The rise in price for vintage AO aviator glasses


People talk about the importance of product placements every now and again. Some people think they are important while others don’t. Their value ultimately depends on their ability to reach the customers who notice them.

Mad Men’s Don Draper, a Mad Men character, has used Vietnam-era HGU-4/P sunglasses. It has had a significant impact on the vintage market. The style has been selling at crazy prices on eBay, both in the American Optical version and in the Welsh 12K gold-filled version.

The vintage market has grown for certain types of aviator and shotgun glasses in recent years, with the higher quality gold-filled frames fetching a premium. However, the HGU-4/P is not a collectible style. It’s even still a military issue! Current prices for U.S.-made mil-spec versions start at $50

The new mil-spec versions don’t seem to be any more crumpier than the older ones, as far as I can tell. It’s not enough to explain the difference in price. The extra $300 for vintage pairs seems to be justified by the lack of gold in a 1/10th 12-karat gold-filled frame.

Many older, gold-filled aviators and shooters are more desirable than others and have a lower market value.


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