• A Brief History of The Fossil Group, Torchbearers for Wear OS



    They might not be the biggest player in the horological racket, but they are almost certainly the most prolific hardware partner for Google's Wear OS. Each of these brands fall under the Fossil Group umbrella:

    Armani Exchange
    Diesel
    Emporio Armani
    Kate Spade
    Marc Jacobs
    Michael Kors
    Misfit
    Skagen

    ... Though I'd wager that the majority of units moved are the ones bearing the parent brand.

    Fossil's story began in 1984, when two brothers in Dallas, Texas formed a company called "Overseas Products International". As the name implies, the scheme was to import cheap watches from Asia (mostly Hong Kong) and sell them on the American market. After some initial success the enterprise went public under name Fossil in 1993.

    The company's winning formula was affordable fashion watches with a vintage look, but I remember them more for their limited runs of collectibles—in particular a Spider-man watch I spied back in the day at an outlet mall in Buffalo, New York:



    It was the Amazing Fantasy #15 edition, in case you were wondering. And I should have bought it, but didn't.

    Fossil's history with wearable tech dates back to 2003, when the company released the Abacus:



    ... A wrist-based PDA that required a stylus.

    Fossil's first Wear OS device (then Android Wear) was the Q Founder, released in late 2015; the company is now on its 5th generation of Android-powered smartwatches. Wear OS has likewise come a long way since then—perhaps not far enough, but without Fossil I can't help but wonder if there would still be a Wear OS at all.

    Links: CGC Comics, Gizmodo, WatchTime, Watchonista, Wikipedia (1) (2)

    ---------
    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    This article was originally published in forum thread: A Brief History of The Fossil Group, Torchbearers for Wear OS started by acurrie View original post
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