Fossil have a long history of creating contemporary watches that look as good as they function. Today’s high-tech designs shouldn’t rebuff a classic design, so the Fossil Q Grant Gen 2 Hybrid Smartwatch immediately does it right with a simple, analog design harkening back to vintage timepieces.
Those looking at the Grant see a luxurious looking dark brown leather band encircling a silver watch with big Roman numerals, thin second/minute hands, a highlighted red pointer for added visibility and a small secondary circle near the bottom (there’s also alternate straps of black and steel). A closer inspection reveals this circle to not be an indicator of seconds but of various watch modes (like Alert and Alarm) and for the Tracker options (featuring a red tipped pointer that moves from “start” to “goal”). No touchscreen, analog means controls are pressed.
Now the reason this is called a hybrid watch is that you’re not restricted to the analog only — yes it’s a smartwatch as well — and as expected it works in concert with a smartphone, be that iPhone (iPhone 5 and up/iOS 8.2 and up) or Android (OS 4.4 and up). The phone is handling the “smart” features, and these include a number of expected/useful functions as well as specifically fitness oriented: notifications for social media, text and email, having an alarm clock and calendar alert ability, letting you control basic music functions, plus a built-in fitness tracker, a sleep tracker and step tracker (all of which is where that smaller circle comes in handy). You can also remotely snap a picture from the camera’s phone.
Maintaining the analog approach, the Grant runs on its own internal, replaceable watch battery (up to 6 month’s of power) — there’s no charging found here. The lack of a port — since obviously the watch pairs to the smartphone via Bluetooth — also means it can be made more water resistant, as in able to handle sweat and splashes and brief dunks in water. Which it is, although swimming or bathing with it is a no-no.
All of the tech features comes through the Fossil app running on the smartphone. It’s here that settings are chosen and decisions made as to how best use the functions. For example, a call or text comes in and the watch lightly buzzes or puts out a soundless vibration — no flashing lights, but the hands do move to the hour marker you have selected. You can also make your phone ring, which probably is all about finding the phone if out of sight but in Bluetooth range, but could be a convenient way to get out of a boring conversation at a party. All the data is stored by Fossil, however they point out that it’s done in the US and not overseas, so those with privacy concerns might feel a little less imposed upon.
There’s a reason why all the smartwatch makers try and push how in fashion their watches look, because tech aside, what you see is the watch on your wrist day in and day out. The Fossil Q Grant Gen 2 Hybrid Smartwatch makes looking at it a pleasure, can take replacement 22m straps if brown’s not your thing and its retail price of $155.00 makes paying for it painless.