Considering that Fossil Group Inc. hit a stock price of over $100 per share numerous times from 2011-2015 and is currently trading for well under $10 per share — they may be the single most negatively impacted watch company since the Apple Watch was released in 2014.
Certainly, the Apple Watch and its explosion in popularity over the past eight years — have affected many wristwatch brands. In spite of the Apple Watch, brands like Rolex and Omega have grown their market share, and generally speaking, most in-demand, well-run wristwatch brands have adapted and moved upmarket, further out of the price range of the Apple Watch. Many company executives will even cite that the Apple Watch has been a boon to their sales due to the fact that many consumers who never wore a watch now wear the Apple Watch and in doing so it has prepared them to eventually upgrade to something nicer and more traditional. Conversely, many of those watch brands closest in price to the Apple Watch, have seen their market share, market capital, and overall demand — decimated in the Apple Watch era.
As I alluded to above, Fossil has likely been hurt by the release of the Apple Watch more than any other watch brand (based on how much they dropped), although, surely other factors such as changing demographics and tastes have negatively affected them as well. Fossil’s massive plunge clearly took place around the release of the Apple Watch, far before Covid, so while current market conditions are surely a factor, the biggest negative impact comes from the existential threat that started with the launch of the Apple Watch in 2014.
Some of the things that have dominated this new post-Apple Watch era of marketing are hype products, collaborations, and reinventions of entire brands. Whether Fossil is trying to turn around its entire business, is trying to become a hype brand, is just trying to maintain its market share, or has a strategy that’s none of the above, is unclear.
What’s clear is the $280 limited edition Fossil x Staple Nate Sundial watch, which comes in a 44 mm diameter ground silicone case, with an old-fashioned sundial on the top that harkens back to its retro sundial wristwatches, that opens to reveal a more traditional watch dial along with a distinctive hologram beneath (showing a Staple pigeon in-flight), powered by an automatic movement — is one of the most unique wristwatches we’ve ever seen Fossil produce.
Could this be the start of a turnaround for Fossil, or is their current position where they’re destined to stay?
Photos by Fossil.