At Baselworld earlier this year, we had a chance to look into the Fossil Group‘s newest direction – wearable tech. The American fashion designer and manufacturer may have first made its name on leather goods but has since branched out to become one of the world’s largest producer for timepieces across several subsidiary brands. Fossil’s entrance into the world of wearable tech is one that’s much welcome, thanks to the brand’s insistence on putting style and function at the forefront of its products’ design.
Anyone with a smartwatch can tell you – they’re not exactly the best looking of devices. Too often, trackers and smartwatches are designed as clunky accessories and a bit of an eye-sore that are chock-full of functions to ease you through life. What tends to be sacrificed then is the aesthetic of the product. That however, is one of Fossil’s best strengths. Where Fossil came up short however was the technology. Turning to Misfit, a fitness tracking and wearable company, Fossil found the perfect balance for its new range.
Misfit Ray (Sport)
The Misfit Ray is a sportband tracker that does exactly what its needed to do. Abandoning the hassle of having to recharge your batteries constantly, the Ray uses replaceable batteries that last up to six months in order to ensure peace of mind. We’ve had more than our fair share of having to recharge our trackers on a daily basis so the Ray comes as a welcome change. The slim tube is also an easy wear that fits most wrists and doubles up as a comfortable accessory. What’s even better is that the straps (the normal rubber one is replaceable) can be switched out for a variety, including a longer double twirl leather band.
Functions include step tracking, distances, calories and a sleep tracker. Because there isn’t an LED display, the Misfit Ray doesn’t interfere with daily life with constant reminders that can be read by anyone around you. Rather, it enhances it as wearable tech should. Other functions such as vibration alerts for call and text notifications, movement reminders, and alarms are able to be programmed with the app and tracker as well. The Misfit Ray is also virtually weightless and we didn’t feel it on our wrist for the duration of the wear, whether it was a run or just heading out.
Fossil Q Motion (Sporty/Style)
The Q Motion is a very close sister product to the Misfit Ray. The lack of screen, the slight barrel-like design; all make for a good comparison with the Ray. Functions-wise, the Fossil Q Motion tracks all the same metrics but works on Fossil’s own app. However, should you happen to have data on previous apps, the tracker will easily work with them as well. Fossil has stated that it doesn’t want users to feel confined to any one app.
As with any Fossil product, the Q Motion will appeal to the tracker wearer who has spent the past few months wearing one that perhaps, doesn’t look half as good. The Q Motion is a sleek and admittedly chic tracker and that’s a rare distinction to have around these parts. The Q Motion will come in six different colours for that co-ordinated look you want.
Fossil Q Nate
When it comes to the new Fossil smartwatches, the aim of the game isn’t to reinvent what the industry has pushed ahead but rather, fall back on the perfect balance between function and style. The analog display on the Fossil Q Nate isn’t your Apple Watch or your Samsung Gear – its functions are much more simple. The watches tell the time but are also meant to help you connect with your phone. Using the Bluetooth link, you can take a picture or control music just by using the pushers.
In stainless steel, the watch holds great heft on the wrist. Unlike many new smartwatches, the Fossil Q Nate feels much more like a traditional watch, as Fossil wanted. We’re loving the all-black look of the watch (matches our wardrobe perfectly) and it’s perhaps best meant for the man who wants to stay connected but would rather not have to constantly read his texts off his watch. Also, we’ve found the most useful function to be that of finding your phone through the watch. Lord knows we’ve left it in the funniest of places.
Fossil Q Marshal
Closer in sync to the traditional smartwatch is the Fossil Q Marshal. Utilising a touchscreen that allows you to read off notifications, tracker results and the ability to connect to your phone through your watch, it’s a simple smartwatch that still stands out from the crowd thanks to the design. With a toothed bezel, the Q Marshal looks closer to a sports luxury watch and feels the same on the wrist too.
With customisable straps, the choices are really endless for all of Fossil’s new wearables. It’s a hard balance to find when it comes to technology but with Fossil’s acquisition of Misfit, the path to a perfect balance is straight ahead for the group. For the man not wanting to compromise his style, the Fossil Q series and Misfit wearable tech make for great examples in how you can have your cake and eat it.