Brandon Butler (l), president and CEO of Pacific Artisan Labs and Hirokazu Furuzawa, president and CEO, Tokai Optical, signing their exclusivity agreement at PAL in Portland, Ore.
PORTLAND, Ore.—Pacific Artisan Labs (PAL), and Tokai Optical, a global leader in the innovation of the most premium materials, designs, and treatments, announced an exclusive partnership for distribution into the U.S. market beginning June 1, 2023. The partnership will initially focus on the launch of Tokai’s ultra index 1.76 material, the thinnest lens material ever released in the U.S., as well as Tokai’s proprietary NeuroSelect lens designs, which are based on the emotional response of the brain, according to Tokai.

Other products to be launched in the U.S. include Tokai’s bi-aspheric digital dual sided SV technologies, anti-fatigue category, office design and ultra-premium coatings.

Tokai Optical, based in Okazaki City, Japan, is an independent, fourth generation company. Its partnership with PAL marks the first time in Tokai’s 84-year history that the company has authorized an American lab to produce and distribute its products in the U.S.

“We are excited with the partnership with a very innovative and fast-growing lab. I am certain our unique products will be sure to help the eyes of the ones in need in the United States,” stated Hirokazu Furuzawa, president and CEO, Tokai Optical.

“We are extremely honored to be partnering with the amazing team at Tokai after many months of collaboration to make this dream a reality,” remarked Brandon Butler, president and CEO of PAL and the Artisan Lab Network. “At PAL we are always on the lookout for opportunities to differentiate our product offering from the mainstream and our partnership with Tokai does exactly that.

"We have always considered our labs to be producers of high-end, quality products and now with the addition of these new designs, coupled with the thinnest lens material ever released, we know definitively that we offer our customers the best products available anywhere in the world,” Butler said.

Rachel Ahlson, chief operating officer at PAL, added, “Bringing Tokai products to the U.S. market wasn’t without its challenges, but I am proud of the work done by everyone involved including the incredible team at DVI, who worked tirelessly alongside the Tokai team to enable our lab to produce these next generation lens designs.

"Those who understand what it takes to validate LDS and LMS systems for the first time, know it’s not an easy task. After months of testing and validating we are finally here and it’s a very exciting time for all of us,” she said.

The 1.76 is significantly thinner than 1.74 high index and will be available in Tokai lens designs as well as most other lens designs offered through PAL and the Artisan Lab Network. PAL is partnering with Global Optics to be the exclusive distributor of the 1.76 lens material which will be available to other U.S.-based laboratories for those who seek to offer a best-in-class lens material.

Later in 2023, PAL and Tokai will launch their FSV version of 1.76 which will also be exclusively available through Global Optics.

“We are excited to partner with Tokai Optical to bring their innovative eyewear products to the United States,” said Jim Day, chief marketing officer, Artisan Lab Network. “Tokai’s Ultra Index 1.76 material and NeuroSelect designs are truly revolutionary, and we believe they will offer our customers a superior eyewear experience.”