able to sell both frames and complete pairs of glasses. Production is automated, although the final polish, such as the required tint, is applied to each lens individually by hand. Assembly of the glasses, which weigh 1.8 grams, is also carried out by hand. In-house manufacture means that the completed pair of spectacles can be with the customer in 96 hours.

Silhouette has invested EUR 10 million in developing this new area of its business. Sales started in March 2017 – initially in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, with expansion to overseas markets due to follow in 2018. A total of 500 lenses can be made every day.

Some 2.4 million Silhouette, neubau eyewear and adidas Sport eyewear branded spectacle frames are manufactured every year at the company’s facilities in Austria and the Czech Republic. The group employs 1,500 staff and recently reported a turnover of some EUR 155 million. Silhouette is represented in more than 100 countries but its manufacturing sites are located only in Europe. The company’s export ratio is approximately 95%, with the USA its largest market.