Selecting a watch can be a tough decision, as there are plenty of options out there. There are many different types of watches from various brands, ranging from Rolex to Casio.
The type of watch also varies for different people according to their personality and usage, a teenager would prefer a smartwatch whereas your grandmother may prefer going with the minimal analog design.
During your watch hunt, you will most likely come across Fossil Watches, because this brand offers a wide range of collections for everyone. But before buying a fossil watch, you ought to know are fossil watches good?
Let’s find out.
Based in Richardson, Texas, Fossil Group, Inc is an American fashion designer and manufacturer founded by Greek-American entrepreneur Tom Kartsotis in 1984.
Tom Kartsotis, a resident of Dallas, formed this company at the suggestion of his elder brother. His brother, Kosta Kartsotis told him about the idea of profits that could be made by importing watches.
The start of this watch empire began when Tom flew to Hong Kong and returned with hundreds of watches and sold them in classic tin packing boxes. Then the company was formed and was named after their father whom they nicknamed Fossil.
Moving forward with the idea, they started the venture with their main product being a retro fashion watch. This venture grew to leather goods and also introduced a Relic collection of watches.
With the growth of the company, Fossil Group had its first initial public offering in 1993. To establish a Swiss presence, Fossil Group purchased Zodiac Watches from Genender International in 2001 at the price of $4.1 million.
Taking it a step further, it moved forward with the purchase of the Michele Watch in 2004 to develop high-end Swiss watches with a designer flair.
Establishing its well-recognized name in the market, Fossil now partners with several great companies and produces licensed accessories for brands like Armani Exchange, Diesel, DKNY, Emporio Armani, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Puma and Tory Burch.
History of Fossil Watches
The journey of Fossil Watches from its birth until today has seen a lot of changes. It has evolved significantly in just three decades, submerged into the designer watch industry and making a name for itself in 1989.
The Fossil was a part of the first Basel Fair trade show in Switzerland which led to starting their venture in women’s leather goods in 1992. Three years after this it opened the first outlet store along with the introduction of men’s sunglasses and leather accessories.
The rise of Fossil Watches came with the development of its e-commerce website, Fossil.com. When it started pitching the products online the demand for this brand grew higher. Expanding the business, it opened outlets in Dallas and Chicago.
The year 1997 was the best one of Fossil’s journeys, as it took over Emporio Armani and started distributing the watches worldwide.
Years after building a business relationship with Armani, Fossil launched its flagship product — Big Tic watch. This watch was half analog and half digital which attracted a lot of attention.
With the continuous improvement in its product, by the end of the 90s, Fossil managed to land a worldwide licensing agreement to produce watches for renowned brands like DIESEL and DKNY.
Fossil now has its stores in many parts of the world and has introduced futuristic Fossil Smartwatches as well. These smartwatches have innovative technical functions and compatibility with Android or iOS devices, catering to a wider audience.
Are Fossil Watches Good?
After all these years of fame, now coming to the essential question — are Fossil watches good?
There is no straightforward answer to this, it all depends on the perspective of what a person is looking for in a watch to consider it a good timepiece.
Fossil watches are highly appreciated by those who prefer a stylish design having an affordable price that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. On the contrary, they are criticized by those who prefer a luxury line of watches.
It is pointless to compare a watch brand with luxury watches because luxury watches are going to cost you a lot more than other brands.
Luxury watches are mostly limited in supply as they are hand-made with attention paid to every single timepiece, whereas brands are mass-produced and readily available in the market.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that Fossil makes bad quality watches, just that they are not up to par with luxury series. And that is totally fine because Fossil focuses on affordable but good-looking timepieces.
Now for the sake of argument, if we want to check whether Fossil Watches are up to the mark, we should compare them with other brands of the same category and price ranges. Also, we will need to look at the factors which determine the quality of watches.
Prices of Fossil Watches
One of the biggest reasons which make Fossil popular is that it’s an affordable watch brand that allows more people to buy one, unlike Rolex for which you’ll have to break your bank.
It has various collections having different prices for each. Some of the collections are as low as $50, while top-of-the-line models may touch up to $800. It entirely depends on what type of watch you choose. But on average, Fossil will cost you around $200 to $250.
Before Fossil entered the watch business, people had two options for watches, cheap but ugly ones or neat but expensive ones. Then Fossil entered the market and revolutionized the watch business by introducing good quality yet affordable timepieces.
Collections of Fossil Watches
Over the years, Fossil has developed a wide range of watch collections for men and women. Let’s have a brief look at them.
But before we look at the collection of Fossil watches, you should check out this guide to find a perfect watch for yourself.
This is the biggest pool of Fossil Watches – the Neutra Series comprises chronograph watches, skeleton watches, hybrid watches along with two plain three-hand models promoting pride. It’s a mixture of stainless steel and leather variants.
Hybrid Smartwatch HR Neutra
The idea of having a traditional leather watch having smartwatch features sounds cool, right? The Hybrid Smartwatch is an innovative watch, that by looks is a normal watch but it has smart features included in it.
This innovative timepiece has two mechanical movement hands along with an always-on smartwatch display. The size of the stainless steel case of this smartwatch is 1.1 inches with two push buttons and a crown on the right.
Looking at the technical aspects of this watch, it has Bluetooth connectivity of 5.0 LE to connect with your phone and two sensors namely an Accelerometer and a Heart Rate sensor. It has its own operating system allowing compatibility with both iOS and Android.
The smartwatch features of this watch include some pre-loaded apps such as Alarm, Contacts, Google Fit, Stopwatch, Timer, Fitness Tracking, Sleep Tracking, and Wellness Apps (Blood Oxygen and Heart Rate Monitors).
Neutra Hybrid Smartwatch has a long lasting battery timing retaining its charge for up to two weeks depending on your usage. The futuristic technology helps the battery to charge up quickly with 80% charge in just one hour.
This model has three case colors and two band choices. The color options for the case are gold, silver and black whereas the options for bands are stainless steel and leather having the size of 22mm. It also allows comfort in wet situations with the water resistance of 3 ATM.
In case you want to change the leather band colors you have an option of doing that during the purchase by selecting extras and choosing the band of your choice. You can select from 12 different leather straps from the list below along with their prices.
- Black Silicone Strap – $30.00
- Dark Brown Eco Leather Strap – $40.00
- Black Eco Leather Strap – $40.00
- Black Stainless Steel Mesh Bracelet – $60.00
- Multicolor rPET Strap – $40.00 having a discounted price of $28.00
- Medium Brown Eco Leather Strap – $40.00
- Light Blue Silicone Watch Strap – $30.00
- Luggage Eco Leather Strap – $40.00
- Smoke Steel Mesh Bracelet – $60.00
- Dark Brown Eco Leather Strap – $40.00
- Black Eco Leather Strap – $40.00
- Black Silicone Watch Strap – $30.00 having a discounted price of $21.00
The second in demand from the Neutra series is the Neutra Chronograph, which comes in two band options, a stainless steel bracelet and a leather band.
The stainless steel variant offers three color families, blue, silver and black. Blue and silver variant has a blue dial whereas the black one is all black including the dial and the strap.
Apart from stainless steel bands, you have the flexibility of purchasing extras such as Smoke Steel Mesh Band for $60 and Light Blue Silicon Band for $30.
As the name states, this model has three chronograph functions along with main hands for seconds, minutes and hours. It has a 44mm stainless steel case and a dial having Roman numbers. The water resistance level of this model is 5 ATM.
Fossil Twist is a unique timepiece from the Neutra series which has a small skeleton display showing the machinery movements and a slightly bigger watch dial on the right shown along with a small chronograph at the bottom of the watch between these two.
This model offers two variants, a steel and a leather variant. The color of the stainless steel variant is silver whereas the leather variant has a brown leather strap along with a golden case.
Both these variants have a 45mm case with a water resistance of 5 ATM. You have the flexibility of purchasing extra bands: the Smoke Steel Mesh Band for $60 and the Light Blue Silicon Band for $30.
Not needing to worry about the battery life of a watch, Fossil also has adapted the automatic movement technology for its watches in Neutra Automatic series.
An automatic watch refers to a watch that does not need a power supply to run the watch machinery. It utilizes the movement of a wearer through the rotor and generates the power required to run the watch.
Neutra Automatic is an automatic skeleton watch, which does not require you to change the batteries every few years and shows the real-time movement of dials.
This model has multiple colors and band options. The steel bands for this model are of two types the first one being two-tone stainless steel and the second one being mesh steel band. As for the leather variants, there are amber and luggage colors available.
The Minimalist Series is the 2nd biggest collection of men’s Fossil watches. As the main idea of this brand was retro minimal watches, this collection is the hierarchy of those watches keeping the minimal design with a decent retro look.
Let’s have a look at some of its models.
As the name hints at the idea, these watches are solar-powered, which gets you off the hook from the battery swapping hassle after every few years.
This is considered a green watch due to the eco-friendly aspects used in it. In addition to solar energy utilization, the case material of this watch is at least 50% recycled stainless steel and the strap is eco leather. The eco-friendly initiatives used for this watch make it high in demand.
The case size is 44mm with 5 ATM water resistance. The minimalist solar-powered model comes in four color variants:
- Gold Case with Black Leather Strap and Black Dial
- Silver Case with Brown Leather Strap and Blue Dial
- Silver Case with Dark Brown Leather Strap and Green Dial
- Black Case with Brown Strap and Black Dial
The modest of all is the Minimalist Three-Hand watch, which portrays the true idea of the first few Fossil watches.
It is a quartz movement, if you are not aware of quartz, you can check out this detailed guide about quartz watches.
Its strap leather is sourced from LWG (Leather Working Group) certified tannery. The size of its stainless steel case is 44mm with a water resistance of 3 ATM.
The design is plain simple, as the name states, it has three hands for seconds, minutes and hours. This simplicity is offered in a wide range of colors:
- Gold Case with Brown Leather Strap and Black Dial
- Silver Case with Brown Leather Strap and White Dial
- Silver Case with Brown Leather Strap and Green Dial
- Black Case with Brown Strap and Black Dial
- Gold Case with Burgundy Strap and Cream Dial
- Salted Caramel Case with Medium Brown Strap and Brown Dial
Another pro-planet watch from the minimalist series is the Minimalist Chronograph.
Having three chronographs of seconds, minutes and hours, this watch is made up of 50% recycled stainless steel supporting 5 ATM of water resistance.
The steel variant of this watch is available in two colors, black and silver, and both of these have a black dial.
The leather variant also has two colors both with a brown strap and a silver case. Whereas, the dials are of two colors, blue and cream.
Along with hybrid smartwatches, Fossil also has a line of smartwatch series.
These smartwatches are powered by Google providing Wear OS operating system. They include a powerful Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 4100+ processor with 1 GB RAM and 8 GB Storage memory.
The 1.28″ Color AMOLED display adds to the beauty of its dial with bright colors, backed by strong batteries lasting more than 24 hours.
These Fossil smartwatches come with pre-loaded apps like:
- Amazon Alexa for Smartwatches
- Battery-Optimized Activity Mode
- Cardio Level Tracking
- Enhanced Phone Dialer App
- Google Assistant
- Google Fit (Workout, Heart Rate, Goals, Breathe)
- Google Maps
- Google Pay
- Nike Run Club
- Wellness Apps with Sleep Tracking
A user-friendly interface with the combination of all these apps makes it an effective timepiece for many people.
If it’s your first time buying a smartwatch you should check out this smartwatch guide. This can help you a great deal with setting up your first smartwatch
Engraving Fossil Watches
Engraving can add value or meaning to a product and add the feeling of the item being more personalized.
Fossil provides free engraving of watches during the purchase which is a great initiative for its customers as they can get something at zero cost for which they had to spend a hefty amount.
They have highly trained professionals in store for engraving the watches, using rotary engraving on their watches. This technique uses a rotary tool or a small drill to hollow out the materials by tracing it over the pattern.
Fossil uses advanced rotary engravers that use computer-guided design, in which the design is provided to the computer and the system will follow the pattern accordingly with high precision with low chances of errors.
If you are planning to get a Fossil watch as a gift for someone, engraving can add a great value to it. You can get the initials engraved according to the person or situation to make the watch look more valuable to someone.
You can get a watch for your son’s birthday and engrave a small happy birthday on the back cover so that he’ll remember this memorable gift for years to come.
Or if you are planning to gift the watch to your spouse you can go with engraving the date you saw your significant other or make a small heart with a small “Love You” text. The options are endless.
Materials Used in Fossil Watches
Before you buy a watch, you need to look for some quality elements. Fossil watches are widely known for their brand name and rich heritage but what makes them stand out from other watches? It’s all that’s inside.
A good quality watch makes use of stainless steel and Fossil fits the description. That is what makes the Fossil watches much more durable than watches using Titanium or Ceramic material.
Stainless Steel watches are scratch-resistant and can not be affected by moisture or perspiration.
Ever got a rash after wearing a watch? Well, any watch other than a stainless steel watch is harsh on the skin and heavy on the pocket. Stainless watches are much more skin-friendly and are the most affordable option as compared to any other material in the same range.
Secondly, Fossil watches have been using quartz movements since the mid-1980s and also became fixtures in jewelry sections at departmental stores. Quartz caliber is known for its accuracy and affordability over mechanical movements.
Another benefit is its convenience. A quartz caliber doesn’t require frequent battery changes and it will continue to run without it for years. Fossil has proven itself over time for this convenient selection in their watches.
Fossil Watches come in various colors such as the Fossil Townsman Automatic Black Leather Watch, Fossil Everett Chronograph Brown Leather Watch, etc., balancing the design with gold and black for which a PVD coating is used.
The PVD coating is essential to ensure and reserve their dynamic colors over time. Who would want to wear a dull-looking watch on a date anyway?
Lastly, Fossil never compromises on quality and style when it comes to the watch face thus makes use of sapphire glass in its high-end watch and mineral glass in its average watch.
Sapphire glass and mineral glass both are composed of elements that facilitate resisting scratches. A mineral crystal is 7 times more scratch-resistant than an acrylic crystal whereas a sapphire crystal is expensive but is 3 times stronger than a mineral crystal.
Both sapphire and mineral glass are highly durable and synthetic.
Due to this smart sense of using materials, Fossil paves the way.
Manufacturing Process of Fossil Watches
The creative manufacturing process of Fossil begins at their design studio in Biel, Switzerland, close to Rolex and other manufacturing hubs in China and distribution centers all over Asia and Europe.
To begin with the manufacturing process, are Fossil watches actually made of Fossils? Well absolutely not! Fossil is spread over the world and this group has sub-companies to manufacture their product lines.
The three major categories of Fossil watches, namely Mechanical Watches, Quartz and Smartwatches, are manufactured at different places. The Mechanical Watches are manufactured in countries like Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
Whereas, the Quartz and Smartwatches are manufactured mainly in Asia (China). But why is this segmentation even needed? This is because Mechanical watches and Quartz watches differ in prices.
Furthermore, as Fossil was eager to compete outside the US, they wanted to come up to the level of Swiss Watches. To achieve this goal, they invested in a bankrupted company named Zodiac Watches and upgraded it over time which was a successful measure.
Fossil also bought the Swiss Technology Production (STP) which aided Fossil to produce high-quality Swiss movements. STP not only provides its movements to fossils but to other manufacturers as well.
Hence, this is why it is not one location where fossil watches are made. We need to look up the sub-brand the watch is from.
Precautions of Fossil Watches:
Well, you might have heard, “If you take care of things, they last.”
After you make your precious purchase, you are mindful of its care so it looks exactly the same as when it was bought, even after several years of use. How do you achieve that?
Cleaning is a Must
Fossil officially suggests making use of cleaning solutions for metal and crystal surfaces. 3:1 ammonia-based window cleaner or a 4:1 solution of rubbing alcohol to water can ideally be used for this purpose.
Cleaning the Watch Face
To clean the watch face, gently wipe the case or crystal with a soft cloth, maintaining a low pressure using one of the above-mentioned cleaning solutions. You need hands like Cinderella to do the job.
Cleaning the Band
To clean the band or strap, for the metal strap, use a cotton swab and immerse it in the cleaning solution, rub it gently on the unclean area of the band. A toothbrush can also be used for more intricate mesh bands but be sure to cover the watch face during the cleaning process.
The leather strap can be cleaned with a damp cloth using water only. A leather conditioner is also a good option to keep the leather strap limber over the years. For smart chaps, a Nubuck eraser is also a convenient option to get rid of light stains and debris inside the strap.
Now, just because Fossil is durable doesn’t mean you test it by hitting it on the walls.
Be gentle to your watch. Consider wearing it on the less dominant hand as it minimizes the risk of scratches as compared to wearing it on the dominant hand.
Wind your watch at least monthly or weekly. Mechanical watches require rotations of hands to keep the parts well lubricated.
As you never bring a sword in a gun war, every material has an occasion. Wear watches according to the occasion. For instance, dress watches are sleek with dress shirts.
For extra protection, keep your watch in a case. If you’re into high intensity adventures, make sure to cover up your watch with a thick cloth so it doesn’t lose its charm.
Use material wisely, ceramic and metals may be lightweight but are definitely not for sports purposes. One fall, and there goes your money down the drain!
Always service your watch once in 5-7 years so the brand can clean up stubborn dirt and remove the dried-up oils to lubricate the movement of the quartz.
Replace the battery every 2 years even if your watch is working well. This is to avoid any battery acid leakage which may cause circuit board damage inside your precious watch. Check this detailed guide about how to change watch batteries if you’re unsure how to.
Caution! Do not magnetize your watch.
Last but not the least, waterproof is always confused with water-resistant. Do not confuse the term, ‘waterproof’ is extremely misleading. It relates to the maximum pressure your watch can tolerate. Water resistance also loses with time thus do not go diving with your watch on.
Do not use soap or soap products to clean your watch as it leaves behind residues when dried up.
Avoid immersing or soaking your watch in cleaning solutions regardless of the water-resistance stamp on the package.
Do not lose the original box and papers as packaging increases the market value of the product and this way the product doesn’t lose its resale value.
The next time you go out shopping, you may consider the Fossil Watches.
As in the process of answering — are fossil watches good, we have covered every aspect of this watch along with its major collections available.
Keeping it affordable with quality, Fossil has a wide range of designs introduced in its journey since ‘84. Its collaboration with popular global brands makes it more popular.
Don’t forget to engrave the watch if you are planning to buy it as a gift, they’re going to love the customized watch.