A gift that puts others in the shade

NEXT Sunday, as the man of the house goes boating or just puts his feet up on the balcony, make sure he is wearing the right sunglasses.

Properly manufactured sunglasses provide essential eye protection as well as acting as a summer fashion accessory.

'With ozone depletion, eye protection should be a priority for everyone and, in a dusty place like Hong Kong, sunglasses also offer protection from dirt and grime,' said Tony Carey, Oakley's authorised distributor.

United States-based Oakley is the fastest-growing designer and manufacturer of sunglasses in the world.

'We pride ourselves on being a market leader and we have achieved our goal by using advanced technology and design innovation,' Mr Carey said.

Oakley's range includes the sports lenses and frames for which the company is famous, as well as sunglasses for general everyday use.

'We were the first company to bring out M-Frames, a unique sports frame made from lightweight 'Virgin Serilium', which allows greater optical clarity and impact protection by positioning the lens close to the face,' Mr Carey said.

The M-Frame sports glasses have special lenses which minimise distortion at all angles. Lenses can also be interchanged for indoors or outdoors.

Costing between $855 and $1,175, M-Frames are available in four lens shapes and seven lens tints.

'We have a lens for every light condition, whether it is for playing golf in poor weather or affording clarity at night. We have a clear lens for indoor sports. The high-intensity yellow lens is ideal for low light, whereas extremely bright light requires the blue iridium.' One of the most popular M-Frame lenses is the positive red iridium with its unique properties for deflecting heat away from the face.

T Wire, the classic Oakley frame, uses titanium to create sunglasses that are sleek and thin, yet exceptionally rigid.

'Titanium is one of the strongest metals but the frames are made to ensure they are lightweight to keep pressure off the temples,' he said.

The T Wires have Plutonite lenses, coated with titanium iridium to reduce glare. They retail at $2,195.

Oakley's newest line is based on a simple geometric shape - the circle.

'The new Zero lenses block out all harmful ultra-violet rays and exceed the toughest standards for clarity and impact resistance,' Mr Carey said.