The Rodenstock GmbH
is a renowned German manufacturer headquartered in Munich and the only brand producer of the entire spectacles product worldwide. The company was founded by Josef Rodenstock in 1877 and has more than 4.000 employees in 11 countries.
The foundation for Rodenstock’s development was laid in 1877 by Josef Rodenstock with his workshop and shop for lenses, frames, barometers, and measurement instruments in Würzburg. It was Josef Rodenstock’s belief that sight defects were not an illness, but could be corrected using the right spectacles. In 1880, he developed his first patented products – diaphragm lenses. Two years later, he started exporting internationally and founded his own production sites. Since 1883 the company’s headquarters is located in Munich.
In the new millennium, the ophthalmic optics company quickly developed from a small tradesman shop into a modern industrial enterprise. For example, the first bifocal lenses came from Rodenstock as did UV-absorbing lenses.
In addition to the production of lenses, the third generation put special focus on the manufacture of frames. In 1955, Rodenstock sold more than one million of them. Other innovations followed like, for example, self-tinting (phototropic) lenses and the first progressive lenses developed by the company, the Progressiv R, which was an immediate success in the 1980ies.
In the 90ies, the unique selling point as a manufacturer of lenses and frames from a single source was consistently developed. Through continuous innovations, Rodenstock further expanded its market share during that time. In 2000, the company landed a real coup in the field of individual progressive lenses with the product ImpressionILT. Rodenstock invented the modern progressive lens.
With the conversion of the family-run company into a structure suitable for the capital market in 2002, Rodenstock opened up a new management culture, however it still stood by the values of the ophthalmic optics company. Today, more than 4.000 employees are working at 13 production locations in 11 countries.
Josef Rodenstock (1878–1905)
On 1 January 1878, Josef Rodenstock (32), a peddler of self-designed measuring instruments and spectacle frames from Thuringia, began business operations together with his brother Michael of the company "G. Rodenstock" which had been founded in Würzburg in 1877.
Alexander Rodenstock (1905–1953)
Alexander Rodenstock joined the company at the age of 22 in 1905. He had given up his studies of physics and economics at the urging of his father and started to prepare to take over the management of the family company; he did so in 1919.
Rolf Rodenstock (1953–1990)
Rolf Rodenstock had a diploma in general business, a doctorate and a professorship. He took over the helm of the family company from his father in 1953. He supervised the reconstruction of the company and Rodenstock’s own "economic miracle" and was considered one of the most respected corporate personalities of the still young Federal Republic.
Randolf Rodenstock (1990–2003)
Randolf Rodenstock joined the company in 1976 and initially managed the company together with his father following his study of physics at Munich University and a subsequent MBA at the Insead management school in Fontainbleu, France. He took over general responsibility for the company in 1990 and focused the company on the demands of increasing industrial globalization.
More than 130 years of tradition, experience and the associated know-how have made Rodenstock into one of the most important manufacturers of lenses and frames. Rodenstock is the only brand that delivers “spectacles from a single source” with frames and lenses as a complete provider and is the inventor of the first individual progressive lens Impression®
as well as the technology EyeLT®. The frames collection of Rodenstock has been allocated with more than 50 awards.
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