What to Consider When Purchasing a Fossil Watch?

person looking at silver-colored analog watch

The number of fashion watches is on the rise, and demand is increasing. This comes as no surprise, given that several of these manufacturers provide timepieces with a price tag much higher than their quality.

Definitely, Fossil is one of the most talked-about brands among enthusiasts. The American firm is recognized for its accessory and jewelry lines as well. But, are fossil watches good?

Fossil watches popularity is incredible, with people marveling at their low price and good looks. Some people, on the other hand, believe that Fossil isn’t anywhere near as good as some of Japan’s or Switzerland’s legendary brands.

If you’re thinking about buying your first fossil watch and wondering if are fossil watches good brand to trust, keep reading. This Fossil watches review is the most comprehensive I’ve ever seen, and it’ll hopefully answer any concerns you have regarding the American firm.

We begin with Fossil’s history and background, as we do with any other brand review on our site. If you’d rather jump straight to the quality assessment.

Fossil History & Background

It’s worth noting that Fossil, as a company, owns fossil watches good quality and other watch brands with which you may be familiar.

The Fossil Group & Collaborations

Fossil watch brand is the parent company of such well-known timepiece manufacturers as Zodiac, Relic, Micsfit, Michele Watch, and Skagen Denmark. In addition to that, Fossil produces accessories for numerous other well-known brands such as Diesel, Michael Kors, and Armani Exchange.

The Misfit brand, which was formerly a competitor of Fossil, has joined the Fossil family as one of its most distinctive products. The firms have decided to take on the difficult task of trying to break away from Samsung and Apple’s smartwatch monopoly. The two companies’ combined efforts have resulted in a number of models that are flourishing in the market. The Vapor X was one of the first.

The Launch of the Brand (and Fossil Watches)

Fossil watch collections is a relatively new entrant to the horological market when compared to established names such as Orient, Bulova, or Seiko.

Tom Kartsosis, the creator of Fossil, got the idea for the company when his older brother, Kosta Kartsosis, told him there was a lot of money to be made in importing retail items from Asia. The siblings learned quickly that it was a brilliant decision after they saw how successful it became.

Back in the 1980s, there weren’t nearly as many low-cost brands in the United States that provided decent quality as there are now. Many people were looking for a timepiece but had to jump between two extremes; either spending a lot of money on a high-quality Swiss product or going for the low-cost (both in price and quality) option that would only last a year. It’s safe to say there was a need for dependable yet affordable watches that could fill this middle ground, and Fossil stepped in to provide just that.

And Fossil decided to fill it.

The debut collection of timepieces was inspired by a renowned designer, Lynne Stafford. The basic, vintage look was praised and the series became a good watch brand.

The first timepieces were ultra-budget, but Fossil opted to take affordability to an entirely new level by creating a low-cost line under the Relic name. That also led to the introduction of other fashion accouterments such as handbags, wallets, belts, and more.

New Acquisitions

After the huge success of Fossil’s original timepiece collections. The brand grew in confidence and wanted to diversify its product line. In the early years of the 21st century, Fossil began buying watch businesses as a way to increase its presence.

Zodiak and Michele Watch were the first two notable new arrivals. Both are Swiss-founded companies, so they blended the priceless Swiss expertise into both the primary Fossil line as well as its associated names.

Skagen is another name you’re probably familiar with which was purchased by Fossil. Skagen, a Danish watchmaker, was acquired for $237 million in 2012.

After the success of their first line of watches, which came out in 2012, Fossil decided to pay homage to the exquisite craftsmanship of Swiss watchmaking by launching a premium collection exclusively made in Switzerland. These timepieces didn’t perform as well as Fossil had anticipated since they were priced higher than prior models. As a result, they are no longer being produced. You may enjoy Swiss quality with Fossil’s design influence with the Zodiak and Michele Watch models listed above.

Fossil is presently engaged in the development of its smartwatch line, which it has been doing since 2009. Apart from upholding its objective to provide low-cost and attention-grabbing fashion timepieces, Fossil is also active in this area.


Fossil Nate Men's Watch
  • Fossil has always been inspired by American creativity and ingenuity. Since 1984, we’ve strived to bring new life into the industry by making quality, fashionable watches and accessories that were both fun and accessible
  • For a bold, oversized look that's certain to be noticed, choose Nate! Its clean, military-inspired design with oversized lugs and bold details offers a laid-back yet rugged feel that is perfect for any adventure, day or night
  • Case size: 50mm; Band size: 24mm; quartz movement with chronograph analog display and date window; hardened mineral crystal lens resists scratches; imported
  • Black stainless steel case with black dial; black stainless steel bracelet band; links can be removed for a customized fit; interchangeable with all Fossil 24mm watch straps
  • Water resistant to 50m (165ft): suitable for short periods of recreational swimming and showering, but not diving or snorkeling; 5 ATM
  • Customize your watch with complimentary engraving at a local Fossil store. Engraving is available at participating U.S. and Canadian full-priced and outlet Fossil stores. This service is not applicable on all accessories
The Refined is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.


Are Fossil Watches Any Good? A Look at Fossil Watch Quality

Fossil watches are adored by individuals who prize distinctive style and long-lasting functionality at reasonable prices. They are derided by those who expect timekeeping masterpieces at low-cost pricing levels.

It’s pointless to compare any watch brand to watchmakers that cost you ten times more when determining its quality. Instead, we should examine what Fossil has to offer against brands in the same price range, such as Vincero or Invicta, when compared with similarly priced manufacturers.

Fossil watches are not very expensive, which is understandable given the brand’s low budget reputation. The most basic timepieces start at $50 and go up to $200 for more complicated versions like the smartwatch line. If you’re interested in exploring why certain watch brands, like Invicta, offer watches at such affordable prices, you might find this article on why Invicta watches are so cheap insightful.


It’s only one chance to make a first impression. That is, Fossil has taken it to heart.

Fossil watches, without a doubt, look well beyond their low price range. Since the company’s inception, it has prioritized providing beautiful timepieces while yet avoiding to sacrifice on innovative, sometimes even futurist design.

Leather straps are prevalent in the Fossil collections, as well as a few more sporty stainless steel timepieces. These watches frequently have huge cases (such as the Fossil Mega Machine Chronograph model) and big Roman numerals (such as this Fossil Grant model). This complements the antique feel. Styles differ from collection to collection, but the overall feeling is elegant and appropriate for a wide range of clothing.

We’ll take a deeper look at some of the most popular and distinctive collections later in the text.


You may have the most exquisite timepiece in the world, but if its durability isn’t up to standard, you’ll be extremely dissatisfied at the end. When compared to other low-budget fashion watch producers, we can say that Fossil fulfills a competent level of quality when it comes to durability – especially when compared to other low-budget fashion watch producers.

Mineral crystal glass, which is commonly used in watches costing up to $150, is provided by Fossil for sturdy protection of the dial. It’s a standard solution in the watch industry when it comes to movements that oscillate at around $50 to $150. Some of its rivals, on the other hand, are not hesitant to utilize plastic glasses

The Fossil Swiss line briefly used sapphire crystal, which has the most scratch-resistant qualities. That, as we already know, is no longer available.

The case is made of stainless steel, which Fossil uses rather than titanium, as it is in the similar style. The casing is composed of 316L stainless steel, which is a popular choice among competitors. What’s remarkable about the stylish lines are the screw-down crowns and casebacks, which significantly enhance protection against water-related damage.

The good news is that, due to its design and sturdy build, this dive watch will survive even the roughest water activities. At best, you may expect a 100m water resistance on this diver-inspired collection. The majority of Fossil versions provide between 30m and 50m of water resistance, which is exactly what you’d expect from a fashion-forward watch.

The bottom line is that the average Fossil watch will survive the elements and regular wear and tear for years with no problem whatsoever. Unless you’re looking for a watch that will last you a lifetime, we doubt you’ll find any issue with the durability of a Fossil timepiece.

Fossil would have received a higher score in the durability category if the warranty wasn’t so brief. A 12-month guarantee period is acceptable for a budget fashion watch, but extending it by another year sends a much stronger signal that Fossil is confident in the quality of their products.


Fossil has you covered, whether you go with quartz timepieces’ unrivaled precision or more complicated mechanical movements.

The Fossil brand’s mechanical watches are powered by Chinese-made movements. Although there is still a lot of bias against them (usually justified), watch lovers seem to think that these installed in Fossil models provide excellent value for money. Many people are particularly thrilled by the attention to detail when it comes to decorating these calibers. This is especially apparent in the transparent casebacks’ lines.

For example, the Seagull Caliber TY2806 is a popular automatic movement used by Fossil. It’s a mechanism comparable to the Miyota 8215 from Japan, and it has an accuracy of approximately 10-35 seconds each day. Given that some Fossil timepieces equipped with this mechanism are available for less than $100, that’s a great deal.

Fossil also has you covered if you prefer the unrivaled precision of quartz watches. The brand’s quartz models are equipped with Japanese or Swiss movements, which is something that can’t be said for many of its competitors. For a fashion watch, we believe that this is more than adequate.

The Zodiak and Michele Watch models are the only ones with Swiss automatic movements, which is a shame because they’re available through more Fossil sister brands. Prepare to spend a little bit more money, though.

Fossil primarily uses highly dependable Japanese mechanisms in its battery-powered collections. These are most often produced by Miyota, one of Japan’s major names in the movement business. Naturally, these provide substantially better accuracy and don’t lose more than 20 seconds each month.

For a brief time, Fossil offered a hybrid movement type known as mecha-quartz. Twist was a quartz-based mechanism with an automated second hand. The sweeping motion of the second hand was nice to look at, but it didn’t spark much demand. As a result, these timepieces have been discontinued.

A Look at Fossil Watch Collections

There are a lot of Fossil watch collections, and they’re growing all the time. Every year, new designs and editions are added.

It would take a day or two to go through each line. Instead, we’ll concentrate on six collections that provide distinct styles and features. You will have a better understanding of what’s available without having to spend the rest of your life on our website this way.

Fossil Grant

The Fossil Grant series is for people who value both design and athletic style.

The majority of these timepieces have big dials with a diameter of 44mm. The huge dial size is used to accommodate three sub-dials with a chronograph function. These measure seconds, minutes, and hours using the pushers on either side of the crown.

With Roman or Arab numerals, you may customize the look to fit your preferences. The assortment is limited solely to leather strap timepieces. This, combined with the low 50m water resistance, means these timepieces are great for going out but not for diving.

The Grant collection is exclusively quartz timepieces, as all Grants are chronographs.

Fossil Townsman

The Townsman is the most widely recognized Fossil line.

The Fossil Townsman collection is unlike the Grant line, which is solely dedicated to chronograph timepieces. The line includes more than one type of watch in addition to battery-powered chronographs. Open heart dials are vintage watches with so-called open heart dials that allow you to look at the inner mechanisms of the mechanical movement.

Fossil timepieces for men with a vintage design are most often characterized by big Roman numerals. There’s also a wider range of bands to choose from. Townsman provides several types of leather and stainless steel straps to choose from.

On the waterproofing front, most of these watches have a 5ATM / 50m rating.

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