FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif.–Oakley Inc. (NYSE:OO) Tuesday announced the release of Water Jacket(TM) eyewear.
Based on the breakthrough design of the company’s Racing Jacket(R), the new release combines the clarity of performance optics with unsurpassed protection against ultraviolet light and high impact for use in extreme water environments.
“Our test lab was a 30-foot wave,” said Oakley President Colin Baden. “We knew if Water Jacket could perform for pro surfers, it would excel in any sport that tests the limits of water and sanity. For development, we went to wave riders who tow in on the outer reefs
— the ones who take the sport to the extreme.
“They demanded precise optics and put high emphasis on protection against the dangers of pterygium.”
The company’s innovation has become a surfer’s best protection against pterygium, a form of eye damage that results from prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light. “A water surface can focus UV like a liquid lens,” Baden continued. “It ricochets and magnifies, hitting your eyes at every angle.
“Without this level of protection, it’s only a matter of time before ultraviolet radiation bakes the cornea. Pterygium is Mother Nature’s idea of a callus for your eyeball, and it’s more than just an occupational hazard for surfers. Everyone is at risk.”
Perfecting Water Jacket required nearly two years of research. Countless hours of on-the-water testing produced numerous innovations, including a nearly unbreakable strap and neck leash to safeguard the eyewear. The anchoring system is critical for professional surfing, where a fall begins with high-velocity impact and ends with the underwater churn of wave surge.
The secure fit is enhanced by soft Unobtainium(R) nosebombs and earsocks designed to increase adhesion when wet. Further advances include the surge port technology developed for the company’s Racing Jacket eyewear. The frame architecture uses contoured intakes to channel airflow across the lens and away from the eyes.
Specialized vented lenses along with the unique frame architecture help to prevent fog buildup by improving water drainage and augmenting evaporation by changing the surface tension of fluid across the lens surface.
Optics are specifically tuned for the most hostile environment that visual perception can endure. To deal with the constant bombardment of glare from water surfaces, the company created a special formulation of its Iridium(R) lens coating.
Black Iridium allows Water Jacket to tune the precise frequencies necessary for optical clarity in harsh sunlight while restricting the haze and pinpoint flashes of endless reflections along the water/air boundary. To combat the distortion caused by fluid on the lens surface, a specially formulated hydrophobic solution was developed.
Rather than allowing a sheen of water to bend light via refraction, the surface chemistry of the hydrophobic solution forces water to bead and run off the lens. This offers an unobstructed view and allows lens optics to maintain critical clarity.
Water Jacket features Plutonite(R) lens material, an Oakley invention that blocks 100% of all UVA, UVB, UVC and harmful blue light. Unlike the flat plane of conventional eyewear, the wrapped, raked-back architecture of Water Jacket maximizes peripheral protection against sun, wind and impact.
The unique curvature is a contributing factor to the frame’s ability to exceed standards of high-velocity and high-mass impact, as established by the American National Standards Institute.
To maintain optical precision along the extreme contours, the frame utilizes Oakley’s patented XYZ Optics(R), a breakthrough that virtually eradicates distortion from the entire field of view — including the periphery.
Available with a Jet Black or Blue frame, each Water Jacket comes with an H2O strap, Micro Clear bag, hydrophobic solution and protective soft-box case. The eyewear retails at a suggested price of US$185. Product shotss of Water Jacket are available online at www.oakley.com.
About Oakley Inc.
Oakley: a world brand, driven to ignite the imagination through the fusion of art and science. Building on its legacy of innovative, market-leading, premium sunglasses, the company also offers an expanding line of premium performance footwear, apparel, accessories, watches and prescription eyewear to consumers in more than 70 countries.
Trailing-12-month revenues through June 30, 2000 totaled $300.2 million and generated net income of $40.0 million — a 13 percent net margin, excluding a one-time, after-tax restructuring charge of $8.2 million recorded during the fourth quarter of 1999. Oakley news releases, SEC filings and the company’s annual report are available at no charge through the company’s Web site at www.oakley.com.