Vintage Sunglasses from Zeiss

Sunglasses were a style staple in the 1970s and 1980s, and many of those glasses came from Germany optics company Zeiss. Made in West Germany at the time, Zeiss made their vintage sunglasses in bright colors with wire or plastic frames in the aviator style or with gigantic lenses for their women’s vintage sunglasses.

Eyeglasses Warehouse is the leading provider of vintage sunglasses. Browse our collection of Zeiss sunglasses and check back often for new styles.

About the Zeiss Optical Company

Carl Zeiss founded his company in Germany in 1857. Their early products were precision optical instruments, with a primary focus on microscopes. Their product development relied heavily on science, and they were able to quickly expand into similar products, producing camera lenses, medical technology, meteorological technology, riflescopes, and – of course – eyeglass lenses.

In 1912, Zeiss changed the way eyeglass lenses were made when they introduced the first axially-symmetric lenses. Based on new calculations for measuring focal point distance, these lenses almost entirely removed the blurriness that occurred around the edge of the lens in earlier glasses.

This innovation quickly caught on and Zeiss simultaneously expanded globally, despite the challenges of WWI, the worldwide effects of the Great Depression, and political upheaval in Germany during the 1930s.

Zeiss’s focus was on lenses and optics, rather than frames, but they did sell various sunglass frames in the 1970s and 80s with styles like:

  • Aviators
  • Cat Eye Glasses
  • Octagon Shape Glasses
  • Wayfarer-Style Glasses

During this time period, the Zeiss company was split into two. One part of Zeiss was in East Germany and the other was in West Germany. The East Germany plant produced glasses for those countries in the Communist bloc, while West Germany Zeiss glasses were distributed to democratic European countries and America, making most vintage Zeiss glasses available today West German in origin.

Zeiss sold sunglasses, but our glasses at Eyeglasses Warehouse can be customized with your prescription lenses or tinted lenses of your choice by your optician. Check out our inventory or search our site for other vintage glasses from the 70s and 80s.