- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
London - Fossil Group, the watch, jewellery and accessories manufacturer for brands including Michael Kors and Kate Spade, is set to launch wearables for eight brands in 40 countries this year.
The announcement was made during Baselworld with Fossil confirming that it will launch 100 wearable products in 2016 for eight brands - Chaps, Diesel, Emporio Armani, Fossil, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, Misfit and Skagen.
The products will include display and non-display watches, as well as trackers, and will be available in 40 countries and more than 20 languages by Holiday 2016.
Fossil was quick to point out that the wearable offerings will vary from brand to brand, but added that it will support the category with unique and branded apps across all brands, three product categories, and two operating systems as it aims to bring a “fashion-first focus and innovation” to the wearables industry.
Fossil Group chief strategy and digital officer, Greg McKelvey, said: "One of the distinct advantages of a fashion company over traditional consumer electronics manufacturers is our product cycle. We demonstrate remarkable speed to market, from development to launch, in order to meet the retail industry's seasonal new product deadlines.
"The industry has been slow to adapt to growing consumer desires for new styles and options for wearables. With the diversity of major fashion brands we offer, customers will be delighted with the sheer volume of styles and options available when shopping for a wearable that fits their personal style.”
Fossil aims to bring “fashion-first focus” to wearables industry with new products
This increase in wearable products follows the group’s acquisition of wearable technology innovator Misfit in November 2015. Since then, the company has increased capabilities for the development and production of the technology supporting its wearables products.
Fossil also revealed that its wearable technology platform includes proprietary power management technology that enables coin cell battery-powered non-display watches and trackers to be deployed across the entire Fossil Group brand portfolio. Without the need for daily, weekly or even monthly charging, the new devices function much more like traditional watches and lifestyle accessories than as typical consumer electronic products that require daily maintenance.
Alongside its fashion portfolio, Fossil also revealed its slimmest digital display smartwatch to date, the Q Wander, part of its Fossil Q line of devices. Powered by Android Wear, the touchscreen smartwatch tracks activity, connects to the wearer's favourite apps, receives display notifications, and has customisable faces to fit the wearer's style. This smartwatch tracks everything from daily steps to calories, and notifications alert you of incoming calls and texts, as well as allowing the wearer to listen to music or receive directions using the built-in microphone and speaker.
Image: Fossil Q Wander