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Optik - Sunglasses

 

Vuarnet Nautilux
5000m above Soviet Central Asia

 

Between the turn of the century and the Great War, sunglasses were rare. The Captain Bigglesworth character in the classic W.E. Johns Biggles Wikipedia - novels mentions that Biggles would sometimes scan the area of sky around the Sun. by looking through the fingers of his fur-gloved hands. Sir Ronald Storrs Wikipedia - in his superb memoir Orientations mentions that on one of his travels across the desert from Kuwait to the interior of Arabia he tried the new tinted glasses which he deemed a great help.

Sunglasses are essential wear when traveling across lying snow, for the reflected rays of the Sun. burn the retina of the eye, even on overcast days. One's eyes burn painfully and stream all the next day. Before the advent of glasses and goggles polar explorers and mountaineers used metal goggles perforated with tiny slits, which cut down the flow of light and were surprisingly effective.

Tinted glass lenses arrived by World War II and Aviators of all sides began to use them. The far from camera-shy General MacArthur Wikipedia - made them popular by appearing never to be without them.

In the Sixties there were big advances in coating technologies which allowed sunglasses to filter out harmful areas of the spectrum and allow in more light.

 

 

 

LUFTWAFFE PILOTS SUNGLASSES

LUFTWAFFE OPTAL

Luftwaffe Optal sunglasses
Luftwaffe Optal sunglasses

Luftwaffe Optal sunglasses
Luftwaffe Optal sunglasses

Luftwaffe Optal sunglasses
Luftwaffe Optal sunglasses

 

Luftwaffe fighter pilot sunglasses

Luftwaffe Optalux sunglasses

Luftwaffe Optalux

Luftwaffe Optalux sunglasses

 

 

LUFTWAFFE OPTALUX

Luftwaffe Optalux sunglasses
Luftwaffe Optalux sunglasses

 

Luftwaffe Optalux sunglasses
Luftwaffe Optalux sunglasses

 

Luftwaffe Optalux sunglasses
Luftwaffe Optalux sunglasses

 

HEER GEBIRGSJAGER SUNGLASSES

Heer Gebirgsjager sunglasses
Heer Gebirgsjager sunglasses

 

Heer Gebirgsjager sunglasses
Heer Gebirgsjager sunglasses

 

Heer Gebirgsjager sunglasses
Heer Gebirgsjager sunglasses

 

Heer Gebirgsjager sunglasses
Heer Gebirgsjager sunglasses

 

HEER GEBIRGSJAGER GOGGLES

Heer Gebirgsjager goggles showing container
Heer Gebirgsjager goggles showing container. The Austrian Army issue exactly the same pattern with up-to-date modern lenses. I would use these if you are going to use them in earnest. The advances in lens technology are worth having.

 

Heer Gebirgsjager goggles
The Alpine goggles were ubiquitous in Alpinism between the wars. One of the big manufacturers of ski-related sunglasses (I think it was Oakley) made replicas of these using modern lenses and a wider leather strap, which were superb replacements.

 

Heer Gebirgsjager mountaineering goggles
A second type of container, with another pair of mountaineering goggles

Heer Gebirgsjager mountaineering goggles

 

 

HEER GLASSES CASE

Dienst Brille glasses case
Dienst Brille glasses case

 

 

 

 

PERSOL

The Persol Model 649


Steve McQueen's Wikipedia - Link - use of Persol Wikipedia - Link - Persol Sunglasses Model 649 folding sunglasses brought the Persol Brand and the Model 649 international prominence.

Persol is an Italian manufacturer based in Torino and began life in the 1920s making sunglasses for Italian Aviators and goggles for racing car drivers like FangioWikipedia - . McQueen's use of them while driving his sports cars and racing cars made the Persol brand and the Model 649 particularly favored by drivers of Sports Cars.

 

Steve McQueen wearing Persol Model 649
Steve McQueen on set in front of an Arriflex Wikipedia - .

McQueen wore the Persol model 649 in several of his movies and during his own participation in motorcycle racing and driving sports cars. McQueen owned many pairs of Persols and had sunglasses made or modified to his own specifications by Dennis Roberts Link - Dennis Roberts supplies Glasses to Movie Projects owner of the famous Optique Boutique in Hollywood.

 

- Dennis Roberts Link - Dennis Roberts supplies Glasses to Movie Projects designed and manufactured many pairs of sunglasses for use in motion pictures and for use by prominent individuals such as Elvis Presley.

- Dennis Roberts' role in supplying eyewear to the film Blade Runner (1981) Link - Dennis Roberts supplies Glasses to Movie Projects.

- McQueen Online on McQueen's Sunglasses Link - Persol

- Esquire article on the Persol 714 Link - Esquire on Person 714

 

Steve McQueen owned many pairs of Persol Sunglasses and pairs of custom sunglasses by Dennis Roberts and so great care is required when identifying exactly which type of sunglasses Steve McQueen is wearing in both in his movies and in photographs of him off-set.

Steve McQueen wearing Persol Model 649

 

Steve McQueen wearing Persol Model 649

 

Steve McQueen wearing Persol Model 649
Steve McQueen's Rolex Submariner. The Rolex Submariner has undergone a process of continual subtle change over its lifetime of production. Some Submariners may be dated from visible details but others must be dated from their serial number.

 

Steve McQueen wearing Persol Model 649

Steve McQueen wearing Persol Model 649
In the above photograph, a pair of Persol model 649 Sunglasses owned by Steve McQueen and auctioned by his estate. Some of Steve McQueen's possessions have been auctioned in the last decade but his motorcycle collection was auctioned immediately after his death.

Persol Sunglasses on Steve McQueen - The Thomas Crown Affaire

 

Steve McQueen's Persol

 

Persol 714

 

Persol 649

Persol 649

Persol 649

Persol 649

Persol 649

Persol 649

Persol 649

Persol 649

 

Persol Advertizement

 

 

 

Pinewood Studios
In the above photograph, Sean Connery and Honor Blackman on the set of Goldfinger (1964) at Pinewood Studios 1964.

Istanbul: Sean Connery wearing a Trilby and sunglasses
Sean Connery in Istanbul, filming From Russia with Love (1963).

Thunderball (1965) - Bond confronts Domino with evidence of Largo's crime. Connery wears Ray-Ban Wayfarers
Thunderball (1965) 01:35:56

 

 

Matrimonio All'Italiana, Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni
Marcello Mastroianni in Matrimonio All'Italiana (1964), sunglasses and cigarette holder.

Matrimonio All'Italiana, Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni

 

Le Mans 1967, Umberto Agnelli in the Ferrari pits
Umberto Agnelli Wikipedia - , who looks like he is appearing in a movie, in the Ferrari pits, Le Mans 1967.

Mario Andretti at Sebring 1966
Mario Andretti at Sebring in 1966

1961 Cuban Missile Crisis: John F. Kennedy and General Curtis LeMay
1961 Cuban Missile Crisis: John F. Kennedy and General Curtis LeMay

 

 

JFK visits NASA
J.F.K. visits N.A.S.A.

 

 

1964 MAY 28: Werner von Braun wearing sunglasses in front of SA6
1964 MAY 28: Werner von Braun in front of SA6

 

 

 

Rossano Brazzi driving a Lamborghini Miura wearing sunglasses and smoking a cigarette
Stalwart of Italian cinema Rossano Brazzi Wikipedia - Rossano Brazzi driving a Lamborghini Miura in The Italian Job (1969).

 

 

 

+ RAY-BAN

 

As well as the excellent and ubiquitous Wayfarer frame, Ray-ban manufacture a pair of glacier spectacles which are an acceptable substitute for the Vuarnet glacier spectacles.

Easy Rider
Peter Fonda in Easy Rider

Easy Rider
Ray-Ban Olympian De-Luxe

Peter Fonda wearing RayBan Olympia de-luxe

Easy Rider

Easy Rider

Easy Rider

Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider

Easy Rider

Hunter S. Thompson in evening dress, wearing sunglasses
Hunter s. Thompson

 

Apocalypse Now: Chef on the PBR
Apocalypse Now : Chef on the PBR

 

Jean-Claude Killy in Aspen 1968
Jean-Claude Killy at Aspen 1968

 

Paul Newman wearing sunglasses while skiing

 

Downhill Racer (1969)
Robert Redford in Downhill Racer (1969)

 

Downhill Racer (1969)
00:48:52

 

Downhill Racer (1969)
00:51:32

 

Downhill Racer (1969) Robert Redford in sunglasses

Downhill Racer (1969): Robert Redford and Camilla Sparv

 

 

 

 

Vuarnet Logo

+ VUARNET

- Vuarnet at Vintage-Sunglasses Link - Vuarnet at Vintage-Sunglasses

Vuarnet manufactured several lenses, notably the Skilynx, Unilynx and Polarlynx. Their most famous sunglasses are the "cateye" frames which were synonymous with skiing thanks to the promotion of Jean Vuarnet the French Olympic skier.

 

Jean Vuarnet features in an advertizment for Vaurnet sunglasses for the 1984 LA Olympics

 

- Vuarnet Ski-Lynx VS292 Link - Skilynx - Vintage-Sunglasses - Feature curved ear stems which wrap around your ears to ensure that the glasses do not come loose if the action becomes rough. Leather eye cups prevent ingress of reflected light off the snow. Some issues feature a leather nose piece to absorb the sweat and prevent the frames from moving around. The lenses were Vuarnet Skilynx silver mirrored. This overall design of spectacle is frequently referred to as 'glacier spectacles'. Bolle used to make a model of glacier spectacle also.

As of 2015 it looks like the Vuarnet brand is making something of a come-back after been selected for use by no-less-than James Bond himself for use in Spectre (2015). No doubt this is entirely because of they are the skiing sunglasses of choice for Mitteleuropa. Bond wears the re-issued Vuarnet Glacier spectacles as he exits the mountain-top clinic above Solden, in pursuit of SPECTRE henchmen who have kidnapped the woman who is Bond's only lead to the SPECTRE organisation. Congratulations to EON Productions on an inspired choice of wardrobe for Mr Bond. You saw it here first.

Spectre 2015 Daniel Craig as James Bond at Solden, Austria, wearing Vuarnet Glacier sunglasses
SPECTRE (2015): Daniel Craig as James Bond at Solden, Austria, wearing Vuarnet Glacier sunglasses

 

+ BOLLÉ Link - Bolle

 

- Vuarnet "Cateye" Unilynx

 

Vaurnet "Cateye" Sunglasses with Unilynx lens
Marked with the Pouilloux symbol and VUARNET on the outside left hand stem

Vaurnet "Cateye" Sunglasses with Unilynx lens

Vaurnet "Cateye" Sunglasses with Unilynx lens
Marked "FRANCE" "002 CE" on the inside of the right hand stem

Vaurnet "Cateye" Sunglasses with Unilynx lens
Marked with the Pouilloux symbol on the outside of the right hand stem

Vaurnet "Cateye" Sunglasses with Unilynx lens
On the inside of the left hand stem marked "POUILLOUX"

 

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Comparison of naked eye and Vuarnet Unilynx lens
Comparison of naked eye in the upper photograph and a Vuarnet Unilynx lens in the lower photograph.

 

The comparison is very difficult to make because the (digital) camera has a color balance of its own, like any camera. The lower photograph does show the famous Vuarnet 'look' which wearers experience. However, when actually wearing the Vuarnet with the Unilynx lens, the effect is perceived differently. This is partly because they eye most close down its iris in order to view the unshaded (top) scene, and when shaded by the Vuarnets, is able to open up more. The Unilynx lens renders greens like grass and trees as a strong 'Fujicolor' green, which does not come out in this image. It is as strong as the blue in the top (unshaded) image.

 

Vuarnet Unilynx Box

 

Vuarnet Unilynx Box

 

Vuarnet Unilynx Box

Vuarnet slip case 1980s

Vuarnet Cateye suede case
Vuarnet Cateye suede case

Vuarnet Cateye sunglasses showing retaining straps
Two different types of retaining straps for sunglasses: The black strap is a length of thin wetsuit neoprene which has been sewn into a thin tube at both ends to permit the insertion of the frame. The blue and yellow strap is a thin tube of rubber which has had a tubular float threaded over it to ensure your glasses float if they drop in the water.

Vaurnet Nautilux ocean racing sunglasses

Vuarnet Glacier sunglasses
Vuarnet Glacier Sunglasses showing the star symbol of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics

Vuarnet glacier sunglasses

Vuarnet glacier sunglasses

Vuarnet glacier spectacles

Vuarnet glacier spectacles

Vuarnet glacier spectacles

1970s glacier spectacles
1970s glacier spectacles

- See also Cebe 0495 Walter Cecchinel glacier glasses http://www.vintagesunglassesshop.com/item_vs2570.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

1980s

Predator (1987)
Jesse Ventura as Blain prepares to alight from the Huey in Predator (1987) at Puerto Vallarta

 

 

 

 

2000s

 

The Expendables (2010)
Sylvester Stallone in The Expendables (2010). Barney Ross and Lee Christmas are posing as ornithologists.

The Expendables (2010)

 

 

Expendables 3 (2014)
Expendables 3 (2014): Sylvester Stallone wears tear-drop aviator sunglasses for the mission to Bucharest.

Expendables 3 (2014)
The Expendables line-up on the runway to persuade Barney Ross not to go alone.

 

Expendables 3 (2014)
Sylvester Stallone wears tear-drop aviator sunglasses as he prepares to take off on a lone mission

Expendables 3 (2014)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCHUTZBRILLE - GOGGLES Wikipedia - Schutzbrille

 

Alfred Neubauer driving for Mercedes in the Targa Florio
Alfred Neubauer as a young man driving for Mercedes-Benz in the Targa-FlorioWikipedia - . Ferdinand PorscheWikipedia - stands resting his arm on the hood.

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MkVIII RAF goggles in The Italian Job
One of the chinless wonders wears RAF MkVIII split-lens goggles in The Italian Job (1968). MkVIII goggles were introduced half way through the war and were so popular that they have remained in production by several companies to this day.

Ju 52 Cockpit
Where Eagles Dare (1968): The pilot of the Ju 52 wears RAF C type helmet (Bakelite ear pieces) and Mk VIII goggles. The battle of Britain was fought with B-type helmet and the previous Mk of wrap-around goggles.

 

Werfen Bahnhof - The English agents arrive
Where Eagles Dare (1968):

 

-
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in Monte Carlo or Bust (1969)

 

 

Military Goggles
In the above photograph, various wartime and pre-war goggles from a number of nations.

 

In the above photograph top to bottom:

Soviet 1940s design. Much of Soviet design was a copy of Allied or German equipment. Soviet cockpit interiors were all Luftwaffe pattern, down to the plugs and connectors. These particular goggles would have been made in perhaps the Sixties. They are glass and not acrylic or perspex. The Soviets were slow to gain plastics technology.

Soviet 1970s Tanker Goggles: Two rubber halves with perspex lenses. Tankers need goggles to keep dust out of their eyes when traveling in formation across dry country. Desert manoeuvrers are almost impossible without them.

Italian 1930s: Pre-war automobile racing goggles by Ratti Link - Persol Sunglasses, makers of the Persol sunglasses favored by Steve McQueen. There are many pit-lane photographs of inter-war Grand Prix drivers which help in identifying motor racing goggles.

Luftwaffe 1930s: Width adjustment is via a small screw and lever between the two lenses.

Italian 1930s: Made by Ratti Link - Persol Sunglasses of Torino, but unmarked.

1940s R.A.F. MkVIII goggles: The classic aviator goggle with the split-lens. Produced too late for the Battle of Britain but remained in service until the advent of full-face helmets. Surplused after the war, racing car drivers, motorcyclists and aviators used them. So popular that they are still in production. You can find wartime MkVIII with both clear lenses and tinted lenses.

Luftwaffe googles inserts
Inserts for Luftwaffe aviators goggles.

 

 

Richard Seaman autographed photograph
Richard Seaman Wikipedia - Richard Seaman wears Luftwaffe pattern aviators goggles. He drove for Mercedes-Benz before the war and these would have been issued to him by the team.

 

Alfonso de Portago
Alfonso de Portago in the 1950s

1966 Le Mans, Bruce McLaren, Carol Shelby, Chris Amon
1966 Le Mans, Bruce McLaren, Carol Shelby, Chris Amon

Italy 1966, Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart
Italy 1966, Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart

Steve McQueen prepares for a race across the Mojave Desert 1963
Steve McQueen 1963

Steve McQueen smoking a cigarette whilst preparing for a motorcycle ride

 

Grenoble 1967: Jean-Claude Killy takes victory in the men's downhill
Grenoble 1967: Jean-Claude Killy takes victory in the men's downhill

1960s: Vic Elford  wearing goggles and helmet

 

 

 

 

+ BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

- The Killer Detail

 

 

 

+ SEE ALSO

 

 

+ EXTERNAL LINKS

- Link - Lunetier Vintage http://lunetiervintage.com/ - Vintage and rare sunglasses

- Link - Vintage Ray-ban site http://rayban-vintage.wifeo.com/ - Vintage Ray-Ban site

 

 

 

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