A discount eyewear business, selling on-the-spot custom-made prescription glasses from $63/pair, has debuted in New Zealand with an Auckland store but will soon open its second shop in the city.

Matt Martel, Dresden's NZ general manager and e-commerce head, said the business which opened a fortnight ago at 132 Ponsonby Rd had leased new premises on the Vulcan Lane/High St corner in the CBD.

Dresden glasses only come in this style but different colours. Photo/supplied
Dresden glasses only come in this style but different colours. Photo/supplied

Specsavers is already offering New Zealanders complete standard non-multi-focal prescription glasses with lenses and frames from $69 so Dresden's $63 offer is not exceptional in this market. OPSM's "big brands, small prices" $99 frames and lenses deal is also for single vision lenses.

But Martel said Dresden was using recycled plastic, offered colour and size variations, quality lenses and made glasses on-the-spot without a wait, unlike many other chains which make and fit lenses off-site, usually often overseas.


"No other New Zealand chain makes glasses on-the-spot like us," he said.

Martel said Dresden would expand, particularly in the provinces where access to discount glasses and optometry services was limited, particularly in many Māori communities.

"The idea is to have a New Zealand chain, and to have a couple of trailer units travelling to under-serviced communities. Our Australian trailer goes into provincial and indigenous areas in association with Vision Australia. We need to make affordable eye care accessible to everyone, including isolated Māori communities," he said.

Dresden glasses come in only one style but a range of colours and sizes and different arms can be added to give a multi-colour effect.

"The $63 price is genuine - about half of what we sell is at that price. It goes up for strong prescriptions and multifocal."

Martel said the cost of some glasses could be covered by Community Service cards, particularly for children.

Dresden's glasses with multifocal lenses sell for just over $300/pair but its $63 offer is for lenses which can be made in the Ponsonby Rd store or new High St store.

It was founded in 2014 by two Australians who claimed the prescription glasses business was overpriced. It manufactures frames in western Sydney and has optometry workshops in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Toronto.