Winston Churchill Glasses
Discovering the Rich Heritage of the Iconic Eyeglasses worn by Wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill
British politician, author, and statesman Winston Churchill was the country’s prime minister twice, from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. born in 1874 and raised in the public sector he came from a well-known political family. One of the most significant figures in British history, Churchill is known for leading his country during World War II. He was instrumental in bringing the British people together at the war’s toughest moments by motivating them with his words and resolve.
Churchill was a prolific writer in addition to his political career and was awarded the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature for his body of work, which included novels, biographies, and histories. He was a unique figure admired for his humour, charm, and peculiarities, and his legacy is still honoured today all around the world. One of Churchill’s most distinctive features, along with his iconic cigar, was his pair of round glasses. Rarely seen without them they’ve become an iconic part of his image and in this article, we’re going to look into the history of his glasses, the brand of choice, and even where you can get your hands on a pair for yourself.
Winston Churchill Glasses: The History of his specs
Winston Churchill’s iconic glasses were made by the British eyewear company, C.W. Dixey & Son. The model he wore was known as the “Model 1805,” which featured round frames with a distinctive keyhole bridge. The company has been in operation since 1777 and has a long history of providing eyewear for members of the royal family and other notable figures.
According to legend, Sir Winston Churchill first discovered C.W. Dixey & Son while he was a student at Harrow School. The company received its first order from Churchill on 21 June 1910, which was for two pairs of tortoiseshell spectacles. This was the beginning of a long-standing relationship that would last for 47 years. Throughout the decades, Churchill’s personal staff made frequent consultation visits to his private residence and 10 Downing Street. The company tailored his spectacles for specific activities such as sketching, painting, or card playing.
Churchill asked for a straightforward design of two white dots on the temple points of his glasses in September 1944, and this design ended up being a trademark for all C.W. Dixey & Son frames. It’s interesting to note that Churchill withdrew his eyeglass insurance just days after the commencement of World War II, but only five days after the war finished did he get a new pair for painting. This shows his constant dedication to his artistic goals as well as the significance of his eyewear.
Churchill often corresponded with C.W. Dixey & Son and had a close rapport with the brand. A letter from downing street dated the 11th of December 1954 states: ‘‘The Prime Minster asks me to convey his warm thanks to you and to your fellow directors and staff for your message of good wishes on his birthday, which he received with pleasure. Sir Winston Churchill much appreciated your thought of him’’.
Winston Churchill Glasses: The C.W. Dixey & Son Brand
It was the brand of C.W. Dixey & son, one with a rich history dating as far back as 1777, who manufactured and designed the glasses for Churchill. The brand is famed for producing glasses for a wide variety of different members of the Royal Family as well as other notable celebrities (including Lawrence of Arabia and Charlie Chaplin). As one of the oldest eyewear companies in the world, they are regarded as one of the true remaining symbols of British design and elegance, and till this day, are still in operation.
Winston Churchill Glasses: Where to Buy, Brands & Alternatives
The Chartwell 01 & 02 from C.W. Dixey & Son, the spiritual successor of Winston Churchill’s famed glasses are still available to purchase from the brand. These glasses are made to the exact specification as they were for Winston Churchill himself and come in 3 colors black, tortoiseshell, and light tortoiseshell. They’re also incredibly affordable for the esteemed nature of the glasses come in at £320.00. That being said, due to the handcrafted nature of C.W. Dixey & Son’s glasses, they are frequently sold out and not available for purchase online.
Due to the popularity of these frames, many other brands have gone about producing similar eyewear with the same style of fully circle lenses and narrow frames. Below are just a few alternative Winston Churchill glasses for you to consider:
- Moscot Zolman: (£295.00)
- CUBITTS Agar: (£150.00)
- IOLLA McDonald (£85.00)
Another famed British eyewear company, Walter and Herbert, also produced a limited-time pair of Chartwell Glasses in commemoration of Churchill’s contribution to culture and identity. Using the exact specifications for these glasses, these one-off creations are a limited edition range of just 100 frames. But they do cost a pretty penny coming in at £475.00.