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Ray-Ban Ambermatic Sunglasses

Bausch & Lomb Ambermatic lenses for their Ray-Ban sunglasses were the first true photochromatic
sunglass lens which when combined with Ray-Ban gold plated and 10k and 12k gold filled shooter and
outdoorsman frames became a classic of vintage sunglasses design and optical quality innovation. The
B&L Ray-Ban Ambermatic lens has photochromatic properties that change density depending on the
degree of both brightness and temperature. Taking its name from the color of the lens, Ray-Ban
Ambermatic sunglasses change from amber yellow to gray and darker and denser in bright light
conditions and in colder temperatures. This is exactly what you would want and expect in bright sunlight
or at a ski resort when glare off the snow can become a real problem. The Ray-Ban brand was purchased
from B&L by the Italian conglomerate Luxottica in 1999 after which no more B&L Ray-Ban Ambermatic
sunglasses or shooters were produced. The small etched BL in the ambermatic lenses near the hinge
points was not used in Ray-Ban sunglass lens production until the late 1970s, and the cursive white RayBan trademark logo on the lens was introduced in late 1982 and subsequently present on all Ray-Ban
sunglasses including Ambermatics from 1983 onward up until the acquisition by Luxottica. These earlier
B&L Ambermatic lenses were of much higher quality, changed color faster, and had a wider range of
density than anything produced before or since.

Ray-Ban Ambermatic lenses were often paired with the classic aviator sunglasses frame as well as
Outdoorsman or Shooter frames, similar to aviators but with cable (wire) ear stems and an additional bar
over the bridge referred to as the sweat bar that provided more comfort and made the frame stronger.
While pilots initially wore Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses with the green G-15 lens in the 1940's, 1950s, and
1960s, more and more pilots, aviators, sailors, and hunters discovered Ambermatic sunglasses. They
could offer a greater contrast between clouds and sky and made it easier to see objects while at the same
time progressively blocking the light and providing 100% UV protection. Ray-Ban Ambermatic
sunglasses have been called "smart sunglasses" given how they adjust to the prevailing light conditions at
the time. On overcast and rainy days, Ray-Ban Ambermatic sunglasses have a light amber tint to cut
through haze and sharpen vision. On warm and sunny days, they turn progressively more brown to block
the glare. On cold and sunny days, the Ray-Ban Ambermatic aviator sunglasses and shooters change to
dark gray for better protection from direct and reflected glare. On cloudy days, Ambermatic sunglasses
change to a lighter brown. Following on the success of Ambermatic sunglasses, B&L Ray-Ban
subsequently introduced the Changeables line of photochromatic sunglasses and shooters which offered
very similar properties but in which the density color change was even more dramatic than in the
Ambermatics.

Ray-Ban Changeables Sunglasses


Ray-Ban Changeables sunglasses incorporate unique B&L photochromatic lenses that react to the sun's
brightness to protect your eyes in all light conditions. Regular Ray-Ban Changeables sunglasses darken to
compensate for varying outdoor light conditions. Ray-Ban Super Changeables darken even more for
stronger light conditions and more sensitive eyes, and both Changeables and Super Changeables filter out
100% of harmful UV rays that can harm your eyes. This change in lens density which results in the
lightening and darkening is a lifetime feature of these B&L Ray-Ban lenses and will not disappear or
weaken over time.
Ray-Ban Changeables sunglasses darken to 75% of their full capacity within the first minute of exposure
to sunlight. Out of sunlight, they lighten half way within the first 10 minutes and about 75% within the
first 90 minutes. When new, Ray-Ban Changeables sunglasses and lenses require a breaking in period of
several complete darkening / lightening cycles to bring them up to their normal performance.
Changeables lenses were also heat treated to make them very impact resistant, but they are not
shatterproof or breakproof nor do they have the extreme scratch protection characteristic of Ray-Ban
Diamond Hard lenses. B&L Ray-Ban Changeable photochromatic lenses were made to the same
standards of optical excellence for which B&L was always known.
Photobrown, grey and blue.
One of the rarest forms of original Bausch & Lomb Changeables lenses were the B&L Changeable Rose
lenses. They automatically adjust both color and density for varying light levels, excellent for skiing,
sailing, boating, and other sports that require sharp vision in all weather conditions. They appear light
rose on overcast days to cut through haze and sharpen details. In brigh sunlight, they appear a warm dark
gray with rose hues to give superior protection from glare and improve contrast. Changeable rose lenses
provide excellent UV protection at all light levels with visible light transmittance of 65% in their lightest
state to 17% in their darkest state. Changeable rose lenses were also produced in very small quantities
with a full mirror coating applied to the front of the lenses which added even more glare blocking power
to allow visible light absorption of 62% to 88% depending upon their photochromatic state.
Following the sale of the Ray-Ban brand to Luxottica in 1999, Bausch & Lomb ceased making
Changeables lenses for Ray-Ban sunglasses and they ceased to be offered in the original form.