Emergency eyeglass service in suisse Romande?

Desperately seeking advice: my in-laws are visiting from England and yesterday while doing a hike my FIL's varifocal spectacles fell out of his pocket. (He was wearing his prescription sunglasses at the time).

Once they realized this they retraced their steps, but given the location where he misplaced them (the Diablerets glacier) we aren't feeling optimistic that someone might have found them and handed them in to lost & found. So far nothing has turned up, but I am going to phone again a bit later in the day, and also the nearby police stations.

They still have quite some time remaining in their trip abroad and having only sunglasses is really not convenient. They are wondering whether if they obtained his prescription from the UK if there would be somewhere in Romandie where they could have a new pair of glasses made at short notice. As I mentioned, his lenses are varifocal, so it's not a straightforward job.

I have no experience at all with having glasses made ever so I don't even know how this works in Switzerland normal conditions.

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!

Depending in the complexity of his prescription places like Fielmann or Visilab should be able to do the fairly quickly but it won’t be cheap.

Go to one that has the ‘lab’ on site and see what they say. Even when they’ve ordered lenses in it’s only taken a few days at Visilab.

If you can get his prescription and what type of lense, then best to find an optician who works with that lense company.

Not all multifocals are the same, so it does matter if the lenses are Essilor, or Zeiss, or Rodenstock, just to name a few.

Edit: Belgianmum has made an excellent point about finding an optician with an onsite lab. That rules out Rodenstock, they manufacture in Zurich and the turnaround time is anything but quick. The lenses are also very expensive.

For my daughter's glasses it took ~10 days each time (5x till now) to get the lenses at local Fielmann store. Not sure for the others but I guess they all don't have a lot stored so they have to order per demand.

I think if you call any of them they should give you an estimate.

Thanks everyone so far. I am well aware that I need to find an optician that has a lab onsite, so if anyone has a specific recommendation that would be great.

As mentioned, I would check Visilab (where the family goes). They seem to have the most outlets in Vaud.

As an option, since the varifocal lens might be the issue for timing, is to get two pairs of "cheap and cheerful" glasses. One pair for distance and one for reading. Visilab would certainly be able to turn them around in a day or less.

They often have offers on the frames and for two pairs at the same time. The optician can get the measurements needed.

Good luck.

If he is long sighted he may get away with some cheap reading glasses, one for distance and another for close up. For driving etc., it is important that the correction is reasonably accurate. If he is short sighted or has severe astigmatism, it is not so easy to do something quickly.

Visilab +1

I would get cheap distance glasses from visilab plus even cheaper reading glasses.

For the latter Landi has the best prices f3.80 per pair. Reasonable selection of styles and powers.

Rather than get a pair of varifocals, it may well be considerably easier, cheaper and faster to get one pair for long distance and one pair for reading.

When I wore glasses, I had varifocals. But my sunglasses were solely for long distance.

(Darn, Ninja'd by bowlie!)

Ninja’? That’s a new one for me.

I’ll look out for turtles.

Thanks everyone for the suggestion of two pairs of cheap glasses, that could be the way to go.

Getting such quick practical help in record time is one of the many reasons I love having EF. Thanks to everyone for your replies, I'm going to phone Visilab now.

Why do you need a UK prescription ?

Just go, have an eye test and buy new ones, providing they are not complicated it should take less than 24 hours.

As you've probably figured out, it means posted the same thing just a few minutes before.

If the UK optician will send the details through, then they save 20 francs.

Although visilab usually give free eye tests if you buy glasses from them.

During Covid, I needed new glasses but we couldn't visit our optician in the UK. I sent them an e-mail, explaining the situation, and they sent a copy of my prescription immediately. (VisionExpress).

HUGE thanks to all the clever people who suggested purchasing generic glasses (Verbier, me.anon, bowlie, NotAllThere: green blobbies are coming your way). My FIL is indeed long-sighted, and by 12:30 today the kind folks at Visilab in Morges were able to outfit him with a perfectly adequate pair of +3.50 glasses for a grand total of 29.- CHF. Unfortunately the prescription he would need for reading is beyond what is available off-the shelf, but the most important thing is that he can now drive his car and doesn't have to wear his sunglasses indoors all the time in order to be able to see anything.

That was less than 4 hours from starting this thread to having satisfactorily solved the problem.

Big thanks from my father-in-law for helping to save his holiday!

EDIT: We also had a copy of his prescription and asked at Visilab and Alain Afflelou what the cost/time turnaround would be for a new pair. Because it's a complicated prescription it was 3 days and stupid expensive for express (close to 1000.- CHF!), or a week and around 2/3 the price for standard service.

Eyes change so if you are going to the bother of having new ones made up, ALWAYS makes sense to have your eyes tested to ensure you have correct lens fitted for the day.

Relying on a prescription which may or may not be still any good is stupidity.

The glasses cost the same !

Fabulous result BossaNova.

Biro, yes, I do worry about all the people I know who buy new glasses on line, much cheaper of course- using the same prescription again and again. We have our eyes fully tested in the UK every year, with every possible test, to ensure we keep prescription up to date. My mother turned blind due to a combo of glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration- in her 90s- poor thing. It totally ruined her latter years.

Thans fot the thanks Bossanova. No doubt you’ll have a call soon announcig the finding of the original glasses.

Reminder to self: make sure to put name and address in manbag, iPhkne, and glasses case.

It always amuses me to see how we can all speak English but not always the same English.

In the UK we would say he was short-sighted if he needed glasses for distance and long sighted if he needed them for reading.

Myopic / Hypermetropic would be less ambiguous.