When Bollé introduced the Chronoshield sunglasses back in 1986, it captured the 80’s with bright colors and an oversized lens inspired by their Chrono ski goggles. Although the oversized sunglasses faded from popularity, today it’s returned in full form. To capitalize on the renewed interest, Bollé brought back the Chronoshield with an updated design with their latest lens technology. The revised Bollé Chronoshield sunglasses retain the iconic shape of the original and have an extra wide field of vision with a vented lens design. Bollé offers the sunglasses with prescription as well as a variety of their Phantom lenses. They also feature Thermogrip rubber inserts on the temples as well as the adjustable nose temples for additional comfort.
The Bollé Chronoshield sunglasses offer a modernized retro design, vents and an oversized frame with Bollé’s Phantom light adaptive lens technology.
|Retail Price||$170 (Mirrored Lens) / $240 (Phantom Lens)|
|Measured weight (in g)||38|
|Likes|| + Vented design|
+ Included hard case and removable sweat brow
+ Phantom lens adapts to mixed conditions
|Dislikes||– Premium price|
– Full frame design can be distracting when cycling
|Where to Buy (US)||Bollé|
It’s obvious how large the Chronoshield is simply from the size of the black cardboard box it is packaged in. The box has simple high contrast graphics with an eye catching glossy decal of sunglass profile printed on them. In the box you’ll find:
- Bollé branded hard case
- Soft fabric storage bag
- Detachable foam ‘brow bar’
- Chronoshield sunglasses
The hard case is quite large as it stores the sunglasses, the brow bar, plus has an additional slot for a second lens.
FIT & FINISH
Bollé has retained the iconic shape of the original Chronoshield sunglasses while still modernizing them. At almost the same size as ski goggles, the Chronoshield offers a very large field of view with a retro feel to them. The sunglasses use a full frame design but offer enough flexibility to easily swap the lenses out if needed by pulling down on the lower portion of the frame. While the sunglasses don’t have any particular unique touches such as the Smith Flywheel’s extended upper lens, the sharp angular frame shape and vented lens give the Chronoshield a distinctive look.
Believe it or not, selecting sunglasses lenses isn’t just about picking a lens that looks cool. It’s important to match the lens tint and filtering category (which determines the amount of light that is transmitted through them) to match the conditions the sunglasses will be used in. With traditional lenses, they are limited to a single filtering category (between 0-4 where 0 is clear and 4 is very dark). Bollé’s Phantom lenses use photochromic technology to adapt the tint to the light conditions and can cover filtering categories from 1-3. The Phantom Clear Green lenses allow for an impressive range of visible light transmission that ranges from 9% to 62%. This means the Chronoshields can be worn from low light conditions to brighter conditions without the need of swapping lenses.
We found that the adaptive Phantom lens technology made the sunglasses versatile enough to wear during low light overcast conditions at the start of our ride transitioning to full sun as we finished our rides. The ability to ride through mixed conditions allowed us to keep the sunglasses on instead of having to keep them on or off as we typically do. Also we found the transitions between conditions were fast yet gradual enough to not be distracting while riding. The vented lens design also prevented the lenses from fogging up even during slow climbs. Our only complaint about the optics is that having mostly ridden with frameless sunglasses, the bottom frames of the Chronoshield were a bit distracting when looking down.
While Bollé lists the Chronoshield sunglasses as a large fit, and we found the sizing similar to other sunglasses we’ve reviewed. The oversized frames fit well against our shallow road cycling and aero helmets to provide complete protection against wind or debris. We found that the slightly curved temples and Thermogrip temple end pieces did a great job keeping the large sunglasses in place even as we shifted positions on the bike. Additionally the three positions with the Thermogrip nose pads make it easy to dial in the fit. The included ‘brow bar’ is also a clever way to keep sweat out of your eyes while the soft foam pad feels comfortable against your forehead. We preferred to ride without it, but those that sweat more will definitely appreciate it.
Overall, we found the Bollé Chronoshield to be attractive and comfortable sunglasses. By using the iconic shape of the original sunglasses, Bollé has done a good job giving the Chronoshields a retro yet distinctive look. Whether or not you like the oversized design, the lens provides a large field of view with excellent optics and protection from the elements. We were also impressed with the Phantom lens which worked well both in low light and brighter conditions without the need for a second lens. The biggest downside to the Chronoshield is the high price, particularly with the Phantom lens option. However, the premium hard case, removable brow bar, and optics give the Chronoshield sunglasses a lot of versatility.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Bollé. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.