Fossil watches look trendy, well-made, and are very affordable. But here’s the thing: Are Fossil watches good? How do they stand when compared to other more established watch brands such as Seiko, Rolex, or Bulova?
Let’s find out the truth about Fossil watches, and if you should spend your money on them.
Fossil Group is an American company based out of Richardson, Texas. The company focuses on producing fashionable watches and offers other fashion products such as leather goods and jewelry.
Fossil group contains several popular watch brands under its wings – Fossil, Relic, Michele Watch, Skagen Denmark, Misfit, WSI, and Zodiac Watches.
Fossil is also the watch company behind fashion watches from BMW, Puma, Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, DKNY, Diesel, Kate Spade, New York, and Tory Burch and Armani Exchange.
That means if you buy one of these watches, you are essentially purchasing a Fossil.
History Of Fossil
How Fossil Started
Fossil was founded in 1984 by Tom Kartsoulis.
Tom started the company after hearing from his brother Kosta about the profits people are making by importing products from the Far East and selling them in the U.S.
The profit margin for watches is handsome at that time, leading to the idea of setting up Fossil – to import and sell fashion watches from the Far East in the U.S.
What started off as a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) project eventually grew into a major fashion company. By the late 1980s, the company decided to include leather goods into its line of products.
Turning Into A Conglomerate
The company continued to grow and went for IPO in 1993.
With growing popularity and profit, Fossil started acquiring other watch and fashion companies to expand its reach and offerings further.
Zodiac watches were bought in for $4.7 million in 2001. Zodiac is a Swiss watchmaking company that has been in operation since 1882. This increases Fossil’s reputation as not just a fashion watchmaker.
Michele Watch was also bought up in 2004 to allow Fossil to design and offer higher-end Swiss watches.
In 2012, Fossil purchased Skagen, a famous Danish fashion company, further increasing its presence in Europe.
These purchases eventually allowed Fossil to introduce its ‘Fossil Swiss’ watches, Swiss-made watches under brands such as Zodiac and Michele.
In recent years, Fossil has been experimenting with hybrid watches, a concept blending in functions of smartwatches into conventional watches.
Where is Fossil Watches Made
Fossil started off by importing fashion watches. Its primary manufacturing operations have been in Far East countries such as China and Hong Kong.
However, as the company expands and grows, they have since established production facilities in many places worldwide, including the birthplace of watches – Switzerland in 2001.
It could be said that most Fossil watches were manufactured out of China, such as Abacus and Relic lines.
Their facilities in Switzerland focuses on higher-end watches such as the Zodiac or Michelle watches.
Are Fossil Watches Swiss Made?
Fossil watches are not Swiss-Made. Only some Fossil watches, such as the more premium Zodiac or Michele watches, are manufactured in Switzerland.
As for the rest, they are manufactured out of other countries, such as China.
What Movements Does Fossil Watches Use?
For the more premium line of watches such as Michele and Zodiac, the movements inside are often Swiss-made and sourced from STP – a Swiss watch movement maker that Fossil owns.
STP is known for reliable, robust watch movements such as the STP 1-11.
Fossil’s fashion watches often use generic automatic and quartz movements from China or Japan. The idea here is to keep costs low as the market for fashion watches is much more competitive, and buyers are much more price-sensitive.
Fossil Watch Reputation
Primarily, Fossil’s line of watches is more known to focus on fashion. This makes them more similar to Swatch or Daniel Wellington, instead of proper watchmakers such as Rolex, Citizen, or Bulova.
Therefore Fossil focuses on making fashionable, up-to-date watches that appeal to younger buyers.
There is less focus on using the best possible movement or improving accuracy than traditional watchmakers.
Put it simply, if you are serious about watches and appreciate owning great watches that will last a lifetime, Fossil might not appeal to you.
Consider Zodiac or Michele instead. These are proper Swiss-Made watches, with an appropriate focus on craftsmanship like traditional watchmakers do.
However, Fossil is good at what they focus on – It is one of the most recognizable fashion watch brands.
They also produce watches that cater to a vast array of design tastes, very few traditional watchmaking companies can rival.
Performance-wise, Fossil watches are well made and keeps time well. As they use generic movements, any watchmakers can fix them, and maintaining them is generally cheap.
Is Fossil A High-End Watch?
Fossil watches are not high-end watches. They focus on fashion and are usually lower priced to compete in the market. Fossil watches are in the same family of major fashion watch brands such as Swatch, Daniel Wellington, or Vincero.
Some Fossil-owned watchmaking companies such as Zodiac and Michele can be considered entry-level high-end watches.
However, they may lack recognition when compared to the likes of Rolex, Omega, or Cartier. You might be better off with more established brands such as Seiko, Citizen, or Bulova.
Fossil Watches: Pros and Cons
Fossil Pro: Great Designs At Cheap Price
If you are fashion-forward and look forward to matching your watch dial color to your belt, for example, then Fossil would be a great match.
This is because you can do so at a much lower cost since Fossil watches generally are not expensive.
Plus, you get to access Fossil’s super wide array of designs, and you can undoubtedly settle at a model that suits what you need.
For example, suppose the trend is to have massive watches with an oversized crown (hello Panerai). In that case, you can get similar watches cheaply from Fossil.
With Fossil, you can keep up with fashion trends without blowing your budget.
ALSO READ: Best Affordable Watch Brands For Men
Fossil Pro: Brand Recognition Help with Reselling
One downside of chasing fashion trends is that you could possibly end up with many fashion watches that you might no longer need later.
Suppose the fashion watches you own are Fossil. In that case, it might be easier to sell them later at the used watch market, as the Fossil brand is recognizable.
Many other generic fashion watch brands are less known. Even if cheap, they might not command the same level of confidence in quality or after-sales service compared to a Fossil. So they might not sell well compared to a Fossil.
Fossil Cons: Quality
There is one true adage in the world of watches – you really get what you are paying for.
Fossil watches focus on fashion and less on the overall quality.
A $200 Fossil might not be of the same quality when you compare it against a say $200 Seiko, Citizen, or a Tissot.
There have been issues like chipping paint on watch cases or low-quality bracelets with Fossil watches.
It doesn’t mean Fossil watches are bad. They are still excellent watches. It is just that with Fossil, you are getting a different value out of your purchase.
With Fossil, you get hip, trend, and fashion forwardness. Not superb craftsmanship, excellent accuracy, and timeless designs.
If you want the latter, go with traditional watchmakers instead.
Fossil Cons: The Trend Never Ends
Fossil watches tend to appeal to those that keep up with fashion trends.
But here’s the question – fashion trends never end and change by the seasons.
That means you will probably be buying (and possibly selling) watches much more frequently, as they might be out of trend fast.
This is radically different when you compare this to someone who traditionally approaches watch ownership – buying quality, timeless pieces and keeping them long-term.
Are Fossil Watches Good & Worth The Money?
This is subjective, depending on your mindset when approaching watch ownership.
- Keeps up with fashion and trends
- Appreciate watch designs from a more ‘hip’ angle
- Cares little about the movement or overall finesse of a watch
Then Fossil watches are definitely worth the money for you.
Its trendy, hip, modern design, hyper-customizable, and most importantly, not too expensive.
But if you:
- Appreciate fine timepieces with great craftsmanship
- Care about finer things of a watch such as movement, crystal types or complications
- Wants to keep a watch for a long time
Then Fossil makes little sense to you. It will not be worth your money to own Fossil watches.
In fact, if you are a full-on watch snob, you might even discard Fossil as ‘toy watches that kids wear.’
Are Fossil Watches Worth Collecting?
Fashion watches such as Fossil are usually not worth collecting, as they lack the finesse, and brand identity that makes them hold value over the long term.
In general, watches from proper watchmakers would be more collectible than fashion watches.
But Fossil sometimes releases limited edition watches based on characters such as Bugs Bunny. These might be worth collecting, as there might be a collectors market for them.
How Long Is The Fossil Warranty?
Fossil offers a 2 Year Warranty on their traditional watches (automatic and quartz). For hybrid watches and smartwatches, the warranty is one year. If you purchased the watches in the U.K., E.U., or Switzerland, then the warranty is two years.
The warranty covers repairs and possible replacement of the watch if the defect results from the manufacturing and production process.
If the defect is caused by your usage, it is not covered.
Where To Buy A Fossil Watch
The biggest fear we can have when buying watches is fake imitation watches.
This can happen, especially if you are not careful. Imitation watches are becoming better and better these days.
The problem is getting more and more out of control that even fashion watches like Fossil are not safe from fakes these days.
You can consider these three options for the best protection: Fossil’s boutique, Fossil’s own online store, or Amazon.
If you purchase directly from Fossil’s boutique, you have the full opportunity to actually place the watch on your wrist.
You get to try it out for yourself and see if you are happy with it.
However, do keep in mind that since Fossil has such a wide array of watches, there will be times the outlet does not carry the particular watch you are looking for.
Fossil’s Online Store
Which makes buying from an online store a better option. You do not have to travel to purchase the watch, and you get to browse the entire catalog of Fossil’s watches from the comfort of your home.
If you buy directly from Fossil, they have your direct purchasing record. That means more straightforward warranty claims in the future.
Another location to consider is Amazon.
Amazon is known for its stringent rules on fake goods. That means, if you shop in Amazon, you know you are buying real, genuine Fossil watches.
But the best thing about shopping for Fossil watches on Amazon is that you get to read user reviews.
Since these user reviews are not ‘controllable’ by Fossil (Amazon controls it), that means if there are bad reviews, Fossil cannot remove them.
You can’t guarantee the same on Fossil’s website since they control the reviews.
We recommend shopping for Fossil watches with at least 4 out of 5 stars for your peace of mind.
How To Spot A Fake Fossil Watch?
Spotting a fake Fossil is similar to spotting most other fake watches:
- If buying from a secondary market, Always ask for the full complement of the watch such as warranty card, box, accessories.
- Always match the serial number of the manual and warranty cards with the watch model.
- If you can hold the watch in hand, give the watch a thorough visual inspection. Are there any flaws or defects? If the deficiencies are too obvious, it could be a fake Fossil.
- Check on the spellings, letterings, and logo used on the watch face, case back, and buckles. Misspellings or mismatches of the logo can indicate that the watch is fake.
- Check the watch’s serial number with Fossil’s support at their website. You can also take the watch directly to a Fossil boutique and ask them to help check the serial number.
- Always take the watch to a watchmaker to verify authenticity when in doubt.
Fossil boats a vast array of casual, dive-inspired, chronograph, sports, and many more. Here are some best-sellers that they have:
#1 Fossil Men’s Copeland Stainless Steel Quartz Watch with Leather Strap
This 42mm diameter watch is enclosed in a stainless steel case with a blue dial. Powered by quartz movement with 3-hand analog display; mineral crystal. Genuine luggage brown leather band with buckle. Water-resistant to 50m (165ft)
#2 Fossil Forrester Automatic Leather Watch – ME3179
42mm skeleton watch encased in a stainless steel case, with blue dial and luminous hands. Powered by an automatic movement, water-resistant to 50m (165ft).
#3 Fossil Blue Men’s Dive-Inspired Casual Quartz Watch – FB-01
42mm skeleton watch encased in a stainless steel case, a black satin dial, and a luminous three-hand analog display. Powered by an automatic movement, with stainless steel bracelet. water-resistant to 100m (330ft)
#4 Fossil Men’s The Minimalist Quartz Chronograph Watch
44mm quartz chronograph watch in a stainless steel case. Features black dial, analog display, and date window. Protected by hardened mineral crystal. Water-resistant to 50m (165ft) and comes with a genuine black leather band with buckle closure.
#5 Fossil Men’s Machine Quartz Chronograph Watch
Best selling in Amazon. Powered by a quartz movement with chronograph analog display and date window. Encased in a 42mm black stainless steel case with brown dial, with genuine dark brown leather band with buckle closure. 50M water resistance.
So, Are Fossil Watches Good?
After all the talks, let’s come back to the question – Are Fossil watches good?
Yes, Fossil is a good watch brand. Fossil produces quality fashionable watches that are low in price. The warranty is generous, and their hybrid and smartwatches are exciting.
The watch brand does not play the same playbook traditional watchmakers do, but they play it beautifully. This is why Fossil is one of today’s most recognizable fashion watch brands.
Do you own Fossil watches? Let us know your experience with it. Lets interact!