A barrage of Android Wear-powered smartwatches are on the way, and Fossil Group is leading the charge. At IFA 2017 in Berlin, the sprawling fashion empire announced a “massive expansion” of its wearables lineup across brands like Diesel, Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, Misfit, Relic, Skagen, Michele, and Tory Burch.
“Today our wearables segment is the fastest-growing part of our business,” Greg McKelvey, chief strategy and digital officer at Fossil Group, said in a statement. “Clearly, this distinct combination of the best design and the best tech is winning with fashion-conscious customers who were long neglected by other wearable brands.”
Fossil highlighted the Diesel On Full Guard, a smartwatch collection that’s on pre-sale now, and launches on September 25; and the new Emporio Armani watch, which features 11 interchangeable leather, silicone, and stainless steel straps and goes on sale September 14. The Misfit Vapor, a music-playing, swim-proof (up to 5ATM) wearable with a heart rate monitor, hits store shelves in October, and new Michael Kors Access touchscreen watches ship on September 25.
Fossil’s giving old watches a fresh coat of paint — and making them available more places. The Fossil Q Venture and Fossil Q Explorist, Fossil’s first full-round touchscreen smartwatches, are now available in new styles, and the Michael Kors Access Sofie and Access Grayson touchscreen smartwatches are now on sale in hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores globally.
By the end of 2017, Fossil says it will have launched more than 300 watches across 14 of its brands.
Every watch in Fossil’s late 2017/early 2018 collection will run Google’s Android Wear 2.0, the company said, which is fully compatible with both Android and iOS phones. As with other Android Wear watches on the market, you can download apps from the Google Play Store and swap digital dial designs, color combinations, and watch faces.
Fossil credits its success to close collaboration with Google.
“Our partnership with Fossil Group has been a driving force for the growth of Android Wear’s device portfolio, which has allowed us to offer users choices and diversity,” David Singleton, vice president of Android engineering at Google, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to continue the partnership into 2018 and implement new ways to connect fashion and technology, leveraging the flexibility of Android Wear and the design capabilities of Fossil Group and its brands.”
Fossil says its connected devices division doubled in size the last 12 months alone, and that its watches are now active in 50 countries and 20 languages.
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