All the Terminator sunglasses frames

Terminator sunglasses

Few other films define the science fiction action genre than the Terminator franchise.

Spanning almost 40 years since the original 1984 debut, these iconic films play host to cinematic history and the legacy of what is perhaps the most famous of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film roles.

For you, the eyewear enthusiast, the Terminator series positions sunglasses at the forefront of it’s sci-fi wardrobe; an integral detail woven throughout all 6 of the films.

In this blog post, we examine each of the famous frames worn by Arnie and Sarah Connor in Terminator chronology.

Let’s dive in.


What sunglasses did Arnold wear in Terminator?

Throughout the 6 Terminator films, Arnold wore various sunglasses frames including; the Gargoyle Ansi Classics in Terminator 1, Persol Ratti 58230 sunglasses in Terminator 2 and Sama Eyewear T3™ sunglasses for Terminator 3. Each of these frames were invariably black with dark tinted lenses to hide his glowing red robotic eyes.

For more details, let’s explore each film’s sunglasses model, their style and where you can buy them.


Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing Gargoyles Ansi Classics in the original 1984 Terminator movie

Gargoyle sunglasses in ‘The Terminator’ 1984

In the inaugural Terminator film ‘The Terminator’, Arnold Schwarzenegger wears Gargoyles Ansi Classics sunglasses during his antagonist character-role as the evil T-101 robot. Sustaining damage to his synthetic skin and left cybernetic eye from a car chase, he wears these sunglasses to conceal his glowing red optical sensor to prevent being detected as a robot.


Arnold Schwarzenegger looking in the mirror wearing square black sunglasses frame

The bathroom mirror scene

After the car crash, Schwarzenegger unflinchingly removes his damaged artificial eye from its socket. Casually wiping the blood from his face, he looks in the mirror and famously slides on his rectangular Gargoyles sunglasses frame. This particular scene from the original Terminator influences the following sequence of films which share the same emphasis for Arnie’s adornment of sunglasses. From that moment onwards, sunglasses played an integral wardrobe role.

Front view of Gargoyles Classics sunglasses frame

Terminator 1 sunglasses

Aptly, the Gargole Ansi Classics sunglasses are a rimless utility design. With a base-curvature of 4.5, they fit closely to the face for minimal light-leak from above and from the sides of the frame. They feature a large central bridge-piece with moulded nose pads for grip and comfort. During gun fights and combat, the large polycarbonate lenses are ballistic resistant whilst hiding the Terminator’s underlying robotic sensors.

Sure, you might not be a robot, but these are high performance sunglasses available in various frame/lens colour variations. If you’re looking for the original terminator style, Arnold wears the black frame, ‘black ice’ lens versions.


Sunglasses Details

  • Frame model: Gargoyles Ansi Classics
  • Colour: Black Frame
  • Lenses: ‘Black Ice’ lenses
  • Size: 70 [] 10 130

Three quarter view of Gargoyles Ansi Classics sunglasses frame



The original Terminator sunglasses

Founded in 1979, performance eyewear brand Gargoyles made revolutionary strides with their Toric lens technology. For shooting, fishing, military or law enforcement, these revolutionary lenses reduced visual distortion, providing accurate visual clarity for the likes of the US Army.

In terms of optical clarity and impact protection, Gargoyles lenses exceed the ANSI Z87.1+ standards. They feature rubber temple grips and nose pads for added comfort and stability. The toric shield provides optimal coverage by curving horizontally and vertically, featuring double-sided oleophobic coatings for smudge and water resistance. Gargoyles Classics offer crystal clear optics with a serious level of protection in a vintage ‘80s sunglasses style.


Close view of Arnold Schwarzenegger putting on dark black sunglasses frame

Persol Ratti sunglasses in Terminator 2 ‘Judgement Day’ 1991

In the second Terminator film ‘Judgement Day’, Arnold Schwarzenegger wears a vintage pair of black acetate Persol Ratti 58230 sunglasses. In the opening time travel arrival scene, Schwarzenegger confronts a gun-wielding publican, calmly stealing the sunglasses from his denim jacket pocket.


The bar fight scene

Sent back from the year 2029, Schwarzenegger appears in a biker bar parking lot. Unclothed, fresh from his time travel journey, he enters inside to a shocked but threatening response from the hardy bikers within. After a three-on-one fight, he acquires the clothes and motorbike keys from one of the drinkers inside the bar.

The presumed bar-owner follows Schwarzenegger outside with a shotgun who’s also carrying the iconic Persol Ratti sunglasses. Snatching them from his jacket pocket, Schwarzenegger stylishly puts them on with one hand, straddles the stolen motorbike and aggressively rides away.

Black Persol Ratti 58230 sunglasses from Terminator 2


Terminator 2 sunglasses

Worn in Terminator ‘Judgement Day’ Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Persol Ratti 58230 sunglasses are a full-rim rounded rectangle design. Made in Turin, Italy, the frame and temples are made from thick black acetate with dark grey lenses.

Characteristically, the frame has a heavily emphasised brow line across the upper half of the frame. If you look closely, there’s a shadow which runs across the top of the frame front where the acetate material is thicker than the lower rims below.

When the film was made in 1991, Persol was still an independently owned eyewear brand, operating under the original trade-name Persol Ratti. For this reason, the 58230 sunglasses worn in Terminator 2 are considered vintage and are no longer in production.

New old stock (NOS) editions of the original sunglasses are available via specialist online optical dealers, both in the Terminator black and alternative tortoise shell acetate versions. These vintage frames feature the patented ‘Meflecto system’ which means the temples have inbuilt flex points for improved comfort - a technology Persol still use today.

Sunglasses Details

  • Frame model: 58230 Persol Meflecto Ratti
  • Colour: Black
  • Frame material: Acetate
  • Lenses: FUMO ‘smoke grey’ 75% ABS
  • Size: 64 [] 20 130




Sarah Connor in Terminator 2 wearing round Matsuda 2809 wire sunglasses holding a gun

What sunglasses did Sarah Connor wear in Terminator 2?

In Terminator 2, Linda Hamilton’s character Sarah Connor wears Matsuda 2809 sunglasses. Originally made in 1989 by Japanese artisanal eyewear brand Matsuda, these round wire frames feature a double bridge and detachable side shields.

Also known as ‘glacier shades’ or ‘steam punk shades’, sunglasses with side shields are designed to block light from above and from the sides of the frame. Not only do they look cool, but they reduce visual strain for the wearer by minimising interfering sunlight. For Sarah Connor, these were the ideal shades for the Mohave desert.

Three quarter view of round Matsuda 2809 wire sunglasses frame

Since their original release in 1989, Sarah Connor’s 2809 sunglasses have been updated by Matsuda, now named the 2809H-V2. These impeccably detailed sunglasses are hand crafted in the Fukui prefecture of Sabae, Japan; a region renowned for its unrivalled metal work within the optical industry. Made in a limited batch of 500 frames, you can purchase the 2809H-V2 frame via the button below.

Matsuda round gold wire sunglasses frame with green tinted lenses

The desert scene

Fleeing from the evil T-1000 robot in Los Angeles, Sarah Connor, her son John and the Terminator (Schwarzenegger) hastily drive out to western rim of the Mojave Desert. At the desert compound, she’s seen wearing these circular shades with their characteristic detachable side shields.



From wimpy waitress to a shredded Sarah Connor

To prepare for her role as Sarah Connor in Terminator 2, Hamilton went through a vigorous exercise regimen and weapons handling training. Famously, when Arnold saw her again for filming the second movie, he was stunned with her physical transformation. Coming from his body building background, he complimented her tuned physique. It later transpired that Hamilton had only just recently given birth 2 weeks prior to her physical preparation for the Terminator sequel. This significant character change was evident through her edgy wire sunglasses, gun skills and defined physical condition.


Arnold Schwarzenegger firing large gun in Terminator 3 movie

Sama T3 sunglasses in Terminator 3 ‘Rise of the Machines’ 2003

In Terminator 3 ‘Rise of the Machines’, Arnold Schwarzenegger wears a pair of black acetate Sama Eyewear ‘T3™’ sunglasses made especially for the 2003 film. Similar to wraparound sports sunglasses, the close-fitting frames are first seen when the T-850 robot (Schwarzenegger) steals them from a remote gas station.



Gas station sunglasses scene

Driving through the remote desert, the T-850 (Schwarzenegger) removes one of his damaged hydrogen fuel cells and throws it out the car window before it explodes. Later he and John Connor pull into a remote gas station in Acton California where the T-850 goes inside to gather food and supplies for their journey.

Randomly grabbing snacks, confectionary and junk food, the T-850 notices a kiosk display of cheap sunglasses frames. Humorously, the scene cuts to him wearing his newly adorned Sama Eyewear T3™ sunglasses whilst casually exiting the shop.


Three quarter view of Samo Eyewear T3 Terminator sunglasses frame


Terminator 3 sunglasses

Designed by Sheila Vance, made in Japan, the Sama Eywear T3™ sunglasses have a strong 8-base curvature design. With ovalized lenses and moulded silicone nose pads, these sleek frames are exceptionally lightweight, ideal for high-speed chases and combat.

Notably, the Sama T3™ frame has a very sporty look. The jagged skull temples are reminiscent of performance cycling sunglasses such as the Oakley Predator. Where the temples curve behind your ear, Sama have added a rubberised sleeve for improved grip.

For Terminator fans, the T3™ sunglasses are sadly no longer in production. However, rare but original versions are available through specialist dealers on eBay. Alternatively, you can also find replicas online too.


Sunglasses Details

  • Frame model: T3™ by Sama
  • Colour: Black
  • Frame material: Acetate
  • Size: 64 [] 17 120


Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing star shaped eyeglasses with red tinted lenses

Terminator star glasses

This roundup wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the star shaped sunglasses worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 3. Although this was a brief scene, robot T-850 humorously puts on these star shaped sunglasses stolen from a male stripper before promptly destroying them in third movie ‘Rise of The Machines’.

Perceived by many fans as a substandard moment, it was part of a wider sense of disappointment for the Terminator franchise.

Some fans suggest that it was just a ridiculous joke - how could the Terminator possibly wear such flamboyant sunglasses? Other Theories suggest that it wasn’t a fashion choice at all and that he couldn’t use his cybernetic eyes through the red tinted lenses.



Side view of black man wearing Aviator sunglasses in Terminator 4 movie

Barnes’ sunglasses in Terminator 4 ‘Terminator Salvation’ 2009

Terminator 4 ‘Terminator Salvation’ is the only film within the franchise to exclude Arnold Schwarzenegger – unless you include the pioneering CGI version of the T-850 robot near the end of the 2009 movie.

In terms of sunglasses, there weren’t many noteworthy frames worn during the 2-hour blockbuster. However, burly character Barnes does wear some rather stylish large wire sunglasses similar to the Ray-Ban RB3025 181 Aviator.

Gold wire rim Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses with green tinted lenses


Official 2015 Terminator Genisys movie poster featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger

Unknown sunglasses frame in Terminator 5 ‘Terminator Genisys’ 2015

Fifth in the Terminator franchise is Terminator Genisys, released in 2015. Seen in the movie poster above, Schwarzenegger is wearing a pair of quintessentially ‘Terminator’ style sunglasses.

Looking closely at the movie poster, Schwarzenegger’s frame strongly resembles the Persol Ratti 58230 sunglasses worn in the second movie ‘Terminator Judgment Day’. In the pixelated zoom analysis below, you can see the same sculpted browline and tell-tale Persol ‘Meflecto system’ temple details.

Analysis of Terminator 5 Persol sunglasses frame

Black, stylised and actually sort of ‘90s, these stealthy sunglasses remain unidentified amongst the Terminator fanbase and eagle-eyed optical fans. Like the sunglasses in the previous films, these frames are close-fitting and adopt a sporty look, similar to those worn for golf, tennis or cycling.

Because the Terminator 5 sunglasses remain unidentified, check out these similar suggestions in the list below.


Bolle Anaconda 10339

Bolle Anaconda 10339 sunglasses frame


Oakley Gibston OO9449 06

Oakley Gibston OO9449 06 sunglasses frame


Bolle Status


Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing dark black sunglasses inside beach café in Terminator Dark Fate movie

3D modelled sunglasses in Terminator 6 ‘Dark Fate’ 2019

‘Dark Fate’ is the latest instalment (so far) in the Terminator franchise. Using augmented reality, the producers super-imposed a 3D model of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s face from 1984 onto another male actor.

In this alternate-reality scene, the 3D model features a pair of signature Terminator sunglasses which you can see in the image-analysis below. The digital rendering of these sunglasses closely resembles the Persol Ratti 58230 sunglasses worn in the second movie ‘Terminator Judgment Day’ but aren’t an exact match.

3D render of Arnold Schwarzenegger's sunglasses in Terminator 6 Dark Fate

Like the vintage Persol frames, they feature what looks like the flexible ‘Meflecto system’ temple details, but these flexible stems are much thinner than the original Terminator 2 sunglasses. It’s suspected that these shades are a more of a digital interpretation than a replica of the Terminator 2 Persol sunglasses.



Sarah Connor wearing Dolce & Gabbana Aviator sunglasses in Terminator 6 Dark Fate

Sarah Connor’s sunglasses in Terminator 6

In Terminator 6 ‘Dark Fate’ Linda Hamilton’s character Sarah Connor wears Dolce & Gabbana - DG2166 1305 87 sunglasses. The double bridge Aviator frame is primarily made from gold coloured metal but with a black lens rim. For most of the film, she wears these dominant sunglasses, making full-use of the large polarised lenses.

Sunglasses Details

  • Brand: Dolce & Gabbana
  • Frame model: DG2166 1305 87
  • Colour: Gold & black
  • Frame material: Metal
  • Size: 61 [] 14 145mm

Dolce & Gabbana Aviator sunglasses frame worn by Sarah Connor in Terminator 6 Dark Fate


That’s a wrap

If you’re a fan of science-fiction action films, the Terminator franchise is easily one of the most iconic and enduring series you could hope for.

Undeniably, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the keystone of these coveted movies, both as a time-tested T-800 robot and a sunglasses icon.

As far as sunglasses film-placements go, Terminator has to be amongst one of the most eyewear orientated series in cinematic history. With rumours of a 7th Terminator film, you can almost certainly expect to see some obligatory signature shades.

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