ray-ban : k5454
product code : k5454 : £ 285
  • 1960's black plastic frame marked B&L RAY-BAN USA
    and BALORAMA

  • Original B&L G15 (grey/green) mineral glass sun lenses

condition

size

lens spec

other info
  • The combination of rarity and style makes the Balorama,

    along with the Caribbean, the most collectible of the acetate-

    frame 60's Ray-Bans. It was launched in 1964 (shown with

    the pale G31 lens) and was described as a, "...triumph in full

    wrap-around that seems to imply an expensive sports car in

    the background.
    " A few years later it was made famous by

    Clint Eastwood in his role as Dirty Harry (1971) - and note that

    black is the colour frame chosen for the character Dirty 'Harry

    Callahan'. Eastwood and the film lifted the sunglasses into that

    overused *icon* bracket but what also sealed it was the design

    - the Balorama is the epitome of a cool Sixties wrap, that's sporty

    but also solid, lean and urban. The curved nine-base glass lenses

    enhance the shape, which also suits many faces. Here they are in

    a 1966 catalogue shown with the G15 lenses. At $18.00 they were

    twice the price of Wayfarers in 1964, making them that much rarer

    to find today. In the 1980's Bausch & Lomb went to their archive

    and remade some of their classic designs, but the remakes do not

    match up to the Sixties originals. The originals have thicker acetate

    frames and of course the lenses have none of the later additions like

    etching or the white, scripted brand. In 1999, Luxottica Italy took over

    Ray-Ban and the name goes on - but for the vintage sunglasses collector,

    only the originals will do. Look at how Eastwood strolled about the set in

    sunny San Francisco to know why.

                                                                      — klasik