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The History of Zacks

Zacks Eye Clinic (30 Warren St, London W1T 5NF) incorporates Zack Contact Lenses, The Kings Cross Eye Clinic, Eyes For You Opticians and W. Johnson & Sons Opticians.

In the 19th century, Johnson & Sons were at the forefront of spectacle lens technology and held a royal warrant for the supply of spectacles to Queen Victoria. In the 20th Century, Zack Contact Lenses led the profession in research and development of contact lens products and since opening The Kings Cross Eye Clinic in 2006, and merging the companies Jonathan Cohen has won numerous ‘Optician Awards’ including being named ‘Optometrist of the Year’. Recently the company was awarded ‘Independent Optician of the Year’ in the ‘2016 Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Awards’.  

W. Johnson & Sons (est. 1801)

W. Johnson & Sons was one of the oldest independent opticians in London. The company, started by William George Johnson in 1801, initially manufactured microscopes and barometers before diversifying to produce spectacles. At the Great Exhibition (1851) Johnson’s displayed one of the first bifocal spectacle lenses for general prescribing. Later in the 19th century, the company held the Royal Warrant for the supply of spectacles to Queen Victoria. During the Second World War, Dudley Johnson took his optical skills to aid the war effort, making gun sights for the armed services. After the war he went on to develop a successful spectacle hire service, initially for the London theatres, then later for TV & Films including Gandhi and Four Weddings and a Funeral. In 1997, the lease at 187 Tottenham Court Road came to an end and the company was incorporated into Zacks Eye Clinic. Liz Johnson, the last member of the family still working as an optician continued to practice at Zacks until her retirement in 2011. Johnson’s optometrist Michaela Joseph continues to practice at Zacks Eye Clinic, 30 Warren Street, London W1T 5NF.

Eyes For You Opticians (est. 2002)

Eyes For You Opticians was established as a boutique dispensing practice located in London’s exclusive Bond Street, Mayfair shopping district. The company specialised in the most exclusive luxury spectacle brands. In January 2011 the lease in South Molton Street, London W1 came to an end and Eyes For You selected Zacks Eye Clinic to take over their patient records. Eyes For You Dispensing Optician Neena Joshi  joined the Zacks team where she continues to practice with her fantastic selection of spectacle frames at Zacks Eye Clinic, 30 Warren Street, London W1T 5NF.

Zack Contact Lenses (est. 1968)

Zack Contact Lenses led the profession for four decades, performing numerous clinical trials to facilitate the research and development of contact lens products. The company was founded by Maurice Zack a well known contact lens specialist and author of numerous clinical papers, who lectured widely at both UK and international events. The practice has always embraced technology, maintaining the latest clinical equipment and product portfolio.  In 1997,  Zack Contact Lenses incorporated W. Johnson & Sons Opticians and in 2007 the practice merged with the Kings Cross Eye Clinic forming the new Zacks London Eye Clinics group. The practice was then completely refurbished in January 2008 and in 2010 a second state of the art consulting room was installed following flooding at the Kings Cross premises. The practice now known as Zacks Eye Clinic remains at 30 Warren Street, London W1T 5NF.

 The Kings Cross Eye Clinic (est. 2006)

The Kings Cross Eye Clinic was a state-of-the-art practice providing a wide spectrum of professional services and an optical store with over 1,000 designer frames. Founded by Jonathan Cohen, the concept was to create an Optometric centre of excellence, offering specialist services at sensible prices. The practice occupied modern, spacious premises near the new Kings Cross / St. Pancras International Station and was equipped with the very latest, high tech imaging equipment and optical laboratory. KCEC attracted much publicity, being the only UK practice to win two of the 2007 trade recognised ‘Optician Awards’ and for initiatives in chlidrens eye care, diabetic retinal screening and orthokeratology. In 2009, this success culminated in Jonathan Cohen being awarded ‘Optometrist of the year’. Unfortunately in July 2010 the practice was flooded by burst water mains and had to close for reparatory works. Over three years later the causes and effects of the flooding had still not been rectified, so we had to make the difficult decision to terminate the lease and transfer the business permanently to Zacks Eye Clinic, 30 Warren Street, London W1T 5NF where Jonathan Cohen continues to practice.

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