Vanity’s latest trick gives new meaning to the phrase, ‘twinkle in your eye.’ La Ser, an innovative service run by Dr Chandrashekhar Chawan, offers the well heeled a chance to, literally, wear gold and diamonds on their cosmetic contact lenses. The limited edition pieces have real precious metals and stones embedded in them, and come at a heart-stopping cost of Rs 7 lakh for a pair. "Women love wearing diamonds wherever possible," explains Chawan. "My wife was recently getting a diamond embedded in her tooth, which is when the idea struck me that I could do something similar with contact lenses."
Chawan uses scleral lenses, which are wider than other varieties. When worn, they remain at a distance of about 120 microns from the cornea. These are traditionally used to treat patients with dry eyes, Stevens Johnson Syndrome and keratoconus.
"To put the diamonds in, I increased the distance to about 500 microns, and used a stone of about 3 mm. It doesn’t touch the eyelid or the cornea, so it’s absolutely comfortable," explains Chawan, who has patented the new technology. Ask him whether the strangely placed bling attracts negative response and he says, "Some people do think it looks weird, but I’ve got great response from people in show business. The First Lady of Abu Dhabi has invited me to a conference in the Gulf, which will be attended by wives of premieres and army chiefs. I am expecting good business from there."
Being fairly elaborate in nature, the lenses take about a month to make, and are then personally delivered to the buyer anywhere in the world by someone from Chawan’s team. "We take it to their doorstep," he reveals, adding, "We also customise them, using emeralds instead of diamonds for instance, and teach the buyer how to wear it."
And if you thought this indulgence had no heart, Chawan makes sure every pair of super-luxury lenses helps a needy patient somewhere. "Funds from the sale of this jewellery will go towards treating a Steven Johnson Syndrome patient for free, whereas the treatment would otherwise cost almost Rs 3.6 lakh."