Wednesday StyleCrave: Persol Sunglasses

17 Jul 2016 2008-07-09 1879

When one of my high school friends got a pair of Persol sunglasses not to long ago, I thought they were dope, but I didn’t quite understand why he liked them so much. I just took his enthusiasm for the brand at face value, since out of everyone I grew up with, he probably had the best eye for style. I came across the brand again the other day and did a little research. What makes Persol sunglasses so special is the company’s history, one that situates them as one of the world’s first major innovators in sunglasses, as well a seminal force in Italian design. And what makes them even cooler are the people who wore them–Steve McQueen, Marcello Mastroianni, and Greta Garbo, to name a few. Continue reading to learn more about this iconic eyewear brand, and how you can get a pair of your own…

The company was started in Turin in 1917 when an Italian photographer set out to make hi-tech glasses
for pilots and sports drivers that combined comfort, visual clarity, and protection from sun and debris.
Soon the Protector glasses were adopted by air forces around the world. In the 1920s, the company
developed its trademark brown-yellow lens from crystal to deliver optimum sun protection. The company’s mission to create revolutionary sunglasses was the inspiration behind the name Persol, taken from the Italian “per il sole,” meaning “for the sun.” In the 1930s the company developed the three technological innovations that still set Persol apart as some of the finest, cleverest shades in the world:

  1. The Meflecto system…the world’s first flexible stem,a combination of nylon cylinders and a steel core that improves fit by improving adaptability
  2. The Victor Flex… a “3-notch bridge” designed to improve fit and creat a more comfortable curve for the nose (see the 649 model)
  3. 3. The Silver Arrow…found on the sides of nearly every pair. Like everything on a pair Persols, they’re highly functional, serving as patented hinges for the glasses. The Silver Arrow is the Persol trademark, making the company famous and inspiring tons of copycats.


Persol continues to make high-performance and casual sunglasses. The newer, more modern models are worth checking out, but I think the most stylish are the re-released classics,the first models the company ever made. Here’s a list of my favorite from both categories.

Buy: starting at $160


Created in 1957 for Italian tram drivers, the large lenses were designed to protect against air and dust. The 649 are the flagship model of Persol eyewear. They were immortalized onscreen in 1961, when Marcello Mastroianni, on the shortlist of coolest Italians to ever walk the planet, in Divorce Italian Style


The other iconic model. Shaped like the 649, except with strategic hinges that make it completely foldable. As if that weren’t cool enough, Steve McQueen wore them. Perhaps the most notorious 714s were the ones McQueen had custom-tinted with blue lenses for his extensive personal collection; he rocked them most famously in the 1972 movie, The Getaway. For years, the 714s were out of production, but just recently, Persol decided to re-issue them in limited release. They even reproduced a pair with the McQueen’s famous blue lenses.


A newer model with a sleek, square-ish frame. One of 2 models worn by Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.


Like the 649 and 714, except a little less Italian, perhaps even a little more American. If Persol set out to design their take on the Ray Ban Wayfarer, it’d probably look something like this.


Another newer model– if I’m not mistaken, these are the pair that my aforementioned friend own. They’re one of the only models without the tradmark Silver Arrows, instead there are two subtle stripes of metal at either temple. Understated, modern yet classic– a very sexy pair of shades.


Ad for McQueen’s favored 714s featuring stills from The Getaway


Mastroianni in Divorce Italian Style


Swiss Police Discover Pot Farm with Google Earth

20 May 2016 2009-01-29 4779
Posted by Mike Payne


Drag, dude.  Earlier today, Swiss police announced the discovery of a large marijuana plantation hidden amongst cornfields thanks to a chance encounter via Google Earth.  Thanks to the ever-popular eye in the sky of Google, 16 people and 1.1 metric tons of grass are now in custody of police.  The arrestees will likely face hefty jail sentences, while the marijuana will be burnt at the stake (and if you listen carefully, you can hear a million sad stoners gasp in horror).

Our favorite part of this news piece?  We can just imagine some paranoid Swiss dude trying to tell his buddies, “I swear man, they got satellites watching us.  They’re gonna come after us man!!”  Sounds a bit like me in college…  That humorous brand of justice is poetic more than anything else, and frankly- we think the Swiss police have better things to do with their time.  It’s a strange day for technology, a sad day for our smokey friends in Switzerland. [thanks, Dave! via yahoo]

Updatewelcome, StumblersWe noticed you’re visiting, so we thought we’d say thanks– by running a little competition here on this page.  Can you find this location on Google Earth?  We were stumped, but wanted to give you a shot.  If you can find this location, grab a screenshot and upload it to an image host (like, then leave a link to that image in a comment here.  If you can’t find it, then show us your favorite Google Earth screenshot. On Sunday, February 8th, we’ll select a winner (based in the U.S., 18 and over only) to win a free solar-powered flashlight from SunNight Solar.  Good luck!

sentio digital tactile watch

Sentio Digital Tactile Watch

6 Jan 2016 2008-05-28 1922
Posted by Mike Payne

sentio digital tactile watch

The coolest watch you’ll see today will be invisible to its wearers. This beautiful, thick metal watch is not intended to be seen, but felt. The Sentio Digital Tactile Watch displays time with 1mm raised metal pieces that represent a standard digital display, but are not illuminated. The wearer touches the watch face with his/her fingertips, feeling the time instead of seeing it.

The visual beauty of the Sentio watch is a little ironic. This is one of the most progressive watches we’ve seen in some time, yet it isn’t intended to be seen by its users. Its almost like that historic Zen koan: “if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around, does it make a sound?” We appreciate the irony, and have plenty of respect for Sentio’s designer, Matthew Wagerfield. To help this design reach a market near you, send Matthew some feedback on his website. For more images of the Sentio Digital Tactile Watch, continue reading after the break! [via gizmowatch]

Speaking of Zen and watches, don’t forget our Obaku Harmony watch giving away, running right now. Head on over to the Obaku giveaway page and leave a comment to sign up. Without further adieu, here’s that gallery!