“As the smartwatch landscape has evolved significantly over the past few years, we have made the strategic decision to exit the smartwatch business,” Fossil spokesperson Amanda Castelli told The Verge. “Fossil Group is redirecting resources to support our core strength and the core segments of our business that continue to provide strong growth opportunities for us: designing and distributing exciting traditional watches, jewellery, and leather goods under our own as well as licensed brand names.”
Fossil’s foray into smartwatches began in 2016 with high hopes. Their hybrid watches, blending classic watch design with smart features like notifications and activity tracking, found initial success. However, the landscape quickly became competitive, with Apple and Samsung dominating the market with more advanced wearable technology.
For fans of Fossil smartwatches, the news means no new models will be released. Existing customers will still receive warranty support and software updates for a limited time, but the future of Wear OS on Fossil devices remains uncertain.
While Fossil’s smartwatches offered a stylish alternative to the often clunky designs of early wearables, they struggled to match the functionality and performance of their rivals. The integration of Wear OS, while improving over time, never fully addressed the limitations of battery life and app compatibility that plagued the platform. Additionally, the rapid innovation and price drops in the smartwatch market made it difficult for Fossil to maintain its premium price point while still offering competitive features.
Despite these challenges, Fossil continued to release new smartwatch models, with its Gen 6 in 2021 being its last hurrah. However, the company’s decision to exit the smartwatch business now seems inevitable, reflecting its realisation that its core strengths lie in the realm of traditional watches and accessories.