1980: Development of the first progressive lens in Japan

“P-1 Regular,” Japan’s first progressive lens, marked the beginning of the history of the progressive lens.

Numerous progressive lenses appeared in Japan from the latter half of the 1970’s.

At this time, however, such lenses were manufactured overseas, not in Japan.
Progressive lenses in those days featured either a "hard design" that placed the emphasis on a wide range of vision, or a "soft design" that reduced distortion at the cost of a wide range of vision.
Although the former type featured a wide range of vision, many people felt that the lens was difficult to use due to its significant degree of distortion and blurring.

On the other hand, the latter type provided an insufficiently wide range of vision and failed to adequately control distortion and blurring.
Moreover, progressive lens production technology was not yet fully developed and there were still problems with the lens power system.

What kind of progressive lens is best suited to the eyes of Japanese people in terms of ease of vision?


1978: Beginning of Japan’s first progressive lens development project

What kind of lens matches the Japanese eye and is comfortable to use?

SEIKO's response to this question was a balanced design that suppressed distortion and blurring to ensure comfort of use and, at the same time, ensured the necessary field of vision.
There were no products manufactured overseas that conformed to this concept.
If the ideal lens was to be realized, the only approach was for SEIKO to produce a product from scratch in Japan.

An in-house directive was issued in 1978 to start work on a project to develop the first progressive lens in Japan.


1980: Launch of sale of “P-1 Regular,” the first progressive lens in Japan

At the time, development of a progressive lens represented an unknown world to SEIKO.

What needed to be designed? How could performance be evaluated? How could production be realized? SEIKO found itself groping in the dark for answers to these and other questions. SEIKO would have to undertake in-house development of the machining tools required to grind the lens material used to produce progressive lenses.

After a process of trial and error that spanned 2 years, the progressive lens "P-1 Regular" made its debut.
Nowadays, Japan's progressive lens technology has won high acclaim as the best in the world and "P-1 Regular" was the product that marked the beginning of the growth of this technology.


Product that changed the direction of progressive lenses in Japan and around the world

2 years after the launch of "P-1 Regular," "P-1 Mild," a product that became the prototype for "balanced soft design" that further suppressed distortion and blurring was developed and launched. This product won wide acclaim for a degree of comfort to the wearer not provided by previous products.

In no time, Voronoi diagrams for progressive lenses in Japan were redrawn and "P-1" became the representative progressive lens brand in Japan.


Further expansion of the world of progressive refracting power lenses

"P-1 Regular," the first product of its kind, formed the foundation of SEIKO's progressive lenses and "P-1 Mild" took these lenses to new heights.

2 years after the launch of "P-1 Mild," a new product, "P-1 Actus" was launched.
This product was designed for outdoor use and is a lens that emphasizes the long -distance range with suppressed distortion and blurring.

Although at the time in question, "almighty" lenses that covered all applications with a single lens were the mainstream, such "almighty" lenses proved inadequate and failed to satisfy users. To address this situation, SEIKO introduced the groundbreaking concept of application-specific design matched to the needs of each individual user.