This is crazy. I’ve bought eyeglasses around the world in four different regions of Earth: Central America, Europe, and Southeast Asia, and most recently in Asia. The fourth time is the charm — my new glasses are by far the cheapest, yet give me quality vision. I can hardly believe the price of progressive eyeglasses with Crizal lenses in India. But this is a true story.
Price of progressive eyeglasses with Crizal lenses in India
I’ve bought trifocal eyeglasses in Mexico, Spain, and the Philippines before I bought them in India. The only other time I bought Crizal lenses was in Mexico. That particular pair also had higher-end thinner trifocal lenses.
‘Crizal lenses’ simply mean the lenses have a special coating that enhances vision. It blocks reflections, giving me better night vision. It protects against surface scratches and repels dust and is somewhat smudge proof. Considering I must wear eyeglasses in order to see the world practically every minute of waking hours, glasses are a big, big deal for me.
Over the years, I have reverted to the cheapest options possible during our global slow travel. I get thicker lenses (heavier on my face), and I have skipped the Crizal coating for several years. My satisfaction with my vision has been 85% to 90%, but the money saved boosted my overall satisfaction.
The most recent pair I bought in India gets me closer to 100% perfect vision, and it is the second time I’ve bought Crizal lenses abroad.
Price for progressive Crizal lenses in India
Now the big reveal. You won’t believe what these progressive eyeglasses cost in India. I thought the clerk was joking.
I picked out the frames good frames for $20, and then we started pricing the progressive lenses with chromatic coating.
He quoted me a price of $90. Wait: WHAT?! I verified what I heard. Yes, that’s right, he said.
Well, shit. What about Crizal lenses? What is the price for those? He punched in some numbers into a calculator and spun it around to show me: 10,000 rupees for the whole shebang.
Crizal progressive lenses, with chromatic coating, in new frames. Only $120!
A slight problem…
I waited nearly a week for the new eyeglasses to be delivered to Negi Eye Care in Rishikesh. At first, I thought they were near perfect, but once I left the shop and tested the glasses out in the world, I noticed the vision in my left eye was blurry.
I had to go back and see the eye doctor again to verify the prescription. The doctor said the left lens was ‘cut wrong’ and we sent them back to wherever they were made.
The glasses came back in another week, and it was sooooo much better, though still, not 100% perfect. No eyeglasses have ever been 100% perfect for me, though that pair I bought in Mexico was damn close. (More on that below.)
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Slow travel lifestyle benefit
Luckily, as a slow traveler staying six weeks in Rishikesh, I had plenty of time to have the issue resolved. When we stay a month at a location and we need health care, we initiate the process shortly after we arrive. This allows plenty of time for hiccups to be worked out.
These ‘recut’ Indian glasses are now 97.5% perfect. My middle-distance vision is still just a tad blurry in my left eye. (Perhaps they ‘recut’ the same lens?) Also, the actual lenses are not quite as thin (nor as expensive) as the eyeglasses I bought in Mexico.
But I’m happy! Happy enough that I ordered a second pair of progressive Crizal lenses in new frames while still in India. The second pair does not have the chromatic effect, so the cost was only $100. Unbelievable!
Quality & price compared to Mexico, Spain, Philippines
I first bought Crizal lenses in Mexico in 2016. This was also the first time I bought glasses outside the USA. I went to a shop in Puerto Vallarta, where I had an eye exam, and bought higher-priced special thin progressive lenses with Crizal coating in new frames.
- The total cost: $310
This was a superb deal because these glasses gave me the best vision I’ve ever had in my life, and they were incredibly thin and lightweight. These eyeglasses were 99.5% perfect.
Then in Europe, I bought progressive lenses that weren’t as high end or as thin, and they weren’t Crizal lenses, in Barcelona in 2018. I took a step down in quality because I wanted a new pair of prescription sunglasses as well. The lenses were nowhere near as good as the thinner type with Crizal coating, and I had had barely fair peripheral vision. But I bought them knowing that would be the case. You get what you pay for…
- The total cost: $594
This was a decent value buy for Europe. I would try to hold out and wait until we reached a different country in order to buy in a place with better value deals.
Three years later in Southeast Asia, I again skipped Crizal lenses to save money in the Philippines in 2021. And for the first time, I bought progressive lenses with the cheapest chromatic coating available, saving the need for new prescription sunglasses. I also had my old Mexican Crizal lenses from 2016 put into new frames. The prescription was five years old, but I couldn’t let the Crizal lenses go.
The total cost: $223
This was a good value, though lenses were thicker and heavier than the lenses from Barcelona. Still, I would go back again because they were so cheap. In fact — I did go back!
Philippines, round 2
In March 2022, I went back to the same shop in Kalibo for another new prescription. I bought progressive eyeglasses with generic lenses and Transition coating. Again skipping new sunglasses. Crizal lenses would have doubled the price, so I declined.
The total cost: exactly $200
This was a good deal. I recommend this shop if you’re in the market for regular progressive lenses in Aklan, Philippines. I still use these glasses because my prescription hadn’t changed when I went to the eye doctor in Rishikesh, India.
I donate old glasses to where I buy new ones, because they usually give the frames if not the lenses to someone who cannot afford eyeglasses.
Progressive eyeglasses with Crizal lenses in India are the best value
Americans are overcharged for all eyeglasses – Crizal coating or not. My last pair in San Diego was $750 – ridiculous!
I don’t think I’ll ever find a better great value deal on eyeglasses as I did in India.
I’ve written before about the eyeglass monopoly (see the bottom of this previous post). And although some mail-order eyeglass services in the USA have cut down costs for people with my ‘heavy duty’ prescription, no option in America — or anywhere — is going to beat the value of these progressive eyeglasses in India with Crizal lenses and chromatic coating.
So: to all budget slow travelers in early retirement: don’t be afraid to buy eyeglasses abroad.
Thanks for reading, “You won’t believe what progressive eyeglasses with Crizal lenses cost in India.”
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