At Baselworld 2018, Fossil Group hosted a panel featuring tech and retail industry experts to discuss the future of the watch industry. “The introduction of smartwatches has had a huge impact on this category and it’s disrupted us in a really exciting way,” said Steve Evans, EVP Fossil Group. “We look at this as a new opportunity to grow the wrist.”
Since 2015, Fossil Group has strategically partnered with Google to develop touchscreen smartwatches powered by their operating systems. Google Engineering Director Miles Barr said while they have the software intelligence, they look to Fossil Group as experts in crafting a watch. “Fossil Group has shaped our thinking about what smartwatches could look like,” Barr said.
Panelist Georgie Barrat of “The Gadget Show” commended Fossil Group for its style and how the fashion first approach sets it apart from the rest of the wearable tech market. “As we get these more traditional watch manufacturers coming in and going into the smartwatch area, they’re a lot more design focused, which I think is really important because not everyone wants to look like they have a computer on their wrist,” she said. “Consumers expect to be connected all the time. Much like the mobile revolution, we will see a sliver of tech in everything especially with wearables. I would argue that in the next 5 years smartwatches will become the primary personal gadgets and phones will be secondary.”
When asked what the strategies are for attracting the millennial consumer, Evans explained curation is key. “[We ask] How do we give people what they need and want in a product? How do we learn what that stuff is?” he said. “Our products are meant to be useful and well-designed, serving a purpose in people’s lives.”