Look, it’s not a tech trade show if you aren’t bombarded with a small army of Fossil smartwatches. The wearable hype may have died down at CES since its heyday in 2014, but you can always count on Fossil and its umbrella of trendy designer brands to bring more smartwatches than you know how to write about.
Tech-wise, there’s not a whole lot that’s been updated since the fall launch of Fossil’s Gen 5 watches, or since IFA 2019. There are, however, a bunch of new designs and colorways. The notable launch for CES 2020, however, is the Skagen Falster 3 and the Diesel On Fadelite. Both watches run on Wear OS and feature the new Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip. The main difference is that the Skagen Falster 3 is more of a full-featured smartwatch, while the Diesel on Fadelite runs on cyberpunk aesthetic.
Moreso than the Diesel on Fadelite, the Falster 3 offers a number of upgrades over its predecessor. For starters, it adds a speaker so you can now take calls. It also doubles storage up to 8GB, and in addition to the 3100 chip, runs off 1GB of RAM. Otherwise, the features on both the Falster 3 and Diesel are pretty much in line with what we saw at IFA.
As for the rest of Fossil’s updates, I could type a couple hundred more words about what’s new and what’s different, but allow me instead to take you on a photo tour of every single Fossil smartwatch I saw this morning.
Behold, the Skagen Falster 3. I’m wearing the leather strap, and overall it’s a quite nice looking watch with some beefier specs (which I detailed above). Another nice touch is that the leather strap has a silicon underside—something that my sweaty arse appreciates. Nice on the outside, trash on the inside. The Falster 3 will be available for $US295 ($430) in select markets starting today.
More Skagen Falster 3! But these are special Falster 3s. They are a collaboration Falster 3 called X By KYGO. I am told that this KYGO character is a DJ and superproducer from Norway. Skagen is Danish, and Norway is a neighbour so I think I see the connection there. If you squint, you can see there are X shapes in the strap, and if you have 20/20 eyesight, you might be able to see the X By KYGO lettering in the keeper as well (the white strap thing).
OK, ok, ENOUGH OF FALSTER 3. On to the Diesel on Fadelite selections. Much cyber, such punk. You can tell because of the ombre fade and translucent straps. There’s also a strap (far right) that features art from Mad Dog Jones, an artist who specialises in high-tech dystopian vibes. His art is also the one featured on the cleaning cloth in the background. These will retail for $US275 ($400) and will be available in March.
This big boy, the Garrett, is basically a Fossil Gen 5 watch with a diver aesthetic. That’s it. That’s the update. It does look nice though.
Somehow, despite the Fossil Hybrid HR only coming out less than two months ago, there is a new version. It looks fancy! Fossil also told me that since launching, the Hybrid watches have had numerous updates and now support notifications from over 80 apps. Considering that was one of the few drawbacks, that’s pretty great news.
The Fossil Sport, which launched with a ton of colours, now has even more colours but in a ‘90s-esque jelly material. It’s peak nostalgia, though it does look nice on the wrist.
And here we have the Michael Kors watches, specifically every iteration of Bradshaw and Lexington you could ever ask for. The rose gold coloured Lexington is actually made of aluminium instead of stainless steel. Fossil had me hold it and compare it to a stainless steel version. It is indeed, lighter and more rose gold. Meanwhile, in the Bradshaw watch second to the right in the top row is a new tritone blingy blitz version for “whoever that may appeal to.” If there’s one thing about Fossil brands, is that design-wise no one is left out.
The Kate Spade Sport smartwatches just launched in October 2019. Considering how long the first week of 2020 feels, that means they are positively ancient. Decrepit. In dire need of an update. The three on the left were the colours available at launch. They’re now dead to us. We don’t speak of them. The new colours are the mint and white on the right.
Here we say hello to the Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3, which launched at IFA 2019. Those watches were notable because Armani decided colour was good and added a little splash of colour to the top ring. This is a new version that’s just all navy blue, because maybe doing a splash of colour was a bit much for Armani and they need something more familiar in these turbulent times.
CES is a weird event for smartwatch makers. In recent years, the product cadence has tended for a wave of major updates in the fall, followed by some light refreshes the following spring. Some makers, like Fitbit, have traditionally bucked this trend and gone with two launches a year. Others have their products sprinkled somewhere in-between. But that just mostly means CES comes at a weird time—it’s meant to kick off the year but falls smack dab in the middle of refreshes. That’s basically what this is, with the exception of the Diesel and Falster 3. Even so, you’ve gotta hand it to Fossil for always showing up to the party with more watches and options than anybody else.
Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for news of Australian release dates and pricing for these items.