As a business that deals with traditional timepieces, we don’t always have a closer look at industry smart-tech. However, a recent deal has sparked a conversation or two both here at TimesTicking and all over the business world. In an industry that usually sees merger and acquisition regarding mechanical and quartz designs, it’s interesting to hear about watches being bought and sold for their computational ability—on top of their timekeeping ability. One such acquisition has been a $40million purchase by Google regarding Fossil’s R&D on smartwatches. This purchase hasn’t completely bought out Fossil’s smartwatch division by any means. It has been labeled as a secret intellectual property (IP) that Fossil already had under development. Whatever Fossil’s been working on has really made an impact on Google’s attention. As well, both companies have been pretty coy on the details so far—except for Fossil’s hint that it’s an evolution from the Misfit tech they bought back in 2015.
Google’s purchase includes a portion of Fossil’s R&D team on smart-tech. This will still leave Fossil 200-or-so folks to continue work on in-house smartwatch design. That’s a sizable team—but it makes sense to retain considering that Fossil’s recent (in watch world terms) jaunt into these futuristic pieces has been a growing part of their far-reaching business. Even though Google sealed the $40million deal at the beginning of the year, it’s likely by the end of 2019 there’ll be new news from both Fossil and Google. In terms of price, $40million is pennies compared to the $260million Fossil paid to Misfit four years ago for their own smartwatch purposes. However, Google’s continued interest in/relationship with Fossil and its R&D is exciting for those interested in wearable personal computing—as the year moves forward.
Google has been using some form of Fossil smartwatch tech in their own Wear OS watches, for some measure of time. What’s strange to most who are covering this recent deal is that the IP has no name and is being collaborated on in a pretty quiet fashion. It could be that there’ll be a great big reveal by holiday season 2019. That being said, most of what this acquisition spells out is speculative. Simple Google searches concerning this recent event in business and watch tech winds down a similar road to the one we could traverse here now. So before this writer digresses down any speculative musings, it will be noted that Fossil is also continuing to make great quartz wristwatches.
Indeed: Even though Fossil’s bases are covered with smartwatches, their fashion items and solid mid-range timepieces remain at their forefront. Although the Fossil Group doesn’t mess around when it comes to the new, their reputation is based on their ability to make reliable and affordable quartz watches. On top of owning a hefty portion of smartwatch tech, they own and license 14 brands that employ both smart and quartz machines. These brands include Michael Kors, Skagen, Armani, DKNY, and Diesel. Each of those names carry weight in today’s watch buying market. It will be interesting to see if smartwatch tech from Apple, Google, and the Fossil Group begins tipping the scale on where the industry is going generally. In the meantime, the majority of folks are wearing straight-forward quartz watches and other more traditional timepieces in greatest mass. These watches don’t require a cell phone plan or nearly as much attention to get the job done. Perhaps the straight-up and traditional aspect of classic timekeeping will outlast this current trend in watchmaking. Which will end us with a question dear reader: Which do you prefer?
Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.