Hello fine blog readers!
As you know, I am a bit of a spectacle aficionado; Wayfarers being my model of choice. But with prices getting higher and fakes swamping the shops, just how can you be sure that the geggs you buy are the real deal? With great aplomb, I present to you:
Clicky Steve’s Guide to Spotting Fake Wayfarers
Don’t get me wrong, whether you opt for the authentic article, or the cheaper rip-off version is of little consequence. If you do choose to pay a pretty penny for a pair of designer frames though, you expect to receive the quality that comes along with it. I recently opted for a ‘real’ pair, as pictured above, and paying the full price for the privilege, only to discover that they weren’t genuine. An email off to RayBan themselves sorted the matter out, but here’s how to avoid losing out on your hard earned dosh.
1. Peripherals and General Quality
There are lots of guides on the web that talk about the box, the cloth and everything else in great detail – about how the authentic RayBan boxes don’t have a ‘recycled’ mark and so on, but all of these things are easy to replicate and change, and shouldn’t be relied upon as a deciding factor in working out whether your specs are fake or not.
Do scrutinise the general quality of the box, case and everything else associated with the frames though. With the dodgy pair that I received, the ‘foil’ of the ‘authentic’ gold marking on the case was more like a yellow screen print.
2. Plastic and Lenses
Look at the quality of the plastic that make up the frames. Any obvious blemishes like you can see in the fake pair above are a dead give-away. Can you see something like this passing Quality Control? Perhaps, but not likely.
The weight of the glasses is also a clue. Is the plastic light and brittle? You’re paying for an expensive pair of glasses. If they feel cheap, they probably are. If you’re able to compare the suspect pair with a genuine one, you should be able to feel the difference.
Unless you’ve bought a vintage pair of Wayfarers that were made before the brand was sold to the Italian company Luxottica who currently own it, you should have ‘RayBan’ and ‘RB’ logos on the lenses themselves. (If you do have a vintage pair, they will say LB – the lenses made by Bausch & Lomb of America).
These etchings should be of a good quality, and not look like they could be scratched or rubbed off. The print on the pair I received were fairly grainy and suspect. The lenses themselves felt more like a matt print… rough rather than smooth as you would expect from lenses.
3. Frame Hinges
The biggest give away of fake Wayfarers is the hinge used to connect the arms.
Genuine RayBans use a 7-prong hinge, with four on one side, three on the other, as pictured below:
Fakes skimp on the cost of these hinges, and are often cheap and plasticy looking, as in the picture below of the counterfeit pair:
On the right hand side, the following picture shows what a genuine pair looks like. Note the ‘B’ between Italy and the Copyright symbols. (Note: not all RayBan glasses are manufactured in Italy. There are also factories in China, and elsewhere. However, some models are exclusively made in the Italian factory – reportedly including the RB2140).
Here’s the fake pair. Whilst the letter will vary on genuine pairs, it’s almost always absent from the counterfeits.
Now the left side. Note the text on the leg, and its size. The ‘RB2140’ corresponds to the frames’ model, and should match up with information you can find on the internet. If you look up this number and it doesn’t exist, or look the same, then you can be fairly sure you’ve got a fake.
The ‘54-18’ refers to the dimensions of the frame. The 54 is the lens size: 54mm.
Here’s the fakes. Note the 56. As far as I could work out, RayBan never made a model of glasses in this style with 56mm lenses, and in any event, this pair had smaller lenses than my genuine pair, which were only 54mm. If the measurements don’t add up, then it’s a fairly good reason to doubt their integrity!
There are other factors that can be taken into account, such as the metal panel instead of the embossed logo on the outside of the Wayfarer legs, but these are not set in stone, so you need to just take the whole thing as a package. If you don’t think they’re worth the price you paid, they probably aren’t.
If you do have a fake pair, don’t despair, Google the contact details for Luxxotica, who own the RayBan brand. Get in touch with their customer services, and they’ll be able to help you get your money back from the seller.
Go forth with confidence my Wayfarer wearing friends.