1846, WHERE THE STORY BEGINS

One of the first factories for ophthalmic lens coating

BBGR BENOIST BERTHIOT une des premières usines de surfaçage de verres ophtalmiques au monde

At the end of the 18th century, a craftsman named Bourot had already begun a rather rudimentary production of glass lenses in Sézanne. Around 1832, he met a young Louis Berthiot in Paris, with whom he went on to establish one of the world’s first optical glass factories, in 1836.

In 1846, Louis Berthiot acquired three mills in the Marne region, including the Saint-Hubert milll in Sézanne, where he could set up his workshops. He was succeeded by his son Alfred in 1857. He was the first in France to use a machine to cut cylindrical lenses to correct astigmatism. He then married a woman by the name of Benoist — hence the name of the company founded in 1870, BENOIST-BERTHIOT & Cie.

A giant of French eye care was born

BBGR ouvrier atelier de fabrication de verres de lunettes de Pongelot près de Provins

In the second half of the 19th century, a production workshop for eyeglass lenses opened in Pongelot, close to Provins, in an area known for its many water mills. Like in Sézanne, water provided the power needed to coat the lenses. This workshop was bought in 1904 by a Paris optician, Gaston Guilbert, who acquired three other mills before the First World War.

Upon his death in 1924, the factory became SARL Guilbert-Routit, Paul Routit being the company’s UK sales director.
The site in Provins, which has since become a BBGR prescription laboratory, is now one of the biggest lens development and production centres in Europe.
In 1974, BENOIST-BERTHIOT and SARL GUILBERT-ROUTIT pooled their expertise and formed BBGR SAS.

A pioneer for almost 2 centuries

  1. 1846
  2. 1870
  3. 1924
  4. 1936
  5. 1968
  6. 1974
  7. 1984
  8. 1995
  9. 2005
  10. 2012
  11. 2016
  12. 2018
1846

1846

Louis Berthiot establishes one of the first optical factories in Sézane, before becoming BENOIST-BERTHIOT & Cie in 1870

Louis BERTHIOT installe une des premières usines d’optique à Sézanne, avant de devenir BENOIST-BERTHIOT & Cie en 1870
1870

1870

Mineral lens coating workshop in Pongelot, bought in 1904 by Gaston Guilbert

Atelier de surfaçage de verres minéraux à Pongelot, racheté en 1904 par Gaston Guilbert
1924

1924

SARL GUILBERT-ROUTIT is founded, specialising in mass production and international exports

Création de la SARL GUILBERT-ROUTIT qui se spécialise dans la production de masse et l’international
1936

1936

Benoist-Berthiot & Cie starts producing cinema lenses and specialises in specialist lenses

BENOIST-BERTHIOT & Cie débute la fabrication d’objectifs de cinéma et se spécialise dans les verres spéciaux
1968

1968

Benoist-Berthiot & Cie launches Zoom, one of the very first progressive lenses that would go on to become the New Zoom (NZ) in 1979

BENOIST-BERTHIOT & Cie lance ZOOM, un des tout premiers verres progressifs qui deviendra le Nouveau ZOOM (NZ) en 1979
1974

1974

Birth of BBGR SAS following the merger of Benoist-Berthiot & Cie and SARL Guilbert-Routit

Naissance de BBGR SAS suite à la fusion de BENOIST-BERTHIOT & Cie avec la SARL GUILBERT-ROUTIT
1984

1984

Pongelot technicians invent a machine that automatically inspects prescription lenses

Les techniciens de Pongelot inventent une machine de contrôle automatique des verres de prescription
1995

1995

Pongelot site specialises in the production of prescription lenses in 1995 and introduces digital coating in 2005

Le site de Pongelot se spécialise dans la fabrication des verres de prescription en 1995 et adopte le surfaçage digital en 2005
2005

2005

NEVA anti-reflective coating is created

Création de l’anti-reflet NEVA
2012

2012

Pongelot site receives the Guaranteed French Origin Label

Le site de Pongelot est labellisé Origine France Garantie
2016

2016

Production and distribution of Nikon optical lenses in the French market is entrusted to BBGR

La fabrication et la distribution des verres optiques Nikon sur le marché français sont confiées à BBGR
2018

2018

BLUV Xpert is awarded the 2018 Silmo d’Or. BBGR offers renowned innovation that has received numerous rewards over the years.

BLUV Xpert obtient le Silmo d’Or 2018 : BBGR propose une innovation reconnue et largement récompensée au fil des années
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