In the short amount of time that smartwatches have been around, the whole world of wearables has gone through a lot of changes. While some companies are still trying to figure out what the next great gadget will be, others riff on what they are already good at. Fossil, one of the world’s leading accessory brands, is one such company. Fossil has been in the watch business since the mid-80s, so instead of trying to figure out how to make a smartshoe (or whatever), they decided to get into the smartwatch market.
This is not the first time Fossil has gotten into the more-than-just-a-watch watch market. Back in 2003, the company released a wrist-mounted PDA in collaboration with Palm. This little beauty was worn like a watch, but it worked like a PDA and it only cost $250 at the time of launch.
Well, Fossil is doing it again. In fact, Fossil just released the new Fossil Q collection today. Based on the black-on-black preproduction Q Grant that arrived a couple days ago, it looks like Fossil may be onto something.
The Q Grant is, instead of being an actual smartwatch running the Android Wear OS, more like a satellite notification system within a really handsome analog chronograph. With a buzz and a blink the wearer is notified that something of some importance is happening on the phone to which the Q is tethered via a Bluetooth connection. The Q Grant non-display connected watch comes in four distinct styles and runs from $175 to $195.
Today, Fossil also launched two connected bracelets; the Dreamer and the Reveler. Much like the Q Grant, these connected accessories deliver a buzz and a blink to nudge the wearer that something is happening on the phone. And also like the Q Grant, these bracelets can track your activity by seamlessly interfacing with Google Fit, Health, UP by Jawbone and UA Record by Under Armour.
Created in collaboration with Intel, this new line of connected watches and accessories walks a fine line between the full functionality of a smartphone/watch combination and that of a fashion-forward accessory. With Fossil Q, it looks like we can now stay connected without looking like we are from the future. Is retro chic what the smartwatch world needs right now? Time will tell.
Just in case a higher level of connectivity is required, Fossil plans to launch the Q Founder just in time for the holiday season. The Q Founder is the result of collaboration with Intel and Google, engineered with Intel Innovation and powered by Android Wear. What this means is that the Q Founder, like the Dreamer, Reveler, and Grant, is compatible with Android and iPhone. The Q Founder will set you back $275.
According to Jill Elliott-Sones, chief creative officer at Fossil,
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, 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.”
For more information about Fossil Q, click here. Be sure to check back in a few weeks to see how the Q Grant performs.