I always liked the story about how difficult the X-Metal line was to manufacture, wroth with difficult and costly processes. It was really Jannard’s forward thinking and a dedication to cutting edge design that was at the core of what Oakley was doing in the marketplace. Really no other outfit out there was making eyewear out of forged metal much less using difficult to work with titanium (and magnesium in other lines). The closest any other companies dared get to these materials was use of titanium wire — but forging it? Ha! Once Luxottica swallowed Oakley, it was a sure bet that X-Metal’s days were numbered. Luxottica was just not that kind of company (i.e. CHEAPSKATES!)
I really liked Oakley’s products In general and fell in love with the X-Metal sunglasses. I bought a couple to wear and a couple to store since at the time there was no telling how long they’d stick around. Oakley was known to change direction on a dime, so I figured that I better store a couple if I wanted to make them my daily wear sunglasses. Ice Iridium Polarized was my preferred lens with a smattering of Black Iridium and one prized Ruby.
My walk around glasses are a pair of polarized Ice Juliets. My driving glasses are a pair of XX with Rx corrected Ice polarized lenses, which had to be custom made by Essilor for triple what I paid for the glasses!
I have four or five pair of NIB Juliets in storage. And one of the original special edition X-Men “Cyclops” Ruby Juliets. One pair of NIB Mars Crators that I bought for a gift, but they were just too “wild“ for the recipient and I thankfully had to buy them a pair of Maui Jim’s. I say thankfully because those suckers are damn valuable these days.
I also have five original design Timebomb watches, another design I love. I wear one of them and the rest are still in their boxes. I also have four pairs of the v.2 Timebombs still in boxes, same design as the original but made of Ion plated stainless steel instead of titanium. I was holding onto all of those figuring that they would appreciate because, well — they’re old skool (today) Oakley! Though I think I’m getting ready to sell off some of this small collection.
Which brings up a question I had. Does anyone think that any of the crap, er ah — Luxottica products will be worth anything in 10 years? The OP mentioned in the title post the Madman and Badman glasses. They are a mediocre imitation of the X-Metal designs. But they are still Oakley branded. So what’s the overall opinion of this learned group?
Another question. What is Luxottica stamping as the manufacturing point for the current Oakley frames? Made in the United States or Italy? There is an whory little story behind the Made in Italy label. Luxottica I’d actually making all the parts for their glasses in China then shipping and assembling them in Italy. Italy allows them to then mark them as Made in Italy using some European trade laws jujitsu. America will never let them get away with that and the laws around “Made in America” are much stricter here.