If you’re a ’90s child, chances are you’ve either grown up being a proud owner of a Fossil watch or coveting one. For those of us who weren’t swayed away by the allure of counterculture but didn’t want to come across as a conformist either, a Fossil watch was the best accessory. It’s clean, minimal, and classic design is timeless in a way that generations from now, a Fossil watch will still be relevant. That is the mark of an icon. These watches have the look and feel of a premium watch but are so well priced that you don’t have to sell your organs to own one. Here are eight things you didn’t know about your favourite watches and accessories brand.
Fossil was founded in 1984 by Tom Kartsotis, a Texan ticket brokerage operator. Fed up with his business, he withdrew his savings flew to Hong Kong to find a watch manufacturer. He came back with about 1,500 pieces and sold them in the US.
The Company introduced the first Fossil® branded watches in 1985. This was the time when fashion watches had just started to invade the market and Swatch was wildly popular. With Fossil’s foray, the trend took off.
Fossil’s early aesthetic was inspired by print ads from the 1930s and ’40s. Lynne Stafford, the lead designer and later Kartsotis’s wife, created “retro” designs that appealed to the masses and made the brand stand out. She found inspiration in old issues of magazines like Look, Life and Time.
To play on this aesthetic further, the company started packaging their watches in tin cans which lent it a nostalgic edge. To push the envelope further, the watches were also sold in wooden boxes in 1989.
To further tap into the nostalgia, the brand launched ad campaigns in the late ’80s that featured models in the midst of an adventure that sealed the whole Americana effect. This was also the time when the Indiana Jones films were massively popular and as such the campaigns were a hit, translating directly into almost ten times the sales within the span of two years.
The brand branched into small leather goods which became an instant hit and remain popular even today. Their 2015 campaign #CallingAllCurious featured creative practitioners like artists, ar directors, photographers and even fashion bloggers like Leandra Medine (Man Repeller).
Fossil is also the licensed designers, manufacturer, and distributor for your favourite brands like Burberry, DKNY, Emporio Armani, Armani Exchange, Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Skagen Designs, Michele, and Adidas.
This year, Fossil has announced the launch of 300 connected watches, marking their place in the wearables market.