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 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.)
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
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.
So: to all budget slow travelers in early retirement: don’t be afraid to buy eyeglasses abroad.