If I may, I'd like to share my Fossil collection with everyone. I've had a relationship with this brand for years, and just recently acquired what I believe will be "the last one," leading me to reflect on the past.
This one was my first Fossil. I must have been about 14 or so. Back then, Dillards used to sell Fossils in their display case, next to the Swatches, which probably explains a lot about my proclivity for both brands that has carried on through today. When I visited the mall with my mom I was drawn to this case and visited my "favorites" often. Today a lot of what I liked I most would call "gimmick" watches, but whatever. I like what I like.
This one is cool in that it has "water" with assorted parts floating around in it. It's actually a neat case, there is a dual crystal that sits on top of the first one, forming a chamber for the "water," which is really some kind of oil or other liquid that mimics the viscosity of water without splashing around too much, while the hands and watch face sit below. The parts are an escapement wheel, what I think is a balance wheel (feel free to correct me on those), a loose second hand and a pair of screws. One, I think it's silly that there is a loose second hand, when the real working quartz movement below also has a completely installed and working second hand, kind of giving up the illusion of a "water logged mechanical" watch, but doubtful the kind of people who bought this noticed. Second, the screws tend to lodge on top of one of the wheels and will get stuck in one spot (as they are now). This used to drive me mad, bumping the watch in all manner of directions to dislodge them. I have since learned that with regular motion, the parts will eventually come loose on their own.
The case is also neat in that it has a stone ring around it, and the case itself is brass or bronze or at least finished as such, which was a common styling of Fossils. This model had a twin that was the same except it had sand in the chamber. The water and parts I guess proved more popular because they soon released a whole line with this theme, with different, larger cases and dials and assorted colors of water. The water in mine actually used to be blue, but it faded to clear over the course of 3 or 4 years. I wonder how everyone else's "water" watches turned out?
I'm having a real hard time finding a band for it. It originally came on a braided leather band, typical of the style and time, but that's become a little brittle so I decided to save it. I've had it on a few different bands I've gotten on sale at Crown and Buckle, including the current one (I think it's called "ecru" or something). Not sure a Nato works for this style though.
This guy right here is very special, and the most direct cause of this post. This is the first watch that I bought for myself with the money I earned from my first job. I bagged groceries in high school. :D The grocery store chain I worked for actually had a grocery bagging competition once, where the top sackers from stores around the city came to a central store and competed, haha. Was I on the team that my store sent to compete? No son, I was the COACH! lmfao.
Anyway, this is a from the Fossil "Blue" collection, and boasts a mind-blowing 50 meters of water resistance. The tiny crown is not screw-down. I think I got this from the Fossil store in the Galleria (the big boy mall in Houston) where these "Blue" models seemed quite popular and filled their store displays. They eventually released this model in a huge array of colors and sizes, and I think the "Blue" line survives to this day. I was recently at my jeweler and saw in their pre-owned case a Tag Heuer, an older Aqua Racer I believe, that I had previously been unaware of, that this Blue was supposed to be a "hommage" to. Interesting but *shrug*. Both are very "90's" styled, IMO. The bezel is tight and hard to grasp but usable. The lume is a joke.
I seem to remember paying $60 for this at the time, which was some bucks for a watch in high school, and it was a "nice watch" that I remember getting many compliments on. I wore this on the job bagging groceries and I can't remember what watch I wore in college (such a haze), but this must have been it. So it took quite a beating, but it always kept going. At some point some "jeweler" in a strip center put a gigantic gouge in the caseback while changing the battery. The bracelet and caseback are stainless but the case itself is a base metal that is corroding a little on the back and wearing away on the sides.
When I started really getting into watches again, I decided to rehab it. I originally sent it off to "Metro Service," Fossil's warranty repair center, where you can get an out-of-warranty overhaul for $45. I suppose my wrist has swollen a bit since I was a teenager, the extra links were long gone, and the pins were starting to bend and fall out, so I asked for a new bracelet. Also, the underside of the crystal had always had a speck of dust on it, and it seemed cloudy, though I remember it being like that since purchase and it always kept great time so I never suspected water intrusion. I got it back from Metro, they said they didn't have any replacement bracelets. They cited water intrusion, and completely replaced the crystal and movement. That'd be fine and all, but the crystal is not perfectly even with the case, and they bent the hands while removing them during the movement swap. :( All said though it was okay.
I ended up finding an even more banged up, clapped out copy of this on the Bay, but one owned by a guy with a huge wrist so the links were there. Then I took it down to my jeweler, an Omega and Breitling AD, lol, and dropped these pieces of junk on their counter, lmao. I had them completely clean, brush, and polish the replacement bracelet, install and size it on my watch case. I think that was $120, but worth it for sentimental reasons. Larry, my watch salesman (just imagine a 20-something named Larry, with a Breitling on each wrist, that's exactly what he looks like) who took care of me, also remembers bagging groceries in school and his first "nice" watch, understood though. $60 purchase + $45 service + $25 for the replacement bracelet + $120 for polishing and cleaning equals one flippin' expensive quartz Fossil. But it lives on.
This here is what I call an "occasion" watch. I have a rather large collection at this point, and I often times decide what I'm going to wear based on what I'm doing that day, and maybe sometimes I buy watches based on what I perceive I need for certain duties (see my topic floating around somewhere in f2, about a 44mm gold-tone Citizen diver, which is now my "strip club watch").
Anyway, this was sitting in the case along with the "water" watch above in Dillards and I visited it quite often before I purchased it with the intention of wearing it to Homecoming dance or prom, or something with shirts and ties and ladies. I was just drawn to the formality of it, and I liked the idea at the time of being a guy who owned a "formal" watch. It's my smallest watch at only 24mm. You could flip a coin about deciding if this is actually a men's or women's watch. I don't care much, I remember it being in the men's watch case and I liked it. It says "Fossil Vintage" on the back, suppose they had a line of these.
I've hung on to this through the years, but it doesn't get much wrist time. I think it most recently got out when I wore a tuxedo to my company Christmas party a few years ago. The square case appeals and the textured dial (what is that style called again) is really nice.
I took this to the aforementioned Fossil store in the big boy mall for a battery change, and when I got it back it looked like someone used a can opener on the caseback. But I didn't notice until I inspected it when I got home, and figured causing a fuss would be more trouble than it's worth since I doubt they have replacement casebacks for this.
This one is my "watch of shame," if I had to name one, even though I have no shame when it comes to my cheap watches. It's the least favorite watch I own, and I wear it like twice a year if I'm in a bad mood and it's lucky.
This is actually a "Relic," which was Fossil's brand name for "lesser" stores like Palais Royal, which is likely where this thing came from. It is a "Big Tick," which was a monster of a trend for Fossil for some time. I remember going in the Fossil store once and it seemed like half the darn shelves were covered with these things. They never appealed to me though, and today I think they're really dated, even though I think they actually still have one Big Tick model in their line-up. It originally came with the most chintzy bracelet I've ever seen on a watch, with huge broad folded links that they didn't bother to hide on the sides. I took that off and bought a Fossil leather band for it in an attempt to change it up a bit and maybe get it some more affection and wrist time. NOPE.
It's a woman's band by the way, because today Fossil doesn't consider anything below 22mm with a chronograph a men's watch anymore. So'kay, I have womanly 6.75" wrists anyway. I was testing out the lume on the hands with an LED flashlight (haha) and noticed the crystal was cloudy, so it got a ride to Metro along with Blue up there. It got the bent hand treatment too (*facepalm.jpg*) when they decided that warranted a movement replacement too. Then they installed the crystal crooked in the case to "RELIC" is not centered anymore, jeez. The LCD display and the quartz movement for the hands work independently, the big ticks just for show. If you get a battery replacement by someone who doesn't know, the LCD resets to this non-working, static "P" display. You have to jump a circuit or something to get it going again. *eye roll* This watch is total goof troop, even for Fossil.
So why do I keep it and still try to wear it? It was a gift from my mother.
Speaking of gifts from my mother, so was this one, and I am a much bigger fan. I was gifted this in my senior year of college, IIRC, and I probably wore it daily at my first job as a technical writer. I've gotten a fair amount of compliments through the years on this, including some from individuals who I consider notably stylish, which fills me with a little pride.
Aside from the integrated bracelet, which is NBD since I like it, PCLs and all, this one I think is quite nice, and I even wore it daily for a time at my current job. It's got a nice weight to it, and it has endured without complaint. Once it stopped working and went on the treacherous ride to Metro (notice a pattern here?). When I got it back, I immediately noticed something was different. This watch originally came with a white date wheel. In a very rare stroke of genius, when Metro replaced the movement, they did so with one with a black date wheel! Nice! Then sometime after that I took it to the ol' Fossil store for a battery change where it got the same can opener treatment to the caseback that the Vintage above suffered. (*yougottabekiddingme.jpg*) I dunno who they had working in the back that day, holy geez.
This big dog boasts 100 meter of water resistance, despite not being in the "Blue" line. It's actually part of the "Arkitekt" line, which was a slightly higher line. I remember seeing these in stores and thinking they were quite nice, but I was like, I've no interest in being an architect (one with terrible spelling concerns), who is the only person who I could think of who would want a watch that said "Arkitekt" on the dial. Thankfully my mom saw through this marketing nonsense and hooked me up.
And we've (finally) reached the conclusion of this fascinating odyssey. This is the latest Fossil I've bought, and as I move on in my tastes to bigger and more mechanical things, I believe this will be the last. This watch manages to sum up everything that I think is goofy about Fossils, including me being stupid.
Why I bought this watch is hard to explain. I was in the *dun dun DUHHH* Fossil store (oh boy), this time at a more local mall next to my house, getting the band for the Relic above. I dunno, Fossil stores are nice, huh? Always tastefully decorated. Their bags and other trinkets seem to make nice gifts. My high school sweetheart gave me a "men's manicure" set with nail clippers and a file and tweezers and a wine bottle opener (?) that I still use because the Chinese tweezers are nice and bigger than the ones on my Swiss army knives.
Anyway, I was browsing the shelves at this store when one of the employees noticed I had my Speedmaster on and proceeded to reveal his secret WISness. We talked shop for a bit and he was really excited about his new Tudor Pelagos, but of course he couldn't wear it on the job. Poor guy. But it was really nice to connect with him and give me the tingles about Fossil. This got me thinking about my Fossils, and browsing their website, and overall ruminating about this eventual thread. I hadn't actually acquired one lately, and Fossil has evolved quite a bit, and so have I. I decided I needed one more. One to "top it off." One to "close it out."
Now, the get even more annoyingly detailed about my thought process, I actually had a 22mm regimental "true Bond" Nato strap that I wanted to use. I bought it for a Mako USA, ended up liking it more on the bracelet. (It eventually ended up on a Casio, but neither here nor there.) So I was looking for a 22mm lugged watch first, one that went with a regimental Nato second. Having "arrived" and now owning a Speedmaster, and procrastinating at work reading this forum thoroughly, now I had more adult opinions on timepieces, their functions and design features, so I was looking for the least offensive Fossil that matched that criteria. That took...like four months. Seriously.
This one I think is nice enough. I like the shade of green and the contrasting indices and hands. It actually has lume, but you have to expose it to a nuclear winter-type light source for it to glow for like 5 seconds. The band is really quite nice, I forget what they call it, but it exposes an olive patina when you bend it. And I like the little bolt-action spring bars that are easy to release with your fingernails. The dumbest thing to me however, is the chronograph. Online I saw three registers and just assumed it worked like any other chrono. Nope. The top register is actually a 24 hour hand, which I suppose is nice enough. But the central second hand is actually the time seconds. The chrono seconds is the small seconds on the bottom! And it only records 30 minutes, and doesn't continue indefinitely it resets/stops automatically. I was using it to time a flight when I noticed it was stuck at "30" again. This means this chrono mechanism is literally less useful than a diving watch bezel.
Fossil also happens to do complimentary engraving, as pointed out to me by my new friend at the store. The thought of this appealed to me, because of all my watches I've never had one engraved, and I liked the idea of having a reason to go back and chat this guy up more about watches. I've actually never seen him again and ended up buying this from yet ANOTHER FOSSIL STORE. Previously this year, I attended a work conference in Anaheim, conveniently down the block from Disneyland. I'm a huge Disney fan who has never had a chance to go, so this was it. I had it all planned out, I was gonna go to the conference, and when it was over transfer over to a Disney hotel and enjoy two whole days in the parks and fly back on the company dime. Disneyland now how this..."open air retail experience" there called Downtown Disney. Guess what? FOSSIL STORE! I researched this dearly. Apparently despite being in Disneyland, they did not sell Disney watches (which I also planned to buy, and did). But oh well, I can make it a souvenir with the inscription! Perfect!
So I go into this store and the employees are so nice and they show me this ridiculous Breaker watch with an acrylic case. They have the model that I've previously picked out and planned to buy, last one in the color, they had to find it tucked away in the cabinets. I'm buying this and standing in this store after a whirlwind of a work conference, it's warm outside, and I was generally just all lit up about being at Disneyland. I'm filling out the slip of paper on what I want engraved and....anyone ever do this? Just totally have a brain fart and slip up? I dunno guys. I totally flippin' forgot what year it was. I wrote it down on the paper, the sales guy dutifully had their machine engrave it, and when he brought it out for my approval I didn't even notice then! It just dawned on me sometime later what I had done and I had to take it off and check!
I guess I will have to wear it to next year's work conference, so that the inscription will make at least a little sense!
So this turned out to be quite the bible about my Fossils. Thanks for reading and I promise to never talk about these things again.