Vinicius Silva
Feb 21, 2013 6:02 AM
Today on my facebook page a friend asked what the rarest of oakley sunglasses, I as a "great listener" among them, I was really unresponsive. For me it's the C six carbon fiber and for you?
paul mcj
Feb 21, 2013 7:39 AM
You would think that any pair or colorway in which only 1 pair would be the rarest Oakley. Of which, there have now seemingly been many one-offs made, so there is a large tie for first place.

In my Mom's family, we tend to go with a "one tie, all tie" rule. So by my book, every pair is the most rare!

C Six Carbon should win for most expensive retail pair, though.
Twenty Fifty
Feb 21, 2013 7:40 AM
I guess the 18k M Frame for something the public had a shot at. For something that wasn't available, perhaps the Green OTT from the first Raimi Spider-man movie. Those are just the ones that come to mind. There is a lot of rare stuff (rare as in you're able to count on one hand) that has been made over the years, so much so I'm sure there are as much rare stuff as stuff that has been sold in stores.
Dann Thombs
Feb 21, 2013 5:01 PM
'Rare' as a term has lost most meaning in the past few years. It started with total-o and huneymonkey releasing one-offs on a regular basis, and then was driven into the ground with all the limited Frogskins. I think rarity has less to do today with production count, and more the story behind the item. Granted the less there is, technically the more rare it is, but once you start getting down so low that there's no chance anyone can get one, it sort of loses its meaning.

I'm not sure if anyone remember the movie 'The Deep', which was about a couple who stumbled upon some treasure while diving, and this led to much trouble, but there was a line that stuck with me in regards to collecting. I don't remember the exact words, but they had found a figure made from gold. A prospective buyer would pay a certain amount, but only on the value of the gold's weight, stating that most would just as soon melt it down to bullion. They were shocked that someone would have such disregard for a historical piece, but the buyer countered that they had no concrete proof of its history. He told them to find out what ship had sunk to leave the piece in the ocean, and see if there was a famous captain. Only them would they really have something valuable.

Take something like the Clear Thump. On it's own, it certainly has a coolness, and isn't one of the standard colorways. However we saw pictures of it in promo work, and Jim mentioned it on the now defunct thumpinfo.com forums, so when it finally showed up and proved that it wasn't a concept photo, that added mystique helped tremendously.

Something 'rare' is a term that we want to believe. It's an oversimplification that items X, Y & Z are valuable and need to be found. Once it was Ruby Juliets, then it was 0.3's. Granted they are hard to find, but there were thousands theoretically at one point. Now, I see threads on Facebook almost daily asking if such and such an item is rare. Most are relating to items roughly ten years old like Mars and early Jackets. When asked, I usually respond that any pair of glasses that's over a decade old, it generally going to be hard to find, but in the day they were as common as Gascans are now.

Now one thing I can admit to, is the rarity of sleeper hits. Meaning glasses that no one bothered with, and due to time taking their toll on damaged or lost pairs, the ones that remain in near mint condition certainly have some desirability. This conversation always goes back to comics. Anything from the Golden era is going to be priceless, while X-Force #1 in the polybag won't even get cover price. Comics in those days had many hurdles to cross, from the sheer age, to parents tossing them in the garbage, or being recycled to help war efforts.
Twenty Fifty
Feb 21, 2013 7:52 PM
When asked, I usually respond that any pair of glasses that's over a decade old, it generally going to be hard to find, but in the day they were as common as Gascans are now.
I think this is a key concept for today's market. I had started a thread years back asking what the definition of rare years was (too lazy to search for it now), and looking back the definition certainly has morphed over the years and further modified as newer collectors join the scene. I LMAO when someone states stuff like the wide release Romoeo and Mars are rare, but that's only because the weren't around when there was an overabundance of product at the retail/eBay/o.com level back in the day.

As you suggested, "rarity" is becoming less and less relevant in my eyes. "Desirability" is more important. I would rather have something blatently cool with backstory but widely release than something ho-hum and only a handful made.

But enough of my soapbox...back to rare shit.
Dann Thombs
Feb 21, 2013 8:09 PM
Twenty Fifty
Feb 21, 2013 8:22 PM
Thanks. What a world of difference 7 years makes on your perception of things. Most of the stuff mentioned in that thread (such as the RC Riddle) I would simply shrug my shoulders at and would not necessarily consider rare anymore.
Dann Thombs
Feb 21, 2013 8:25 PM
The Zero's still are desirable, but it seems at that point, we were still trying to wrap our heads around what they even were, and how many variations were out there.
paul jewiss
Feb 21, 2013 8:39 PM
i class rare as something i would like but can never find or have never seen available!

i always used to think the strip lense was rare and only ever new of lee having one, and now the past year on here, quite a few members have got one or multiples-would these still be classed as rare?

i guess rare for me is also seeing a picture of something that ive never seen in the hands of a collector or never seen up for sale

using the word rare, does help shift pairs sometimes though ha ha

if people see the word rare, they think it is but not always the case

that old thread was cracking reading!
paul mcj
Feb 21, 2013 9:15 PM
It will also be interesting to see how the evolution of expertise in hydroprinting and the chroming process impacts the notion of rare and/or authentic. I can imagine over the course of years, how can we know what might have been a one-off produced at HQ or at the hands of someone like Chop?
Twenty Fifty
Feb 21, 2013 9:36 PM
That's a good point; provenance will be difficult to prove as the years go by. If a custom pair did show up that didn't quite use the same printing/coating techniques that we're used to, all a seller has to say is was a prototype done with a different technique or vendor to test their methods. Hard to prove if that's a fact or not.
EJ Man
Feb 21, 2013 10:06 PM
(crying) FMJ Copper Eye jackets (crying)

havent found a single person whos even seen them other than on a poster or seomthing.
Dann Thombs
Feb 21, 2013 10:30 PM
In the future Dr. Chop pairs will resurface and be called rare.
Adrian Jimenez
Feb 22, 2013 12:39 AM
I'm still young into my Oakley collecting life, so my idea of rare is still changing. I don't collect simply due to rarity though, I collect according to what I like. For example, if the Jordan Mars was limited to a few hundred, or mass produced as it was, I would still want one all the same.

I also consider something rare via condition state. You can go to ebay almost any day of the year and find a Jordan Mars in an auction, but to find a truly original flawless 10/10 with the matching serial box, now that's rare to me. Since I try to find every vintage pair I own in such a state (being condition crazy), every time I search for something vintage I feel like I'm after something rare. The more fragile it is, the more rare it would be in truly 10/10 condition.

Take the 0.3p's for another example, they were normally produced at one time, but with how easy it is to put a single microscratch in that big lens, I would consider a truly microscratch/cleaning mark free gem mint piece to be really rare, because I know the grand majority of 0.3p's out there now have a microscratch or two or tons on them.

For me it's all about what I like and condition, and if it happens to be low production then so be it. I also believe custom pairs will be a issue in the future as well since brand new collectors will see some crazy Dr. Chop custom or someone else's and not know the minor details long time collectors will know.
I Brennan
Feb 22, 2013 1:21 AM
Rare to me isnt something someone has customized, so much as something that Ive seen or heard mentioned in an article...but was never made public...a one off from the factory...maybe a prototype...
. .
Feb 22, 2013 1:32 AM
Frog skin rainbow fades rep items , factory one offs anything from dr chopp
Feb 22, 2013 4:54 AM
I would go with serial # 00023 Romeo 1's. Or really any subserial original x-metals.

Other than that, all I can think of as rare are original prototypes.

. .
Feb 23, 2013 2:49 AM
Like my clear trenchcoats

Edited by Moderator.
Feb 23, 2013 12:48 AM
Granted the less there is, technically the more rare it is, but once you start getting down so low that there's no chance anyone can get one, it sort of loses its meaning.
Spot on with everything Dann.

It's like asking "What's rarer? The Mona Lisa or The Scream?" Once you talk about one-offs or limited, employee/owner pairs rarity becomes meaningless and it's more about value/desirability, like Oak said.

Stanley 'True Love Hates'
Feb 25, 2013 3:10 AM
I absolutely concur. Rarity with desirability sans absurdity. One-off customs/fakes lead one down the road to collectors' absurdity.
Go Fast
Feb 26, 2013 6:14 AM
I think everyone has their own spin on 'rare', especially in terms of Oakley.

To me, the one off or 'few off' sports marketing active pieces are the sweetest rare items to have. But, having a passion for cycling and the other action sports that these were created for as well as having access to them makes them fun and not absurd.

To someone who collects and loves Zero's, a one-off Racing Jacket means next to nothing to them. And I am totally ok with that.

Also, with absolutely no disrespect to those custom cutting lenses, painting frames, etc... Factory custom always beats home grown custom. That is just how I see it, nothing more.

Great thread topic!

O-Review Logo & Design
© 2004-2024 Atom Crown Design and DCJ Productions.
Product Images, Logos and Artwork © 1975-2024 Oakley Inc.
All personal photos © 2004-2024 by their owners...or Rick.