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Quartz is being squeezed and Fossil is truly f*cked
Excuse the language in the title, but I liked the alliteration. Fossil is at the height of the modern watch industry demise because of the brands it is responsible for.
Currently Fossil builds watches under the Fossil, Relic, Michele Watch, Skagen Denmark, Misfit, WSI and Zodiac names.
I believe it is also licensed to build watches for Puma, Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, DKNY, Diesel, Kate Spade New York, Tory Burch, Chaps and Armani Exchange.
When I look at all of the brands above, in terms of watches alone, and apart from Zodiac, I think of one word… crap.
From a value perspective it is hard to rationalise the cost of many of the watches under these brand names, especially the fashion brands, and then believe them to be value for money. They are cheap watches at high prices and emblematic of why the lower-end watch industry is struggling to compete with the Apple Watch etc.
I have written about this topic of quartz watches many times and I am more convinced than ever that lower-end quartz watches are in a spiral and that Fossil will be one of the big casualties. It does not help that the company moved towards watches and is left with an 'everyone person' brand image that kind of sits nowhere in particular.
The company does make smartwatches, but…
'The company reportedly learned that Google and Samsung had teamed up to finally revitalize the Wear OS software Fossil’s been using at the same time we did: this past May at Google IO. And so Fossil’s 2021 smartwatch lineup is running software that hasn’t been meaningfully improved since at least 2019 and it won’t receive the latest software until late 2022. Samsung has smartwatches that run on Wear OS 3 and do so competently, Fossil is stuck on Wear OS 2.' More here.
We see sectors struggle as new tech becomes more popular, standalone cameras for example, but I really do not think Fossil could be in a worse position at the moment. I cannot see a way out of this.