Killer Shades – Oakley Plaintiff Polarized Black/Red
Or, the Ray-Ban killer.
We Ball Harder is a great advocate of aviator sunglasses, and of course the undisputed archetype of such is the Ray-Ban 3025, as worn by pretty much everyone and their dog. They’re classic, attractive, and look good on almost everyone, even Tom Cruise (I know, right?). But a new killer has emerged: the Oakley Plaintiff, as shown above with matte black frame, OO black polarized lenses, and red accents.
You may ask yourself, “I say, don’t Oakley make rather garish specs, what?” [do you not ask yourself questions in that manner?] Well, the fact is they do, mostly, and even their metal-framed models are still a bit gauche and oddly-fitting on one’s face. In other words, not the ideal shades for the hard baller, unless out on his or her yacht.
But Oakley is unquestionably the leader in sunglass technology, holding more patents in this field than any other producer. Respect. And recently, I discovered that Oakley has produced an aviator model, the Plaintiff (a rather silly name, but oh well). So, you may wonder: why these vs The Originators, Ray-Ban? A few reasons, the first of which being the fit. Ray-Bans have straight stems, perpendicular to the flat lenses, so everything is at hard 90º angles. The result is that the frames don’t always sit right, and the inner portion of the lens flaps against your eyelashes while the outer edge is far from your face and allows light in. The Oakleys are curved, as below, which keeps everything close to your face without being IN your face:
Additionally, Ray-Ban frames and stems are made of very thin, flexible, wiry metal, that is extremely easy to bend. The Oakley stems are solid but lightweight, with titanium hinges. Points for apparent durability. They also feel EXTREMELY comfortable to wear.
Furthermore, the lenses have all the fruits of Oakley’s hard, patent-winning labour. The OO Black Iridium polarized lenses in particular that these sport offer Oakley’s second highest level of light reduction (still OK to drive in), which drastically cut down glare and increase contrast. From their website:
- Oakley HDPolarized –Minimized glare via technology that produces the best polarized lenses on the planet
- Optimized peripheral view and side coverage of 8.75 Base lens geometry
- Optical precision and performance that meets all ANSI Z80.3 standards
- UV protection of Plutonite® lens material that filters out 100% of UVA/UVB/UVC & harmful blue light up to 400nm
- Glare reduction and tuned light transmission of Iridium® lens coatings
So it’s a lot of marketing (Plutonite®??), but there’s also a decent amount of science and protection in there. Reassuring when forking over for quality eyewear.
Finally, they look great. Everyone has Ray-Ban or Fay-Bans, but who have you seen who has these? What’s more, the matte black frames look superb – they don’t reflect light like chrome, silver, or gold frames, which means not only do you not see the glare from them while wearing them, they don’t look all shiny on your face to others. Subtle. The red highlight is also more subtle than it seems, and is a nice, distinctive feature. For those who prefer a more traditional look they also come with black/silver and chrome-ish frames.
Final verdict: winning all round. A+.