For $4000 (or approximately £2400 at today’s exchange rate) you could buy the World’s Cheapest Car, the Tato Nano, for less than £1500, a Rolex Submariner 14060M watch for £2300, or a luxury week away for 2 in Italy. Alternatively, you could spend the lot on a pair of ultra limited edition Oakley Elite C Six Sunglasses.
Oakley claim that this collection of sunglasses are “the most technically innovative sunglasses ever created” with each pair of sunglasses requiring over 90 hours of machine manufacture time with 80 layers of pure carbon fibre & aluminum pressed into the frame allowing a flexible design for comfort. According to Oakley inspiration for this line of sunglasses has come from technology in the auto racing industry “We were looking at cams that move valves,” said Global Eyewear Development Manager Steve Ogren. “That’s when we came up with the concept of radial cams for the frame mechanics.” The connection to racecars didn’t stop there. “Some of the contours of C SIX take cues from speed machines,” said Oakley President Colin Baden. “When we decided to use carbon fiber, we went to the guys who have been building Formula One race cars for decades, Crosby Composites of England. They’re the absolute best on the planet with this technology.”
I know what you’re all thinking… “I don’t care how or what these are made of – spending £50-£100-£200 on a pair of designer sunglasses is quite enough thank you!” But Oakley have deliberately priced the Elite C Six beyond the reach of us mere mortals for good reason, according to Oakley they are aiming the Elite C Six sunglasses at those “who wouldn’t blink at spending $300,000 on a car” (or as I would say, have more money than sense…). It’s unlikely that this line, limited to just 200 pieces, is likely to make Oakley any revenue, it is more of an exercise to demonstrate their technical ability and to firmly plant Oakley at the top of the list of designer sunglasses manufacturers.
This frame style was recently seen on biking legend and Oakley endorser Lance Armstrong at this summers Tour de France event. Unfortunately he didn’t comment on how the sunglasses performed for him but this may be due to the fact that the frame weighs in at just 54g and he probably forgot he was wearing them!
Personally, I think for now I could find better uses for £2400. But if you have the spare change available, probably drive a $300,000 Ferrari, and are willing to form a queue behind those already on the waiting list for the Oakley Elite C Six then a list of authorised retailers can be found on the Oakley website.