Persol is Stuff that Works

Persol is Stuff that Works

By John Jantsch

This is a new Sunday series that I’m calling Stuff that Works. Each Sunday I’ll pick an item that is for me a foundation element in my line up of stuff that matters or as legendary Texas singer songwriter Guy Clark put it – “The kind of stuff you reach for when you fall.”

Steve McQueen's blue tinted lens Persols in Thomas Crown Affair

Persol is a brand of Italian made sunglasses that hit the big time due in part to Steve McQueens penchant for wearing them in movies like the 1960’s Thomas Crown Affair. You’ll also see them on Danial Craig’s portrayal of James Bond.

I’ve owned a pair of Tortoise Persol Ratti 69102 for years and I just love wearing them. On top of the fact that they are clearly stylish, I’ve never put on another pair with lenses like this.

You can spot a pair of Persols by the signature silver arrow detail in the hinge. The other distinction from a technical standpoint is the hinged temple technology that is one of the reason they fit like no other.

The Persol brand is not nearly as well known as the more popular Ray Ban, but the quality of a pair of handmade vintage Persols is unmatched. The company was purchased by Luxottica – the same company that owns and, in some views, wrecked Oakley and Ray Ban. Many of the glasses are now made in China – so your best bet to find a hand made Italian pair might be to troll eBay or find a good eyewear shop that carries some vintage stock like Silver Lining Opticians in New York.


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