• Aug 28, 2009

Carbon fiber. It's light, it's strong, and it looks so darn cool. As such, we doubt we're the only ones who've wondered why we don't see more eyewear made out of the stuff. Well, there are a couple of good reasons – namely that it's expensive and difficult to work with. While it's complicated enough to lay it down in sheets to make a crash-resistant race car tub, for example, forming it into intricate shapes like sunglass frames is apparently on another level.

Enter Oakley, the eyewear company already plenty familiar with the challenges of using exotic materials. Oakley has teamed up with racing specialist Crosby Composites to make the upcoming C Six. But instead of laying down sheets in the complex form, Crosby and Oakley mill the frames out of solid blocks of carbon fiber, each 40 layers deep, using state-of-the-art Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) drills spinning at 10,000 rpm for 24 hours to create a single pair of these bad boys. The result could very well be the ultimate driving shades, but don't expect every wheel jockey on the turnpike to be wearing a pair. Oakley is only making 250 of 'em, and they're expected to sell for a cool four grand apiece when they hit the market.

[Source: Carbon Fiber Gear]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oakleys are cool.... overpriced carbon-fibre Oakleys aren't.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well this is obviously entirely focused on brand image.
      There is no need for carbon fiber to be used in sun glasses, and finishing process has no other purpose than to give those glasses an original look (if you look closely you will notice the light diffusion pattern of the fiber texture is broken where the milling has cut through layers).

      It's not important whether this finishing process is used (or could be useful) in real-world situations, like racing parts or architectonic structures. These are only a vanity accessory that has NOTHING to do with that: the material is what makes them exclusive, and the finishing process what makes them unique.

      I agree about the fact that they really don't look like special glasses. And I bet you could easily obtain similar light games with recycled aluminum (ever noticed those metal trash bins that look like they had a camouflage work done to the metal?).
        • 5 Years Ago
        That "camo" pattern is not from aluminum. It is the galvanization crystals on galvanized steel.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You are right. I can't figure where that notion about Al came from, but it is wrong.
        The "camo" effect, which at my company they call "Leopard marks" is an effect of the application of Zinc in low-end products to protect from rust.

        It's funny how my office lays where a few decades ago Fiat Auto used to do it's galvanization processes!

        Haha... you never stop learning!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anyone who'd pay $4000 for a pair of sunglasses has more money than brains.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll look so cool in these when my VTEC kicks in, yo!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      "C Six" - Nerd joke!
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a waste of money. I've said it in the past: ridiculously overpriced products exist for only one reason... vanity and snobbishness.

      Even if I won the lottery, I wouldn't spend money on something so trivial.
      • 5 Years Ago
      girls and shoes
      girls and glasses
      I just buy $9 pair at Wal Mart. Break them. Buy another.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, a ton of haters out there. I did a little research on the myself. The process that they are using is a little tougher than the basic CNC machining you have talked about. Plus the detailing looks to be pretty finished, something that CNC machining has not been great with until recent years(5 to 10 years, much less working with a compressed carbon fiber block). Plus you can't hate on something that will only have 250 available. I bet that there aren't many posters here that could even swing the price tag. I found out that Oakley itself have been continuing to grow as a company, even though it has been purchased by Luxottica. I read in one article that they(Luxottica) handed over brands to them to bring new life to their eyewear, something you wouldn’t think would happen in most purchases.

      But that’s ok, you’re probably too old to wear eyewear that one of their athletes wear, and you would be a better fit in a sunglass you only dump nine bucks into, bought from a local gas station. Be sure you look into supporting all of the other crappy products made in mass in China and Japan, verses their company that still makes a ton of the general revenue out of products made here in the US.

      I will thank you in advance for being ill-equipped to have a truly good reason to dislike their sunglasses or their company, or just for the fact that you can’t afford them. Me personally I will always support companies that aren’t worried about bloggers opinions and the mass populations beliefs, because if we did we would never have progress in this country.

      “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
      - Albert Einstein
      (a quote i found on Oakleys web site)
      • 5 Years Ago
      don't know wat s the big hype with carbon fiber, the glassed don't look good , n price is way too much !

      http://www.indianautotalk.com
      • 5 Years Ago
      for those of you that are interested in carbon fibre, there is already a company called Bellinger out of Denmark that I work with that is producing 100 percent carbon fibre frames already. They have a patent on the way they produce it, and it is all produced in house in the factory in Denmark.

      It is called BLAC and here is the web site address for you to check out....

      www.blac.dk

      And it retails for less then 700.00.

      It is a state of the art eyeglass frame done by a boutique company out of Denmark that is also inspired by Formula 1 racing, according to Designer Claus Bellinger....

      So there is an alternative to the 4000.00 Oakley, and it is made much better and by hand.

      Please email me for more info on availability or to request a store in your area to carry it.

      DSOPTICSINC@gmail.com
      • 5 Years Ago
      CNC aren't that state of the art... been around for 20/ 30 years and those pair of sun glasses are just way over the top
        • 5 Years Ago
        Forgot to add, these do look pretty cool though.

        To all the people worrying about fibres poking in your face and so on, have you heard of lacquer?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's probably also not as hard as they say to lay up some glasses and do some machining after. We make a lot of small CF parts where I work - granted, I work for a Formula One team, but that's not the point.

        What I'd like to see is some glasses made out of something like Windform XT. They'd be good for anyone wanting some light and rugged glasses.
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