Fossil Group, famed for its timeless designs and accessible price tags, is calling it quits on the smartwatch game. The company announced today, marking a strategic shift and leaving a potential void in the Wear OS ecosystem.
“With the smartwatch landscape evolving rapidly, we’ve strategically decided to step back,” Fossil spokesperson Amanda Castelli told The Verge. “Our focus now shifts to bolstering our core strengths: exquisite traditional watches, jewelry, and leather goods across our own and licensed brands.”
Fossil’s smartwatch foray began in 2016 with hybrid designs that seamlessly blended classic looks with smart features like notifications and fitness tracking. Initial success, however, proved fleeting. Tech giants like Apple and Samsung stormed in, wielding advanced wearable technology that quickly overshadowed Fossil’s offerings.
The news spells the end of new Fossil smartwatch models for fans. Existing customers can still avail warranty support and software updates for a limited period, but the future of Wear OS on Fossil devices is unclear.
While Fossil’s smartwatches offered a stylish escape from the bulky wearables of the early days, they struggled to match the functionality and performance of their rivals. Wear OS integration, though improved over time, couldn’t fully overcome the platform’s limitations in battery life and app compatibility. Additionally, rapid innovation and price drops in the market made it tough for Fossil to maintain its premium positioning while offering competitive features.
Despite these challenges, Fossil persisted, launching its Gen 6 smartwatch in 2021 as its final chapter in the Wear OS story. However, the company’s exit now appears inevitable, a clear re-focusing on its core expertise: the timeless world of watches and accessories.