Ray-Ban Original Wayfarers are one of the most popular styles of sunglasses around. The downside of this is that it is also one of the most faked styles of glasses. Unless you buy your frames direct from an official Ray-Ban retailer, you always run the risk of ending up with a fake pair of shades.
Fortunately, in most cases it is easy to spot fake Ray-Bans Wayfarers. In this article, we’ll look at some of the signs you can use to check if the pair you have are authentic.
We’ve illustrated the points using a pair of Rayban Original Wayfarers in polished tortoise, size 54:18 (large), with the code RB 2140. We’ll compare these glasses with the writer’s memory of a pair of fake Ray-Ban Wayfarers that they (ahem) may or may not have bought in a Bangkok market back in 2013.
All the points in this article should also relate to the Ray-Ban New Wayfarer Classic RB2132.
Check out our review of the Ray-Ban Original Wayfarers for more on theses glasses
First, is the Deal Too Good to be True?
Before we get started on the actual signs to look out for, it’s time for a reality check. Real Ray-Bans cost around $140 to $180 on the official website. You may be able to pick up an older model in a sale or an outlet for less, but they will still be around $80 to $100 or more.
What this means is if you’re looking at a pair for less than that you should be very skeptical. Those $15 specs at the market in Bangkok? Fake. The brand new pair of Wayfarers selling for $40 on a website you haven’t heard of before? Fake. The person on an online marketplace selling a brand new pair of glasses for $30 because they “got an extra pair for Christmas”? You know how this goes.
Second-hand glasses are obviously a bit different, as the amount they sell for will depend on a number of factors including their condition and how desperate the person is to get rid of them. Nonetheless, if a deal appears too good to be true, it probably is.
Second, Check the Logos
Real Rayban Original Wayfarers have different versions of the Ray-Ban logo in four locations on the frame and lenses.
The most obvious logo is the one that says “Ray-Ban” in white at the top of the right lens. This is probably the easiest logo for replicas to get right. Nonetheless, if the logo on the glasses you’re looking at appears low-quality it could be a sign that the glasses are fake. If you are buying Ray-Bans with Polarized lenses, the logo will say “Ray-Ban P.”
The second logo to look out for is the “RB” etched mid-way up the left lens. This isn’t visible from a distance but should be fairly clear from up close when in the correct light. The etching is actually done on the rear of the lens. I can tell that the logo has been etched, not drawn, by running my fingernail over the logo and feeling the etch mark. Perhaps you can try to do the same.
Ray-Ban Original Wayfarers also have the Ray-Ban logo on both the temples near to the hinge. This logo is slightly raised off the frame. Many fake Ray-Ban’s will have this logo, but it will be printed on to the temple, not raised off it.
Third, Check the Hinge and Temples
The hinge is probably the biggest giveaway about a fake pair of Ray-Bans, especially if the replica is low-quality.
Real Ray-Ban Wayfarers have an absolute beast of a hinge. It’s made from metal and has seven links. Each one also has four bolts attaching the hinge to the frame. This hinge is part of what makes them so durable.
Beyond the hinge, real Ray-Ban Original Wayfarers also have a metal reinforcement that runs through the temple. On tortoise Ray-Bans you can see it through the lighter sections of the frame. While we can’t be sure if this would be the case on darker colors, you’ll likely be able to see the reinforcement by closing the glasses and checking the end of the temple.
Fake Wayfarers, and cheaper sunglasses in general, will usually use a far inferior hinge. This means the hinge is often the first place to break. They are also unlikely to have the reinforcements in the temple.
Four, Extras to Check
Beyond what we mentioned above, there are a few other things you can check. First, some Ray-Bans will have “WAYFARER® Hand Made in Italy B CE” on the inner part of the right temple. Real Original Wayfarers also have the model number (RB2140 for Original Wayfarers) as well as information relating to the model description and size on the inside of the left temple.
New Ray-Bans sold in official outlets will also come with a case that will have the Ray-Ban logo printed on it as well as etched on the button. If the glasses don’t come with a case it doesn’t mean they are definitely fake, especially if you are buying second-hand. But, it’s something to look out for.
Finally, Do the Sunglasses Feel High-Quality?
Ultimately, when buying Ray-Bans, you should remember that you are purchasing a premium product. Real Wayfarers are sturdy, relatively heavy, and made from high-quality acetate and metal.
Most fake sunglasses can be quickly ruled out as fake just by holding them. If they feel cheap, light, and plastic, they aren’t a pair of real Ray-Ban Original Wayfarers.
Next up: Here is a look at some of our favorite independent sunglasses brands