Twenty Fifty
Sep 19, 2016 6:27 AM
The word "prototype" has become a current era buzzword much like how everything is described as "rare" in auctions. Since "prototype" has been used for everything, it's become this nebulous term that means different things to different Oakley collectors.

Some described the SLA, clay or 3D print models the true prototypes. Possibly so.

Others consider one-time creations or athlete exclusives to be prototypes, while other consider these "one-offs" instead of the true precursor to the consumer product.

Some consider an unfinished product in the production phase to be a prototype, such as old O Matter still connected to their sprue, or pairs that just haven't had their various coatings applied yet, to be prototypes; others consider these as part of the unfinished manufacturing process of an already existing product - complete the manufacturing process and it would be no different than the final version.

Others just say something is a prototype as long as Oakley and its development team call it such.

So the question is: In your opinion, how do you define what a "prototype" actually is in the context of sunglasses?

Dann Thombs
Sep 19, 2016 1:45 PM
I feel the first two qualify. The only ones that actually say 'Prototype' on the glasses are the 0.2p/0.3p's which are in reality just athlete samples. However, I guess, unlike the Green Camo Monster Dogs, or other colorway variations, these were test runs of the non-frosted orbitals and even had the gen 1 circular design while the frosted had moved to the gen 2 before the final polished finish which only came in the flattened design.

Since our hand is somewhat forced in that regard, I personally would only consider something a prototype if it was directly related to functioning as a decision piece. For example my Flying Tiger Oil Rig was used as a test canvas for the design, and once approved, they mass produced a similar pattern on the Gascans. Takumi also did pretty much the same thing on the Concept Studio, but those weren't meant to lead into anything else, so I wouldn't call those prototypes. However there were some that he painted and didn't result in a retail pair, but perhaps if they were used to consider a larger run (even if they didn't), that would still count. All about intent, which makes for some huge grey area.

The Clear Thump would be another good one. Aside from being used in the promotional material, it was used as a visual aid during the Thump's development (at least according to Jim when he posted on the now defunct thumpinfo.com)

Obviously the printed CAD models would count since rapid prototyping is about as exact as you can get. Sometimes they would also only print parts that change since many times new models build directly off an old one. For example the Jawbone started as a switchlock Classic Racing Jacket. Then it moved to a switchlock Straight Jacket II, so they only printed the orbitals but just snapped on the Jacket stems since those were plentiful.

Twenty Fifty
Sep 19, 2016 3:56 PM
Excellent, well-thought out answer!
Lou P
Sep 19, 2016 5:48 PM
IMO a prototype is an item fabricated from a preliminary design which is then subject to redlining the preliminary design to refine the design in order to bring the preliminary design to the final design. So all items fabricated prior to the final design would be considered prototypes.
lord oakman
Jonathan Oakman
Sep 19, 2016 5:20 PM
My understanding of a prototype is a work in progress piece. The first piece made that is not the finished article. It could be colour I could be the finish after painting or just for the shape and contours of what ever it is.

If its a piece that is made to order or a piece that is supplied to a athlete, That to me is a 1 off piece
marcel rijsdijk
Sep 19, 2016 5:28 PM
i have the racing jacket one. will be posting pics later
Twenty Fifty
Sep 19, 2016 8:57 PM
Good input, everyone. Keep the opinions flowing on this one.

Looking forward to it, Marcel.
Kyle Gable
Sep 19, 2016 9:52 PM
I think a prototype is a test piece. The final version or mass produced piece is not a prototype. An exclusive colorway could be a prototype I guess, but I don't think so. The design of the frame is what makes it a prototype. Trying different designs and elements in a pair that did not make the final version makes it a prototype to me.
Twenty Fifty
Sep 19, 2016 11:13 PM
The C Six provides one of the most complicated case studies of what would be considered a prototype since it has so many iterations, timing of iterations and variants for rep sample purposes. It turns the definition on its head. Consider the following:

The Livestrong C Six. Is this a prototype? Under normal circumstances, I would not even consider this a prototype but rather an athlete one off. I mean, the build and materials is EXACTLY what the final product to the consumer would be, just with different colours (as opposed to the prototypes of the JB or Fast Jacket which cost $10k per pair because material and manufacturing methods are different) . Just as any athlete exclusive one off is wont to have.

BUT what complicates the matter is that it was shown to us months before the consumer model came to market. Does this timing make it a prototype rather than a one off? Or is it just a sales tool to introduce it to the world? If it is a prototype because it came before the consumer release, would rep samples be prototypes because it came before the consumer release (obviously not, but it does draw a similar comparison)?

Then there are the C Six that is exactly the same as the ones released to the market but lacks the earstem etchings and has a box presentation plate that says "prototype"? Does the lack of etchings just show it just missing one step of its production process, or would you consider that a sign of a prototype? Does the prototype plate in the box say anything about the glasses itself?

What if the designers and modellers call the above items a prototype? Would this influence your decision if your initial thoughts were more negative?

Like I said, a complicated case study.

Dann Thombs
Sep 20, 2016 2:09 AM
Those might follow the 0.2P proto, where it's labeled as such, bit is just an athlete or sales sample.
marcel rijsdijk
Sep 21, 2016 3:11 AM

Twenty Fifty
Sep 21, 2016 12:48 PM
Beautiful stuff. I especially like the large JB one. The best 3D printed prototypes are the ones with moving parts.
marcel rijsdijk
Sep 21, 2016 4:58 PM
all are moving

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