Fossil has not been shy about getting into wearables this year. They’ve bolstered their Q line, made deals with other designers (like Michael Kors), and now they’re taking a (somewhat) fresh approach to the smartwatch. Hybrid smartwatches are analog watches with smart features hidden inside, and Fossil had not one, but four of them to show off last week at IFA.
The new devices are called the Q Nate, the Q Crewmaster, the Q Gazer, and the Q Tailor. All four are simply analog watches that can provide a buzz when a notification comes in. We like this approach, especially when it comes to fashion — while the Samsung Gear S3 comes close to passing as analog from afar, all smartwatches suffer from having a digital display that can’t match the elegance of a real watch.
True to its name, the Q Crewmaster is the sportier option, combining a stainless steel case with a dark blue band that wouldn’t look out of place on a yacht.
The Q Nate has a more understated look, and while it can be paired with a black soft strap similar to the Crewmaster’s, the stainless steel band with the stainless steel case seems like the way to go.
But, we’re partial to the more feminine Q Gazer and Q Tailor. The Gazer uses crystals in set in the face and case, while the Tailor goes for a plainer (in a good way!), chic look that looks terrific with leather bands.
Like any smartwatch, these four hybrids work by connecting to a smartphone (Android or iOS) over a Bluetooth connection. All four of the watches have a smaller sub-dial set in the face that keeps track of progress toward whichever daily fitness goal you’ve set for yourself. They’ll vibrate when notifications come in, but you can also set the minute hand to spin suddenly for more dramatic notifications. There are some other unexpected extras, too, including a physical button that can control music, act as a remote camera shutter, or ping your phone if you can’t find it. The watches also have enough sensors to act as fitness and sleep trackers, and can be used with Google Fit, UA Record, Jawbone UP, and Apple Health.
The Q Nate, Q Crewmaster, Q Gazer, and Q Tailor will all be available for $175. Preorders open on September 14, and they’re all due to arrive in stores on September 26. The Fossil Q Wander and Q Marshal smartwatches we’ve been hearing about are available now and run on the new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset, which has been built specifically for wearables.