The Fossil Group has secured a partnership with wearable technology company Misfit to extend its watch and accessory division.
The American watch retailer has said that the acquisition of the fitness tracker manufacturer will allow it to expand to a broader customer base.
The group‘s newest venture will see Misfit‘s technology, including accelerometer based fitness tracking, connected lights and sleep trackers incorporated into Fossil Group watches. The features will be integrated across its 16 brands which include Fossil and Skagen.
“We have a significant opportunity to add technology and connectivity across our platform of watches and accessories” said Kosta Kartsotis, Chief Executive of Fossil Group.
“With the acquisition of Misfit, Fossil Group will be uniquely positioned to lead the convergence of style and technology and to become the fashion gateway to the high-growth wearable technology and connected device markets.”
“We fundamentally believe consumers care about both technical functionality and fashionable design,” said Greg McKelvey, Chief Strategy and Digital Officer of Fossil Group. “In fact, one without the other is simply not enough. With the acquisition of Misfit, Fossil Group will be positioned to win with the connected consumer.”
The partnership demonstrates the importance of moving into the modern age. In order to keep relevant and appeal to the wider market, traditional watchmakers, who have previously felt threatened by the rise of modern technology, are now moving in to this arena also.
Earlier this week luxury Swiss watch brand Tag Heuer launched an Android based smartwatch, while other brands including Mont Blanc and Swatch have already moved into this category.
Fossil Group believes the acquisition will be closed by the end of the 2015 financial year, costing the retailer $260m.
Misfit‘s Chief Executive Sonny Vu will become the President and Chief Technology Officer of Connected Devices for Fossil Group, and will also serve as a member of the company‘s executive leadership board.