Welcome to our Top 5 James Bond Sunglasses post! How did we chose the top 5, you ask? It was a very rigorous scientific process that involved the following criteria:
- Bond looked really cool and/or did cool stuff while wearing them.
- We need different styles to work for different face shapes.
- These are the ones I like the most.
Just one quick comment before we begin. You’ll probably notice many of links below go to SmartBuyGlasses, FramesDirect or United Shades. None of them are sponsoring this post. But I do know them as reputable dealers of authentic eyewear (unlike some of the 3rd party vendors on Amazon or Ebay). And they usually have close to the best prices and ship to both the U.S. and UK. So those are the reasons. Now, let’s look at some James Bond sunglasses!
The Thunderball Black Sunglasses
The history behind Sean Connery’s Thunderball sunglasses gets a little convoluted. And you can follow along with most of it in the comments section of this BAMF Style article. For a while it seemed like the Oliver Goldsmith Consuls were the ones we were looking for. But for the last few years, the Polaroid Cool Rays N135 have been getting the vote. And they do look pretty darn close to what we see on-screen.
So why chose the Thunderball sunglasses for the Top 5? Well, Bond did wear them during one of his most “Bond” moments. Beach, beautiful woman, spear gun, dead bad guy, sarcastic quip. We all remember it. But aside from that, they also have a certain “retro cool” that isn’t too over-the-top and would look pretty darn stylish today.
Best Option for the Thunderball Sunglasses
Mason & Sons, masters of breathing new life into vintage James Bond designs, have done it again. The Seans are directly modeled on the sunglasses Bond wore in Thunderball. They’ve used a high quality Italian Mazzucchelli cellulose frame that has a black gloss coating over a Tortoise shell base to give them some character. Five barrel hinges and green lenses finish off the package. Basically, if you want screen accurate, these are the ones to get.
GANT GA7080 in Black: on sale for $92.00/£65.39
GANT offers a simple 52mm black frame with the two pins at the temples, paired with grey polycarbonate lenses. The GA7080s may be lacking the originals’ unique shape. But for those of you looking for a more straight forward design that still has some of the desired style details, these will help you get the look.
The slightly flatter and more angular shape of the New Wayfarer seems to work better than the classic model as match for the Thunderball glasses. Ray-Ban is one of the most famous sunglasses manufacturers on the planet. And the Wayfarer is one of their oldest and most famous designs. So I’m pretty sure these don’t need too much of an introduction.
By now it’s a well known fact that Daniel Craig’s Bond wore the Tom Ford Snowdons in the 52N Dark Havana color in SPECTRE. You can still get that color (but with Green Lenses) at United Shades for $182.50. But the style also works well as a match for the Thunderball shades. I’ve selected the “Black Tortoise” colorway above. I figure these will work well for Connery’s sunglasses and should also come close to the way Craig’s Snowdons looked onscreen. So two Bond-styles for the price of one!
The A View to a Kill Round Tortoise Shell Sunglasses
One of only two pairs of sunglasses Sir Roger Moore wore during his time as Bond. And this second pair from A View to a Kill is certainly the more conservative option. Equipped with a function that allows the wearer to see through tinted windows, the actual maker of the glasses has yet to be identified (or least that’s what my research tells me). Apart from their obviously large frame size, their most distinguishing feature is the prominent brow-bar.
When it comes to modern sunglasses that replicate this look, if you want to go with with a simpler round frame without the brow-bar there’s no shortage of options to choose from. But I’m going to stick with alternatives that fully embrace Sir Roger’s style!
Best Option for the A View to a Kill Sunglasses
Nike Kismet in Tortoise: on sale for $81.55/£64.90
A relatively inexpensive option from the famous running shoe brand that really captures the look of the originals. Other than the style, the main thing worth mentioning is the 54mm frame is made from Grilamid, a lightweight, hypoallergenic thermoplastic. And the size should look good on most guys’ faces.
Dragon DR Proflect Polar in Matte Tortoise: on sale for $136.00/£108.23
The style of the DR Proflects is obviously flatter across the top than we want. But if that doesn’t bother you too much, they’re a solid pair of glasses for the sale price. Dragon Alliance is apparently a pretty well-known brand for motocross and snowsport goggles. With this pair, they’ve used 6-base polarized polycarbonate lenses. So they’ve got a bit of technical backbone to them.
Salvatore Ferragamo SF 845S in Tortoise: on sale for $232.00/£195.00
Definitely a jump up in price. And the 49mm size is really only going to work for guys with a smaller face. Still, the really round, thicker frames and aggressive brow-bar certainly look the part. On the technical side, Ferragamo has used acetate frames and scratch-resistant CR39 plastic lenses. So the SF 845S are a little more than just fashion glasses.
Serengeti Leandro in Tortoise: $259.99/£206.90
A modern take on Sir Roger’s 1980s style. The 53mm size will look good on a variety of faces. And the glare-reducing polarized lenses will keep things clear when you’re driving or on the water. Serengeti is famous for the quality of it’s eyewear. So if this is a design you love, the Leandros would be a worthy investment.
The Goldeneye Persols
As with the Thunderball glasses, there’s been some controversy over the exact Persol model Bond wore in Goldeneye. The general consensus is they’re the 2611-S. So essentially the same as these ones on Ebay (which are being listed as “Bond Goldeneye Persols”):
The problem is some people simply don’t feel that arms and hinges on the 2611-S match what we saw on screen. This older thread on AJB007 goes into a bit more depth about the mystery.
As for me, I’m a fan of the Goldeneye style (and Persol glasses in general). And I think we get enough good shots of Bond wearing the sunglasses to have a clear idea about what we’re looking for. Even if we don’t know the exact model number.
Best Option for the Goldeneye Persol 2611-S
Persol PO3135 S in Havana: on sale for $180.00/£143.24
In terms of size and shape, these ones from Persol’s current lineup are probably the closest to the Goldeneye glasses. The versatile 55mm size is going to work for most faces. And we’re getting Persol’s handcrafted acetate frames and polarized glass lenses, which have never let me down. If you prefer to go with a non-polarized lens, SmartBuyGlasses has the same model with McQueen-esque blue lenses for $152.00.
Polaroid PLD 1028/s in Tortoise: $35.68 to $59.95
Polaroid sunglasses aren’t particular expensive. But don’t mistake that for “cheap”. The pair I’ve owned for four years has received some abuse and there’s still not a scratch on ’em. As for the 1028 model, it has a similar frame shape and color to Goldeneye Persols. The lenses are green, but they are polarized. I’ve linked to Amazon above, where they’re sold by various 3rd parties. If you prefer to buy from a well-known vendor, they’re also available at Edel Optics for $49.22. Definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a beater pair in this style.
Ray-Ban 4181 in Light Havana: $158.00 to $178.00/£125.74 to £141.65
With their 57mm size, these would be a good choice for gentlemen with larger skulls. Very close in shape and color to the Persols worn by Mr. Brosnan, Ray-Ban also makes a quality pair of sunglasses for the money. I’ve listed two prices above. The first is for the regular lens, the second for the polarized version.
The Quantum of Solace Tom Ford TF108s
It would be a bit of an understatement to say there was some drama surrounding the Quantum of Solace sunglasses. When photos started appearing of Craig on set before the film’s release, most people were sure they’d ID’d the make and model of the glasses he was wearing: The Oliver Peoples Airman. So the hunt was on to find this particular discontinued style. Orders were placed, money was paid, glasses were shipped. And then Tom Ford messed everything up by releasing the TF108s.
If you liked to learn more about the confusion that ensued as a result of Tom Ford’s announcement, this thread on AJB007 is an enlightening read. However you feel about the situation, I think most of us would agree Bond’s Quantum of Solace sunglasses are a unique and very cool take on the classic aviator style.
Best Option for the Quantum of Solace Tom Ford TF108
Unless you’re prepared to go hunting on Ebay (and probably pay an exorbitant price) for the originals, these are the most screen-accurate alternatives we can get. And, thankfully, fan-favorite replica maker Magnoli is offering them at a reasonable price. I bought a pair almost as soon as they were launched. And I loved them. Until my wife decided she also loved them and claimed sole ownership ….
Sunglass Hut Collection HU1006 in Silver/Grey: on sale for $69.30/£55.30
A budget pair from the well-know sunglasses vendor. These come from their in-house collection. So I have no idea who makes them. And I do find the lens description on the product page to be amusing: “Not Glass”. Still, the style has the TF108/Airman vibe. Silver colored frames, black ear-pieces and the all-important brow-bar. The lens color is grey, unfortunately. But for under seventy bucks, we can’t have everything.
Rodenstock R7413 D in Silver/Blue: on sale for $219.00/£184.00
A step up in price. But also a serious step up in quality. Although not an exact match for the Tom Fords, they’re certainly designed in the same spirit. And we’re also getting a titanium frame and the 140 year old companies high-quality blue tint lenses. All made in Germany. Just be aware that these are definitely sunglasses for the bigger guys. The 60mm size is going to look HUGE on smaller faces.
Mont Blanc MB517S in Silver/Grey: on sale $338.00/£283.00
And another price jump! Look, we all know a large part of that cash is going to paying for the name. But Mont Blanc does make excellent products. As far as looks go, the MB517S model has a lot in common with the Tom Fords and the Oliver Peoples. In terms of specs, we’re getting a shiny paladium metal frame and high quality grey gradient polycarbonate lenses. And, at 62mm, one BIG pair of glasses! Is all that worth the extra money? Well, I’ll just say I wouldn’t have included them at the full $714.00 retail price ….
The SPECTRE Tom Ford Henrys
No confusion about these ones! During his stay in Morocco and after his eventful train ride to the layer of his arch-nemesis, Bond wore the Tom Ford Henry Vintage Wayfarer FT0248s, color code 52A with the Matchless suede jacket, Tom Ford Polo, Brunello Cucinelli sport coat and chinos, and J.Crew Kenton boots. The versatile Clubmaster style has remained popular for years. And it’s a style that looks good on a variety of faces.
Best Option for the SPECTRE Tom Ford Henry
Tom Ford FT 0428 Henry in 52A: on sale for $235.00/£204.00
Yep, you can still get the originals! So if this is your style of choice, probably best to save up and get the real deal. I’ve linked to SmartBuyGlasses above. They seem to have some of the best prices at the time of writing.
Polaroid PLD 2076/S: $58.17/£39.52
I’ve already given you my Polaroid sales-pitch above. This particular model happen to be the newer version of the ones I own. And I’ve been very happy with mine. They’re lightweight, very scratch resistant and the polarized lenses work great around water. Seriously, I find myself wearing them more than some of my Persols and Ray-Bans. Compared to the Henrys, the gold colored metal on the Polaroids is an obvious difference. But I do like how the metal inserts on the arms give them a bit more of that Tom Ford style.
Of course we need to include the original Ray-Bans. The problem with most of the models in the Clubmaster line is the gold colored metal. If you’re okay with that, then the standard version with the green lenses can be had for $153.00. But I decided to go with the 1158R5 for three reasons. First, the metal is silver. Second, the lenses are dark grey. So they’re much closer in looks to the Tom Fords. And third, the have a smaller 49mm lens size. Which means they’ll work well for guys with smaller heads.
Persol PO 3210S in Tortoise: on sale for $216.00/£165.00
A slightly squarer shape from Bond’s other favorite sunglasses brand. We all know about Persol’s quality by now. What I like about these ones is the silver metal and dark grey lenses come very close to the looks of the Henrys. And they come in two sizes (50mm and 53mm). Now one point of slight concern. I’m almost positive these are the PO3199S model, NOT the PO3210S, which is shows up as a rounder, full acetate frame style on every other website. Which means SmartBuyGlasses probably has this pair tagged incorrectly. Not saying they’re fake or anything. But if you decide to go with this model, I’d give them a call first to make sure you’re getting the right ones.
Any changes you would have made to our Top 5 James Bond Sunglasses list? Or do you have better alternatives for the ones we chose? Let us know in the comments below! And remember you can always find more Bond style and inspiration on our Facebook Page, Instagram Account and Pinterest Boards! You can also now visit our official Amazon Store Page! We created it to make it easier for you to find all the different alternatives we find on the giant on-line retailer. Hope you’ll come and visit and let us know what you think!