Vintage Ray-Ban Wayfarer II B&L Strange Markings?
The movies "The Blues Brothers", and "Risky Business" made these popular.
As for rarity I do not believe you have a prototype as they can look quite different than a finished product or look exactly the same where you couldn't tell them from a production.
Note: they are not built as robust as the original. The front hinges can get wiggly and pull out. The temple hinges can have the rivets loosen, bend and twist. All of these can be repaired if you can find an optical that has personnel that is familiar with and has a "staking kit" and a hidden hinge repair unit with any necessary replacement parts. NEVER USE KRAZY GLUE; it never ever holds for long and the solvents that may be necessary to remove it for a proper repair will destroy the frame and or lenses.
- Dave H
Martamez wrote:Glad to find so much info about the Wayfarer II's! My husband had a pair that he bought back in the late 70s/very early 80s, still in very good shape. The markings on the frame and lenses are identical to the pair that is pictured at the start of this thread EXCEPT that the hinges are full hinges (semicircular plates on BOTH sides of the hinge). Just thought I'd report that - so maybe ours are the earliest version of the Wayfarer IIs? We are not looking to sell them, I'm just curious to find out more about them. As a further note, my husband wore them all the time back in the 80s and sporadically since then and they have held up beautifully - they frame is still in great shape.
It sounds like you have a very special pair of sunglasses in your possession.
If they contain all the markings that we have chatted about I can confidently say they are authentic. You found a treasure. Keep them.
Congratulations! You have a pair of the very rare and vintage Ray Ban B&L 5024 Wayfarer Sunglasses. They are first generation when produced by Bausch and Lomb, Ray-Ban's parent company at that time.
I hope that helps.
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I recall mention of at least one shipment of legit-looking Wayfarer II knockoffs making it to the US. The reason for the 'logo rivets' and lens etching/printing was to deter counterfeiting but it was literally a matter of weeks before the Chinese managed to duplicate those features. I'd need to see them up close to be certain. The 'good' knockoffs were of comparable quality (and near-identical appearance) to what was coming from B&L at the time (which is to say their quality was slipping) and sold for about half the price.
As to the 'hooked' temples; Ray-Bans were dispensed by opticians back then; not sold from a kiosk in the mall. They would have been fitted to the original purchaser. That's all there is to that (and increases the possibility that they're legit (though most opticians wouldn't think much of adjusting a 'walk-in' frame).
The stamp above the right lens (on the inside of the frame) is the SIZE (B&L5022 = 50mm lens; 22mm bridge). Wayfarer II, if I recall correctly, only came in one size (and didn't need to be stamped with a size). The four-digit model numbers came as B&L's inventory system was computerized (ca. 1984). Incidentally, this was around the same time as the 'good' counterfeits (with the 'authenticity features' duplicated) were going around.
That's about all I can recall at the moment (it's been nearly 30 years) but if you have further questions do post them.