Oakley, Inc. started in 1975 in the mere garage of James Jannard. He invented a unique material called unobtainium and used it to create the “Oakley Grip”. He sold these grips from the back of his car and it became an instant hit at motocross events. The trademark material, unobtainium, is still used to these days in making earsocks for Oakley glasses, several of nose pieces and some bands of their watches.
From the grip, James Jannard was able to produce number plates, gloves, grips, elbow guards, chin guards, and goggles for two-wheeled riders. His goggles gained special recognition in 1980 with the release of the O-Frame. The O-Frame goggles had the “Oakley” logo on the strap and it started with that big “O” that Oakley became known in the sports world. Three years later, Oakley was also into distributing ski goggles. In 1984, the first Oakley sunglasses, the Factory Pilot Eyeshades, were released to the public. It had the resemblance of goggles giving it a sports-oriented design. The first casual sunglasses, the Oakley Frogskin, were sold in 1985 but are still a major hit up to the present.
What was previously started with $300 was sold 32 years after for $2.1 Billion. Mr. Jannard transferred the company’s ownership and it became a subsidiary of the Italian company, Luxottica. The Oakley brand is now a part of a portfolio that includes brands such as Ray-Ban, Persol, and Vogue.
Conventional sunglasses are all about blocking the sun’s glare. However, Oakley lenses offer more and beyond. Oakley currently holds more than 600 patents for eyewear, materials, and performance gear. Most of the designs are done in the Oakley headquarters in Foothill Ranch, C alifornia. Their products are developed with athletes and their sports in mind and are tested in real outdoor, often even extreme, conditions.
High Definition Optics (HDO) lenses offer the clearest, sharpest and most accurate vision. They are manufactured to especially meet the demands of professional athletes in performing their sports extensively. Because HDO lenses are optimized for safety and performance, they exceed the testing standards of the American National Standards Institute. Oakley HDO lenses undergo three tests – Clarity, Refractive Power and Prism Tests - to give an assurance that they are not going to compromise vision. The usual conventional lenses often simply magnify images and make them appear shifted from their true position. Oakley HDO lenses gives razor sharp focus and incomparable clarity.
Oakley HD Polarized
Polarized lenses are the anti-glare necessity for athletes out on the field, road, waters or ice. Various brands are duplicating the technology but only Oakley was able to provide a one layered lens to serve as filter for the glare. Oakley HD Polarized lenses have no glues or films that can possibly distort vision. By using a precise infusion molding process, it is no longer necessary to use glue bonded material layer which diminishes clarity and exaggerates distortion in sunglasses.
In addition, both lenses of Oakley sunglasses are manufactured together at the same exact time so there is a perfect alignment of the axis of polarization. This helps to avoid undesirable glare from sneaking in through any part of the lenses. Mismatched lenses of competitor brands compromises clarity and protection and most likely may cause eye strains or headaches.
Oakley lenses are tested for high-mass and high-velocity impact to provide the best protection during athletic performance. Oakley uses its own innovation - the Plutonite®, a durable and optically pure lens material, to achieve a protection surpassing everything else in eyewear industry. Oakley is dedicated to go beyond standard protection, precision, dedication and creativity for an unmatched performance and quality. Plutonite® lens also gives protection from harmful UV light by filtering and allowing only the safe visible spectrum to pass through. This innovative material stops every wavelength of ultraviolet radiation from the sun‘s thermonuclear furnace, not just the lower energy form called “UVA.” Continued exposure to invisible UV rays may result to eye damage over time. Eye damage linked to UV includes cataract, photokeratitis and pterygium. With Oakley’s Plutonite lenses, eyes are protected even during cloudy days when you don’t feel the sun’s glare but the UV rays are attacking your retinas at 186,000 miles per second.
Oakley eyewear is no longer a simple accessory for world-class athletes. They have become a necessity to provide better vision, depth perception, and definition. Oakley optimized lenses such as the OO® Red Iridium® Polarized to reduce glare from paths and pavement. Aside from helping runners and cyclists avoid the distracting harsh rays, optimized lenses also helps in spotting loose gravel and sand, small cracks, potholes and even slick areas that can be danger zones.
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