Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses

photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLC
Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi) wearing a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses in Licence To Kill
photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLC

photo © Ray-Ban
A modern pair of Ray-Ban 2140 Wayfarer sunglasses, very similar to the 1980s Wayfarer model
photo © Ray-Ban

photos © Shades 2 Go
The 1980s Ray-Ban Wayfarer was made by Bausch & Lomb and has B&L RAY-BAN USA inscription on the inside of the temple. The Wayfarer II is the larger model of the Wayfarer.
photos © Shades 2 Go

Bond villain Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi) wears a pair of black Ray-Ban Wayfarer II sunglasses in the movie Licence To Kill (1989). The glasses can be seen when Sanchez gets in his helicopter to leave from his villa to the Olimpatec Meditation Institute, and again when he arrives there. The Wayfarer was an extremely popular Ray-Ban frame in the 1980s.

The story of the Wayfarer dates back to 1952 when the frame was designed. After being very successful in the 1950s and 1960s, the Wayfarers sales declined to around 18,000 pairs in 1981. In 1982, Ray-Ban signed a $50,000-a-year deal with Unique Product Placement of Burbank, California, to place Ray-Ban sunglasesses in movies and television shows. Between 1982 and 1987, Ray-Ban sunglasses appeared in over 60 movies and television shows per year. Tom Cruise's wearing of Wayfarers in the 1983 movie Risky Business marked the beginning of a true Wayfarer revival: 360,000 pairs were sold that year. By 1986, after appearances in Miami Vice, Moonlighting and The Breakfast Club, sales had reached 1.5 million. Wayfarers also were very popular among musicians, including Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Madonna and Elvis Costello and many other celebrities.

In the 1980s, Ray-Ban was owned by Bausch & Lomb, but in 1999 the brand was sold to the Luxottica Group. The Bausch & Lomb produced Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses are marked "B&L RAY-BAN USA" inside the temples, and WAYFARER or WAYFARER II. The model in the Bond film looks like the Wayfarer II (which is the slightly larger model), but since many different models existed already in 1989, it is impossible to say the exact type and model without seeing the original pair of sunglasses used in the film.

The frame in the film has the Ray-Ban logo on the side of the temples. Many vintage Wayfarers have metal studs on the side instead of he logo and front of the frame. The current Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer 2140 model (which is the most similar to the old model) does have the Ray-Ban logo on the sides, like in the film, but the new version also has a Ray-Ban logo on the lens, something that the vintage Ray-Bans didn't have.

The Wayfarer model has changed shape over time, and the current model is slightly different from the 1980s model, which in turn was slightly different from the 1950s models. The current Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer 2140 modelnumber probably comes closest to the model in the film. If you are getting these shades for yourself, make sure to pick the right model, as the frame is available in different sizes as well as in a polarized and non-polarized version. The Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer 2140 is available at every official Ray-Ban retailer, or online on Ray-Ban.com ($150), Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and FramesDirect ($122).

If you're looking for original vintage 1980s Wayfarer sunglasses, you can look on eBay, but beware of fake sunglasses and make sure to buy from trusted sources with high ratings. A very reliable place for vintage shades is Vintage-Sunglasses.de, a company specialised in never-worn vintage sunglasses, for example this pair of black Ray-Ban Wayfarer II.

Product Code: 
vi012

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