"I've been really happy with the Pivotal products since we started using them about 6 months ago. However, I was getting a vibe from my staff that they think the Pivotal progressives CAN'T be as good as expensive branded lenses like Varilux lenses. So I designed a little experiment to help us find out.
I ordered two pairs of glasses with identical parameters: Rx, frame, PD and SH. The only difference was the lens design. One pair is made using Pivotal’s lab partner’s top of the line lens, the other pair was the top of the line Varilux lens. Both had their best A/R coatings.
The results: I honestly could not discern a significant difference between the two pairs. I really compared them side-by-side at distance, computer and near tasks. I THINK the Varilux may have a SLIGHTLY better distance vision in the far periphery, but I also think Pivotal’s high-end lens was SLIGHTLY better up close (I don't have to lift my chin as much).
Maybe the most significant difference was from the A/R coatings. The Crizal Sapphire felt a bit smoother than Pivotal’s lab partner’s HE. If anything, I think is translates to better smudge resistance and possible longevity, but only time will tell. We haven't had any gripes from patients in the past 6 months of using Pivotal's lab partner's products.
I think my staff thought I would put on the Varilux lens and expect it to be so much better, but in reality the difference wasn't there at all, even when I tried to look for differences. Certainly not worth the huge difference in COGS.
Before the experiment I told the staff that if the Varilux is that much better we would offer it in out top-of-the-line package for a price that would have to be $150-$200 more than the top of the line package using Pivotal's lab partner's lens. I don't think we will even bother with that."