Vintage Ray Ban Expert

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by musehead, May 12, 2013.

  1. Markoil

    Markoil New Member

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    Hi Musehead,

    Wonder if you might be able to help me:
    I own an original B&L Ray-Ban, model The General, made in 1987. One lens is broken. They are RB-50 Lenses, 62 mm. Do you know where I might be able to find replacement lenses?
    Thanks for any help/suggestion.

    Markoil
     


  2. gamingdave

    gamingdave Member

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    Hi, new member here. Read the whole thread over the last few days and there is some cracking info in here, so huge thanks to all the regular contributors.

    I recently lost the only pair of sunglasses I ever found suited me, some gold Caravan Ultra P3+. The lenses were excellent in all conditions, the glasses were light weight and yet still very solid. They were released some time ago as a limited edition, but are still on sale. I was going to replace them outright, but they are not cheap, £330 here in the UK! Its the gold version of these: http://www.ray-ban.com/uk/sunglasses/0RB8034K-caravan ultra-silver/805289293439

    This got me looking on eBay, which led me to vintage. As a watch collector (nearly all vintage) I avoid eBay because of so many fakes/frankens, and even with a built up knowledge over years of research I prefer to buy and sell to other collectors I know and trust on specialised forums. Looking for a community of collectors and hunting for info I found this thread, and so here I am.

    Unlike the rest of you collecting mainly Aviators, my hunt is now for some nice vintage Caravans. Maybe I will end up with just a couple of pairs, or fall into another collecting trap, but I want to be sure I am getting legit glasses, and not paying unnecessarily over the odds.

    I'm particularly keen on the Ambermatic, Fantasees, Diamond and some specifically for driving, though not all to start with. I prefer gold frames and warmer hues.

    I have a few questions if I may.

    When it comes to the older (non polarised) B&L lenses, how do they compare at reducing glare to the polarised lenses of today. Do any of you own both vintage and modern to give a comparison?

    It seems eBay is the go to place, and I now know a lot of the things to look out for, and assume all the comments regarding etched lenses, product codes (or lack of) and bridge stamping still stand across the product range. But am asking the experts if you have any eBay traders you specifically trust, or indeed avoid? There were some names mentioned early on in this thread of people to avoid, but I am confused how a couple of them have 100% positive feedback from thousands of sales.

    What traditional retailers are trusted and how much do they averagely mark up?

    Other than here, are there other collectors forums, or threads worth reading?

    Thanks in advance, looking forward to learning more and hopefully sharing some new arrivals with you all soon.

    Cheers

    Dave
     


  3. oosterling

    oosterling Senior member

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    @Markoil Hi, welcome. Bad luck breaking one of those! Theyre rare, and rarely come frame-less. At least i didnt see any come by, but im not checking the Asia nor American market for that...
    Consistently i just a pair myself.. [​IMG]

    but maybe, with patience, the right budget, and some luck.. or try to find a donor pair, with good lenses and bad frame [​IMG]

    good luck
     


  4. oosterling

    oosterling Senior member

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    @gamingdave Welcome, by finding this tread on the forum indeed you came to the right place to find some Ray Ban nerds [​IMG], mostly vintage obviously

    my interested is aviators. dont own any Luxotticas so ive no clue regarding the polarized lenses. Maybe @mmafia1 can enlighten us her!?

    Fantasees i can recommended, but they are even rarer in caravans then aviators. I might know a pair, but big bucks.
    Ambermatics i still miss, strangly. i own 15 different type of lenses but no ambermatics.... [​IMG]
    i can recommend chromax lenses for driving, very comfortable. not sure they come in caravans..

    i dont have particular prefered addresses on ebay. I could tell you some big sellers im staying away from....

    good luck hunting.


     


  5. badbeats

    badbeats New Member

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    Hi all,
    Quick question,
    Can anyone help me ID these.
    Other than the B&L Ray ban USA on the right temple there isn't any other marking.
    I have a picture of Hunter Thompson wearing a neary identical pair but other than that I have nothing to go on.
    Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

    -Mark

    [​IMG][/IMG]
     


  6. badbeats

    badbeats New Member

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  7. Hilario24

    Hilario24 New Member

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    Hello everyone!

    I have an old pair of Ray Bans that I want to know more about but really haven't had much luck researching on my own. Any help you all can provide would be greatly appreciated!

    They're fairly heavy and have a drastic slant. There's a BL symbol on the left lens (looking out). On the right arm "B&L RAY-BAN USA" is etched. On the left it says "WAYFARER". On the face side of the frame above the right lens is "B&L 5022". I've found similar glasses that are called "Ebony & Pearl" but they all have the cursive "Ray-Ban" symbol on the outer sides, whiles this pair just has the metal dash.

    Anyone have any idea what year these could be from?

    Thanks so much!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     


  8. oosterling

    oosterling Senior member

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  9. Hilario24

    Hilario24 New Member

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    @oosterling They're very similar, but the ones you linked to say "WAYFARER II" and have the metal "Ray-Ban" tags on the outside.

    Mine just say "WAYFARER" and only have metal dashes on the side — not the cursive "ray ban".

    Do you know if these are important distinguishers?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2015


  10. Don Arif

    Don Arif Active Member

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    Hi Hilario24


    "5022" is engraved on the inside of the front frame. This number means their size; the lens width is 50mm and the bridge is 22mm.

    # Ray-Ban silver logos on both temples. The WAYFARER with Ray-Ban silver logos was made in 1990s and the one without the logos was made in 1980s.

    [​IMG]


    R,
    don
     


  11. mmafia1

    mmafia1 Senior member

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    Hi Dave,

    Welcome to the board, I own both Bausch and Lomb and Luxottica...

    That's a shame about your ultras, I own all the aviator Ultra models and would be gutted if I lost them, just because of the price! I do quite often see the caravans go on ebay though if you are looking to replace them.

    Polarised vs non polarised is quite a different thing, though to be honest I really rate bausch and lomb lenses, they are very good, and compared to Luxottica ones, they have a lot more variety. Not so much in the caravans but there are still a good few choices.

    The standard things are there to look for on all models, etching, stamps etc not quite as many caravans are faked so they should be pretty easy to tell. Ebay is always the best bet, just mainly for price. There are a few retailers around but not many in the UK, where are you based?

    Jack
     


  12. mmafia1

    mmafia1 Senior member

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    Wayfarer vs Wayfarer II is just a size difference, yours are the smaller 50mm size. The Ray Ban on the side just came in on the newer models in the Street Neat range, yours are a little older.

    Jack
     


  13. Degenton

    Degenton New Member

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    Hi Musehead,

    I have a pair of Bausch&Lomb Ray Ban 'Wings' sunglasses that used to be my late grandfather's (WWII vet, pilot). Has 'B&L RAYBAN USA' engraved behind the center, vertical frame just above the nose and 'US PAT DES 273.794' on the right ear piece. Gold frame, one-piece brown lens with 'WINGS Bausch & Lomb' in white on the top left of lens.

    They were definitely used frequently, evident from the scratches on the lens. Is it possible to have the lens replaced? What do you suggest be done in order to overcome the scratches?
     


  14. gamingdave

    gamingdave Member

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    Thanks for the welcome. I've not found any Chromax Caravans yet, perhaps they didn't make them. Wayfarers might have to be on the cards.

    The Fantasees partly appeal just because the tech is so smart. Love the idea of a pair suited to both summer and winter sun. Am I right though in thinking they wouldn't darken in a car with modern UV filtering windscreens?

    Thanks also Jack for the welcome. I've seen plenty of pairs of the Ultra Caravans on eBay but most of them are around the £100 mark, less than a third of the retail price, so am assuming the are fake.

    I appreciate it's hard to quantify, but in terms of comfort when looking towards the sun, how do the B&L lenses compare to those in our Ultras?

    How are they for driving? I found the Ultras superb for that, cutting glare right down and I could drive for hours with no eye fatigue.

    Whilst variety is good, I would rather have a few pairs with excellent lenses than a box full with only adequate ones. I know the joy of building a collection, that the research and chase is all part of a hobby, but my aim at the moment is to find something to replace the lost Ultras. If another pair of the same is what's called for then so be it, but I would definitely like to explore the world of vintage.

    I'm based in the North East of England, but do occasionally travel to London for work.
     


  15. mmafia1

    mmafia1 Senior member

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    To be honest mate they don't make many fake ultras, there is too much detail to them and especially in the caravans as they aren't as popular so the majority on eBay will be real.

    It's really difficult to compare the two lenses really... For driving, you can't beat chromax, which as you mentioned they didn't do in the caravans. And yeah the fantasees won't really darken through a car windscreen.
    If I'm driving I will typically use chromax, or if I can't I go for a B15 brown lens as they work best. I've never had a problem with any Bausch and Lomb lenses. Obviously the ultras are polarised and not many Bausch and Lomb ones are so it is difficult to compare.

    Ok, you're the wrong way from me! Trying to work out if I could give you a trial of some lenses! I'm over in Norfolk though. Let me have a think.

    Jack
     


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