Entrepreneur and Oakley‘s founder James Jannard didn’t become a billionaire several times over by acceptance of the status quo. Ever the competitor, Jannard fiercely pursued methodology deemed impossible by most. Take MARS sunglasses from the Oakley X-Metal collection. First introduced in 1997, X-Metal MARS was originally fashioned after the needs of His Airness, Michael Jordan, then a Board Member of Oakley. The “X” in X-Metal stood for the 5 metal alloy composition, though the exact details are top secret to this day, hence the “X”. What was known, however, was the inclusion of titanium, a notoriously difficult metal to work with. For it and other metal elements to attend a malleable consistency, a temperature of over 3,000-degree must be reached. A reason why Oakley built a new facility with a 6-ton, 425,000 watts generator on site and five-axle machining tools for an optimal precision of 0.0005-inch, unheard of at the time for eyewear and since. But these are the extremes Jannard was willing to go to in order to create the first 3-dimensional, hypoallergenic, all-metal frame for his customers.
The story of X-Metal MARS took an unlikely turn last year. A decade after its introduction and thousands of pairs sold, staff stumbled upon a few crates within the Oakley’s inventory. In them were pristine pairs of MARS in the original 3 variants Crater, Metal, and Leather Wrapped. Though no one is certain how these crates were overlooked, all are in agreement that these were from the original batch made over a decade ago. To show their appreciation to long time Oakley supporters, Baden decided to give away these coveted eyewears, with the addition of laser engraved serial number on each pair to keep track. Of course, the sunglasses retain all of the original features, include:
- XYZ Optics for minimum distortion and maximum optical clarity.
- Plutonite lens material passes ANSI Industrial Standard Z87.1 for optical clarity, high-mass and high-velocity impact.
- Unobtainium nosebombs, flex couplings and earsocks provide a comfortable, secure fit.
- Interchangeable flex couplings and nosebombs enable you to reduce or increase frame flexibility for a custom fit.
- Iridium coatings and lens tints reflect glare and heighten contrast.
- 100% protection against UV and harmful blue light.
- X Metal hypoallergenic alloy for optimum strength to weight ratio.
- Laser engraved serial number on each frame.
For customers with prescription eyewear, Oakley will be able to manufacture prescribed lens for the X-Metal MARS, as with other Oakley frames. Unfortunately, because of its extreme rarity, the X-Metal MARS collection will not be for sale.