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2 Persol is Stuff that Works

This is a new Sunday series that I’m calling Stuff that Works. Each Sunday I’ll pick an item that is for me a foundation element in my line up of stuff that matters or as legendary Texas singer songwriter Guy Clark put it – “The kind of stuff you reach for when you fall.”

Steve McQueen's blue tinted lens Persols in Thomas Crown Affair

Persol is a brand of Italian made sunglasses that hit the big time due in part to Steve McQueens penchant for wearing them in movies like the 1960’s Thomas Crown Affair. You’ll also see them on Danial Craig’s portrayal of James Bond.

I’ve owned a pair of Tortoise Persol Ratti 69102 for years and I just love wearing them. On top of the fact that they are clearly stylish, I’ve never put on another pair with lenses like this.

You can spot a pair of Persols by the signature silver arrow detail in the hinge. The other distinction from a technical standpoint is the hinged temple technology that is one of the reason they fit like no other.

The Persol brand is not nearly as well known as the more popular Ray Ban, but the quality of a pair of handmade vintage Persols is unmatched. The company was purchased by Luxottica – the same company that owns and, in some views, wrecked Oakley and Ray Ban. Many of the glasses are now made in China – so your best bet to find a hand made Italian pair might be to troll eBay or find a good eyewear shop that carries some vintage stock like Silver Lining Opticians in New York.

28 My Road Warrior Toolbox

My friend Guy Kawasaki wrote an article recently about the tools he relies on when he goes on the road. I seem to be doing that quite a bit myself these days so I took stock of the tools that I’ve come to rely on to get work done when I travel and thought I would share them with you – got any you care to share?

Southwest AirlinesSandisk 8GB USB Drive – This is just a great back-up tool, but I also carry portable a version of my Firefox browser that contains all my data such as bookmarks. This is incredibly handy if I even just want to jump on the hotel computer.

Vitorinox Swiss Army Luggage – Pretty much love everything from Swiss Army, but love the quality of the carry on luggage and bags.

Dropbox – This online file storage service works great and is very easy to integrate into my offline storage. This allows me to grab presentation files and view them on my iPad or send them to event organizers.

iPad – This has become my RSS reader and book reader of choice, but I also use it as a lightweight email tool and browsing and bookmarking tool. Of course, it still has coolness factor too.

Persol Sunglasses – Polarized crystal lens and the saleslady said James Bond wears them

Moleskin notebooks – most of my actual work is done digitally these days, but I still think best in analog. I jot pages of notes at 40,000 feet and love filling these little paper notebooks.


Belkin Tune Talk iPod Mic
– I can record in the field interviews on this stereo mic and save the recordings as high quality WAV files on any iPod.

Mophie Juice Pack Air – Doubles the life of the iPhone battery and acts as a case too

Travel Power Strip – Create your own power center with USB chargers for that one outlet in the airport. Good way to make some BFFs for sure.

Read and Review file – This one comes from David Allen’s Getting Things Done system. I chuck paper in this file all week and when I jump on a plane I’ve got contracts and reports and other interesting things I can finally get to.

Copies of Wired, Inc and Fast Company – I subscribe to a handful of print magazines but seem to save them for travel.