Fossil Group is one of the world’s largest sellers of watches, and today it has announced that in 2017 it will more than double its offerings of smartwatches and fitness trackers to include 300 products across a wide range of brands. Some of these will be under brands already tied to technology, like Misfit, while others will be brand new in the smartwatch space, such as Armani Exchange. According to a press release from Fossil Group, this expansion will make it the biggest producer of hybrid (read: analog) smartwatches on Earth.
The second half of 2016 saw Fossil Group start a big push into so-called “hybrid smartwatches,” with products like the Michael Kors Access Hybrid and the Misfit Phase Hybrid. The idea is a pretty simple one: Fossil Group knows what customers like in an analog watch, so why not create analog watches that fit into the aesthetics of each of the group’s brands but with smart features integrated as well? It’s a straightforward and sensible strategy. And, so far, it seems to be working, since Fossil Group is more than doubling down.
Last year, Fossil Group launched a little more than 140 different wearables across eight of its 19 portfolio brands, which include the likes of outright watch brands like Skagen and Michele as well as licensed fashion and lifestyle brands like Marc Jacobs, Burberry, and Adidas. This comes hot on the tail of Fossil Group acquiring wearable tech company Misfit in November 2015, a move that immediately signaled how seriously it takes this new sector of the market.
The new products include the Misfit Vapor, the brand’s first touchscreen smartwatch, which includes a full suite of fitness features like GPS and heart rate tracking; the Skagen Jorn and Hald hybrid smartwatches, which offer thinner cases in line with the brand’s minimal Scandinavian aesthetic, and the Fossil Q Accomplice, which is the Group’s thinnest smartwatch to date. More products will be announced over the course of the year, rounding out the collection and introducing new features and styles.
It’s worth noting that Fossil Group also owns mechanical watchmaker Zodiac, though there don’t seem to be any plans to add smart features or digital technology of any kind to that brand’s line-up.
For more info and links to the various new product families, visit Fossil Group online.