No, no, that doesn’t portend anything bad, necessarily, for the watch – just a play on the darker finish that this Fossil Blue FB-01 loaner came with (per the brand, it’s called “Smoke”). I first wrote about the Fossil Blue in early September (which you can see here), and we subsequently got to spend some time with one.
Right out of the box, the Fossil Blue FB-01 is a watch that punches well above it’s super-affordable price tag. This is helped, I believe, by the influences coming from the “Big Crown” via the dial design (shape of the indices, specifically) and the presence of the cyclops. And, I suppose, the sort-of-Oysterish bracelet. The cyclops is what had my attention at the get-go, and as I wore the watch, it only further reinforced my preference for that sort of crystal modification.
What I was less pleased about – and unpleasantly surprised by – was the bezel of the Fossil Blue FB-01. Sure, it’s an aluminum insert, no surprise there. When I went to turn the bezel, to see how the play and ratcheting was, I was stopped – literally. The bezel did not turn! So, I reached out to the brand, figuring maybe I had a pre-production sample or something of that nature. As it turns out, no – they made the watch with a fixed bezel. Which is certainly fine to do – but not if you’re designing the bezel to look like a diver’s countdown bezel. I get price points had to be hit (and fixed has to be cheaper than rotating), but if that’s the case, don’t make it look like a rotating diver’s bezel.
The bracelet on the Fossil Blue FB-01 is fairly easy to size, and decently comfortable once sized to your wrist. As you would expect on an affordable watch like this, there’s a bit of a jingle-jangle to the bracelet as you move, and with this particular Smoke finish, I’d be concerned about how well the finish would hold up. Then again, this is just a $129 watch, so you’re making some trades when you pick this one up.
Am I picking nits? You bet I am – but if I don’t point out what I feel are flaws, or things you might not expect if you’re more used to $500+ watches, then I’m not doing my job as a reviewer. If you go into the Fossil Blue FB-01 understanding it to be a $100 (or so) watch, you’ll be pleased, I’ve no doubt. Yeah, the fixed bezel is odd, but the proportions on the 42mm case are well-sorted, as is the dial and handset. Speaking of the handset, the lume here is actually quite nice (read: bright when charged) but does fade quickly.
I went into this review of the Fossil Blue FB-01 very interested to see how the cyclops was implemented – and it is by far my favorite feature of the quartz-driven watch. It’s something you don’t often see at this price point, and it looks a treat against the matte finish of the dial. And, again, this is a watch that runs just $129, which is just about right for the watch. Now, if they made that bezel moveable, they’d really have something on their hands. fossil.com
- Brand & Model: Fossil Blue FB-01
- Price: $129
- Who’s it for? You want a classic diver profile and the popular Pepsi bezel at a price that doesn’t break the bank
- Would I wear it? The me of, say, 5 years ago? Yes. The me of today, not so much
- What I’d change: If you’re going to have a colorful dive bezel, make it functional, not fixed in place
- The best thing about it: For me, it’s the presence of that cyclops
Tech Specs from Fossil
- Case Size: 42mm
- Case Shape: Round
- Case Thickness: 12mm
- Case Material: Stainless Steel
- Closure: Single Pusher Foldover Clasp
- Circumference: 200+/- 5mm
- Strap Color: Silver-Tone
- Strap Width: 22mm
- Strap Material: Stainless Steel
- Movement Type: Quartz
- Collection: FB-01
- Warranty: 2 Year Limited
- Water Resistant: 10 ATM