You know who we have not had on our pages in some time? Fossil, that’s who. While they are ostensibly a more fashion-oriented brand, they do offer a large variety of styles at rather affordable price points. Today, we have a hands-on look at a watch they consider to be in their dressier collection, the Fossil Machine.


I must admit, the name initially threw me with the watch. While even quartz watches (which this is) do indeed rely on gears, there was not a whole lot that stuck me about the watch as being machine-like. What I finally arrived at is the texture of bezel. This texture, if it appeared on a completely round surface (think of something like a steel rod) it would be called knurling. Now, knurling is something applied to allow for better grip on a smooth surface – but this bezel does not move. Here, it really just serves as a way to get some additional visual interest on the face without resorting to polishing or plating.


This bezel is surrounding a simple, competent dial. The inner portion (which comprises the hour track) has a slightly glossy finish to its black tone, while the outer minute track is raised up, and comes across a bit more matte. Oddly enough, while they have the minute hand touching the appropriate rose gold-tone indices, they did not make the hour hand long enough to reach the additional pips on the dial. Pulling the pips in would have looked odd, but I am surprised they did not make the hour hand a touch larger. Even the seconds hand could do with a slight extension as well, allowing it to stretch closer to those outer indices.


These are, of course, relatively minor concerns, especially at the price ($105) the Fossil Machine comes in at. Thankfully, the tips of the hands are coated in luminous material, which allows you to see the time in the dark, as well as presenting a contrast against the dial for ease of quick-read in regular lighting conditions. Another thing that is a distinct positive for the watch is the date display. Tucked down at 6 o’clock, the date wheel is color-matched to the dial color, allowing it to blend in rather well.


All of this is housed in a 42mm case that is a modest 12mm thick. This means you approach the current “big watch” tastes without it being overkill. This bigger feel is also helped along by the strap, which is 22mm wide, and of a thicker leather. Now, with this strap, I was initially surprised to see one of this thickness from a brand like Fossil – it really did call to mind something more from a custom strap maker (consider this a teaser – we have a review of an amazing custom strap in the works). That is, until I started wearing the watch.


This is not to say the strap is a bad one, far from it. It’s just that, in wearing the watch, you see it is not quite like the custom options out there (again, consider the price). While the top of the strap stayed smooth, the portion that goes against your wrist started to pick up wrinkling, something that is more in common if you have, for instance, a belt made of leather pieces that are bonded together, rather than a single piece of leather. Since this is on the underside of the strap, it’s not a major issue, just something to be aware of.


The strap also held another surprise, with the included buckle. The surprise here was that the side of the buckle was actually signed. This is something that we rarely see, so it was a nice detail to see added to the Fossil Machine. And that is basically what we have here with the 76g Fossil Machine – a nice watch with nice looks and some interesting details.


Sure, it has some design quirks that could do with amending, but for the price, it’s well put together. And, as Fossil is who they are, their track record would indicate that this is a watch that will work quite well for years as a daily wearer. Also of note – while this exact model is no longer available, there are others (seen here) in the family still out there.

Review Summary

  • Brand & Model: Fossil Machine Three-Hander
  • Price: $105
  • Who’s it for?: This is for the guy looking for an everyday watch that approaches something dressier without being too small
  • Would I wear it?: I’m 50/50 on this. If I were just starting out in watches, I could certainly see getting something like this (as a Fossil was one of my earliest purchases). Given my experience now (and other options available), I’m not so certain that this would get much wrist time.
  • What I’d change: I think the hour and seconds hands could do with being a touch long
  • The best thing about it: If I were to pick out a single detail, it would be the knurling that appears on the bezel – this is a great way of breaking up what would otherwise be a fairly large (and flat) expanse on the front of the watch

By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

Leave a Reply