For almost a century the Persol brand has been renowned for its artistry. Persol intertwines top notch craftsmanship and quality with timeless aesthetics producing true works of art, as recently celebrated in the Persol Design Exhibition at the Whitney museum.
I have been a long time collector of Persols from the early, mid, and late Ratti pieces to the current models. After receiving an invitation and attending the opening of Persol’s exhibition, I was inspired to write about, not only my two favorite Persol sunglasses, but perhaps my two all time favorite sunglasses: Persol 649S and Persol 714.
The persol 649S, created in 1950’s to protect tram drivers from the elements, became instant legend when Marcello Mastroianni wore them in the 1961 Pietro Germi film “Divorce Italian style”.
1994’s French book “qualita: scenes d’objects a l’italienne” declared the Persol 649 one of the objects most representative of the Italian genius of yesterday and today.
Perhaps the most sought after and collected pair of sunglasses in history!
With the same classic shape as the 649 S model came the 714, with one enhancement: a frame design which folded, adding the perfect cool factor. Given legendary status by the iconic man’s man who once said “I live for myself and account to no one”, “The King of Cool”, the late Steve McQueen. Worn by McQueen both off screen and on screen in movies such as “The Thomas Crown Affair” and the “The Getaway”.
Sunglasses Collector’s have long sought after the frame, as the Persol 714 had gone out of production. When it was re-released in late 2007 we had them months before they hit the states.
Persol 714 and 649 with Custom Blue Lenses
Definitely the most noted Persol 714 worn by McQueen was with custom tinted blue lenses; which made a special guest appearance in the film “The Thomas Crown Affair”.
A similar pair from Mcqueen’s own personal collection was auctioned off in 2006 for a staggering $70,200.
To pay tribute we have been customizing the blue lens model for many years. So as soon as the re-release arrived we couldn’t wait to start remaking our Eyegoodies exclusive Thomas Crown Edition. The top quality French optical lenses manufactured by Essilor are custom tinted to the perfect shade of blue (offered in both the Persol 714 and 649 models):
This is truly a classic with timeless styling, distinct from all the look-a-like sunglasses made today, a definite head turner, and a piece that has a place in all sunglass collections.
Persol sunglasses are far from your typical sunglasses, they are the epitome of style and craftsmanship, as seen in the Persol 649 and 714. Owning a pair of these legendary shades is owning a piece of history. Adorning the faces of your favorite stars such as Steve McQueen, Cary Grant, Marcello Mastroianni, and list continues today.
Unfortunately it is rumored that the 714 will be removed from production, so act now while you have the chance.