History of Haag-Streit

Innovative pioneering spirit for over 165 years

Innovative pioneering spirit for over 165 years

The history of Haag-Streit dates back to 1858. From a workshop for weather stations, coordinatographs and physical and optical measuring instruments, we developed into a manufacturer of ophthalmic instruments in the 1930s. Since then, we have been instrumental in shaping research and development in the field of ophthalmology and pioneering numerous innovations.

1858 –1933

Precision measuring instruments through reliability and craftsmanship 1858–1933

Due to their craftsmanship and reliable work, our company founders Hermann Studer and Friedrich Hermann were very successful at an early stage with their mechanical workshop in Bern. Their optical, physical, and geodetic measuring instruments and coordinators were extremely precise. As a result, they not only received the order to equip Switzerland with weather stations, but were also entrusted with the production of a Swiss prototype for a metric scale.

Precision scales –1864

The first large precision scale from 1864, produced for the Swiss calibration center, is now on display at the Federal Metrology Office.

Meteorological instruments and columns – 1873

This photo shows the east side of the meteorological column built in 1873, located on the Münster platform in Bern.

Repeating theodolite – nineteenth century

In the nineteenth century, we produced geodetic instruments to measure the earth’s surface.

Stakeout tripods and sighting lamps for tunnel construction

The order to construct the Simplon tunnel at the turn of the century marked our most significant instruction in the area of tunnel construction.


For over a century, we produced coordinatographs that could be used to draw accurate maps and plans.

1933 –1974

Pioneering work in the field of ophthalmology

Beginning in the 1930s, our focus increasingly turned to ophthalmic devices. In close cooperation with specialists and leading scientists, especially Professor Goldmann at the University of Bern, we performed genuine pioneering work and founded a completely new discipline: perimetry, among other areas within ophthalmology.

Slit lamps set the standard –1933

The first Haag-Streit slit lamp was the first instrument developed in cooperation with Professor Goldmann, setting completely new standards in 1933.

The world's first manual perimeter – 1945

With the world’s first manual perimeter—also developed together with Professor Goldmann—we established a completely new discipline in the field of ophthalmology in 1945.

Adaptometer – 1952

In its perfected form according to Goldmann and Weekers, the adaptometer replaced individual instruments that were previously necessary to test the adaptability of the eye in reduced lighting. 

Applanation tonometer – 1957

Through Professor Goldmann’s research into the green star, the applanation tonometer, which was used to measure intraocular pressure for the first time, was launched in 1957.

Ceiling microscope – 1963

The world’s first ceiling microscope, developed in 1963, could be controlled with the feet using a special operating chair. This freed up the surgeon’s hands for the operations.

1974 – today

Continuous development thanks to new technologies

The automation of the perimeter by Professor Franz Fankhauser marks the beginning of the era in which we evolved our purely mechanical ophthalmic devices into real solutions through new technologies. With our virtual reality simulators, for example, we completely revolutionized the training and education of ophthalmologists. In the future, we will be focusing even more on digitalization, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality to further simplify, optimize, and integrate the workflows of ophthalmologists.

Automatic perimeter – 1974

In 1974, Professor Fankhauser, Goldmann’s former assistant, succeeded in developing the first automated, static perimeter.

Virtual reality training simulator – 2001

In 2001, we introduced the first virtual reality training simulator for ophthalmic surgery.

EyeSuite software – 2008

In 2008, we introduced our EyeSuite software: an intuitive "control center" which allows the seamless connectivity of all Haag-Streit diagnostic devices.

Lenstar 900 – 2008

In 2008, we also saw the development of the Lenstar 900, the first biometer which not only measures every section of the eye, but also the thickness of the eye lens.

Biometer with myopia management system – 2021

With the Lenstar Myopia, we launched a state-of-the-art myopia management system that can predict the course of myopia in children.

Biometer with modern OCT system and the technologies of the future

The Eyestar 900 is equipped with one of the most advanced OCT systems available and is subject to continuous development. In 2022, we added the anterior chamber suite to the Eyestar 900. New future-oriented technologies are being used now.