(Forbes)— The Fossil Group has revealed that it has agreed a global license partnership with German car giant BMW for the design, development and distribution of BMW-branded watches and smartwatches for the next 5 years. We’re told that the first models and collections will go live in 2019 and will be sold in over 4,000 BMW locations worldwide.
“BMW is one of the most iconic brands in the world,” said Kosta Kartsotis, chairman and chief executive officer of Fossil Group. “We look forward to bringing our watch design expertise and smartwatch capabilities to BMW enthusiasts around the world.”
When the first BMW smartwatch does land, there’s a good chance it will come rocking Google’s Wear OS software (formerly known as Android Wear). The Fossil Group is by far the most prolific brand for Google’s smartwatch platform; it has a huge range of Fossil branded smartwatches on sale – the likes of the Q Founder, Venture, Marshal and Explorist; and then there are devices within its many umbrella brands, such as the Michael Kors Access collection, the Kate Spade New York Scallop and the Emporio Armani Connected.
Add to that the huge selection of hybrid watches (analogue with smartphone connectivity) from the group, from the likes of Skagen Hagen, Marc Jacobs and Misfit, and and you can see that Fossil is strongly embracing the wearable technology revolution – it has wearables for 14 brands in more than 300 styles, distributed in 50 countries and in 21 languages. It began its licensing arm way back in 1997 when it struck a deal with Emporio Armani.
BMW is no stranger to the wearable tech market itself. In the past, the brand has appeared on a number of smartwatches, building remote apps for Wear OS models, the Tizen-powered Samsung Gear S2 and S3 and the Apple Watch too.
As well as the brands I’ve already mentioned, the Fossil Group also announced a global license partnership agreement of Puma-branded watches and smartwatches, back in April. Like the BMW models, these are also due to land next year.
I also reported that no fewer than nine new smartwatches could soon be incoming from the Fossil Group – and the likelihood is that they will be the first Wear OS Fossil devices to feature Android Pay. Filings with the FCC detail new models with the inclusion of the NFC tech needed to power Google’s contactless payment system.