BASEL, Switzerland — Drawing on its 35-year existence, Fossil is staging a brand exhibit and reissuing watch models from its past, doubling down on its retro roots.
Starting in May, and through the rest of the year, the label plans to release revisited editions of its most popular watches over the years, nearly one new model a month.
The plans come as watch brands struggle to adjust to the loss of business to Apple. The Fossil brand’s parent, Fossil Group Inc., which also makes watches for labels including Kate Spade, Karl Lagerfeld and Tory Burch, in January sold smartwatch intellectual property to Google for $40 million, with plans to deepen its relationship with the tech giant to develop further projects together. The two companies have already worked together with WearOS devices.
“The relaunching of the Archival Series alongside this innovative retrospective is something that the brand has wanted to do for a long time,’’ Steve Evans, executive vice president of Fossil Group, said in a statement. Evans added that the move comes on the heels of last fall’s relaunching of the Mood model, which he said was successful.
With the rise of online commerce multiplying offers for consumers, brands have to work harder to stand out from the crowd; striking a balance between keeping a strong brand identity while generating buzz with newness.
Fossil’s retrospective is a mishmash of objects made by the brand or other things that provided inspiration including the Fossil tin, vintage sports references such as trophies and baseball mitts, a collection of old cameras, lots of logos, and a lunchbox designed by the brand.
The exhibit opens in Basel today, on the sidelines of the Baselworld show — the group is not an exhibitor — before taking to other European destinations, and heading to Asia and the U.S. before settling down at Fossil’s Texas headquarters in Richardson.
In a bid to get closer to consumers, the label is launching a page on its web site called The Collector’s Club, an online shopping platform featuring reissues of past models, information about pop-up shops and early access to new watches.