Fossil is an American designer and manufacturer of clothing and accessories, well known for its line of watches and jewelry, as well as sunglasses, wallets, handbags, belts, shoes and clothing. The fashion company has now joined an increasing number of companies coming out with smartwatches and connected accessories.
The very first fitness trackers had an image problem and looked more like geeky accessories rather than fashionable items a person would be proud to showcase around the office or at a formal dinner. This has changed now with a number of companies such as Jawbone and Misfit coming out with more stylish wearables. Providers of smartwatches have followed suit with for example the Withings Activite and Moto 360.
Fossil was founded in 1984 as Overseas Products International by Tom Kartsotis, a former Texas A&M University student living in Dallas from a suggestion by his older brother Kosta Kartsotis, a merchandising executive at Sanger Harris. Kosta told his younger brother about the potential large profits that could be made in importing retail goods made in the Far East, specifically in importing moderately-priced fashion watches. Their main product was fashion watches with a retro look. In 1990, they introduced leather goods under the Fossil brand, and the Relic line of watches.
In 2003, the company released the “Fossil Wrist PDA” wristwatch computer which is a tiny Palm OS-based PDA worn like a watch. In 2006, Fossil released a Caller ID watch.
The company has recently announced a line of connected wearables. The range of devices includes the Q Reveler, Q Dreamer, Q Grant and Q Founder:
- Q Reveler and Q Dreamer: Compared to other smart bands available now, both the Q Reveler and Q Dreamer are fashionable, but fairly basic in terms of the activity they track. As they only contain a 3-axis accelerometer, they focus on keeping track of activity, and providing smartphone notifications with a subtle nudge and color LEDs. The Q Reveler and Q Dreamer use the same metal and leather materials, but in a different band-like design. Fossil basically hid all typical signs of a connected device from the naked eye with these devices.
- Q Grant: You would never be able to tell that the Q Grant watch does anything more than tell time thanks to its traditional look. Similar to the Withings Activite, this non-display smartwatch features a classic metal case and interchangeable genuine leather bands. Underneath the traditional face, the watch is talking to your smartphone, tracking fitness, listening for important messages and then alerting you to only the emails, texts, phone calls and app news. You can customize your key contacts with their own color, and when they contact you, you’ll feel a gentle vibration and see that color appear on right, left, or both LED indicators located on either side of the watch.
- Q Founder: The Q Founder is the result of collaboration with Intel and Google, engineered with Intel® Innovation and powered by Android Wear™. Leveraging Intel and Google technology, the Q Founder shows you useful information and is compatible with both Android™ phones and iPhones. You can view notifications on your wrist for things like calls, text messages, emails and calendar events. You will also get personalized Google cards with information on for example weather or sporting events. Q Founder will be available just in time for the holiday shopping season and starts at $275.
An attractive aspect of the Fossil line of wearables is their charging technology. The fabric-encased stand doubles as a charging surface. Just sit the devices on top of the plastic surface and they will begin to charge. Fossil claims these devices can last up to a week before they need another charge. A week of battery life is solid; you won’t have to charge either of these accessories each night like other smartwatches.
Our customers are obsessed with their personal sense of style and staying connected, and we are thrilled to enter into this emerging category with an answer to their needs,” said Jill Elliott-Sones, chief creative officer at Fossil.
Fossil Q is the result of countless hours of meticulous design expressed through a playful curious lens. Our hope is the unique attention to detail in both our connected accessories line and app cue our audience to try new things, be more curious and experience the world around them like never before.
Fossil’s Q wearables don’t do as much as many of their competitors do. They have nowhere near as many sensors or abilities as other fitness trackers or smartwatches at the same price point. But they do a few things very well and are some of the most stylish wearables yet.