mens : 1960s : k5446
product code : k5446 : £ 695

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  • If you are a Persol by Ratti collector, the 1960s are where it's at for

    style and for rarity. And this design is rare. In Turin, Italy in 1938,

    Giuseppe Ratti launched 'Persol' after establishing his name with

    protective goggles for aviators and drivers - for which he then started

    using brown crystal glass sun lenses that he and a German scientist

    had perfected in the 20's. For fit, Ratti and team came up with with

    Meflecto in the late 30's, a system of inserting cylinders and a metal

    strap into acetate arms for flexibility and hug, and at the end of WW2,

    their feature patented Silver Arrow - a brass interior hinge with a silver

    exterior, for strengthening the frame, and for decoration. Persol sun-

    glasses were introduced to the American market in 1962 and this was

    probably the start of their stellar journey: from NASA to stars like

    McQueen and his friend Bruce Lee, via Sean Connery. But they must

    credit Mastroianni, who wore them first in the movie La Dolce Vita (1960).

    Fellini used Persol eyewear for many of his characters. This international

    breakthrough movie made sunglasses the ultimate fashion accessory

    shared by men AND women, and it was also a world showcase for master

    designer Ratti, who died suddenly just five years later. Mastroianni's sun-

    glasses are an aviator style but have the same slimmer arms as this pair.

    The 649/714 made famous by Steve McQueen in 1968 also has these

    arms with Meflecto. The front is somewhat similar to the well-known 6602

    upswept shape, but with a flatter brow, that curves and extends out,

    thickening to chunky sides underneath those Arrows. The heft of the

    acetate at the sides is the joy of this Sixties design, and other exceptional

    elements are its angularity and deeper bridge with a small, flared lower

    section. It's also in black. We have never seen this design - it was probably

    sold through DSM Optico as that is stamped on the frame with Persol and

    Ratti. However we believe they date from around 1964 as they were Sean

    Connery's personal choice of frame
    when he was relaxing on location during

    the filming that year of the third Bond film, Goldfinger. Here he is with

    Tania Mallet who played Tilly Masterson
    . She looks to be wearing Ray-Ban's

    Vagabond. From memory, Bond doesn't wear sunglasses in the Swiss

    scenes and perhaps an Italian pair of sunglasses wouldn't have been for

    Bond, but style icon Connery thought them worthy enough. We did have

    to change the lenses as they were too worn, and this loved 50 plus year

    old Persol is also showing wear to the silvered arrow and sword hinges,

    where the brass shows through. However, this is a very special and possibly

    unique Persol that is just the ultimate in Sixties sunglasses from one of the

    great European makers. And the choice of one of the most stylish male

    movie stars of all time.

                                                                      — klasik