The Decker

This is my second Fossil watch and have to say I’m really quite pleased with this one as well.  This model is from the “Decker” range, the AM4384 Black silicon Strap Date watch.

Fossil "Decker" silicon strap watch AM4384

Fossil “Decker” silicon strap watch AM4384

This is an Analogue/Quartz model and it certainly has good presence on the wrist.  A good solid build in Stainless Steel, polished sides with mat lug upper surfaces plus a neat black fixed bezel top with white minute markings.  The dial is black and the hands broad white luminous painted with a black center seconds hand topped with a white dot marker.  The minutes are noted by use of white luminous batons and the date window is @3 with black background and white date numbers.  Whilst the flat crystal is not specified as anti-reflective, it IS remarkably clear and scores VERY highly in the clarity stakes.
I also note the center seconds and and white dot pretty well match up with the markers on the dial – something that many more expensive watches should, but often don’t manage, which is nice to see.  I like that.

Solid Stainless Steel build + flexible silicon strap

Solid Stainless Steel build + flexible silicon strap

Checking the dimensions of this model it’s 43mm diameter (ex crown), 13mm depth, weighs 92gms with strap and interestingly it’s one of those models that looks “neat” on the wrist – a really good trick if it can be achieved – as here!  Well done Fossil.

All in all an excellent dial design for optimum clarity, reminiscent of my Laco and a very practical style that’s increasingly finding its way into my watch collection.

The back as usual with Fossil is a flat polished mirror like stainless steel finish and because it’s flat it doesn’t travel on the wrist.

The usual Fossil clean stainless screw back. Note the quick release strap.

The usual Fossil clean stainless screw back.  Note the quick release strap.

The lovely flexible silicon strap with brushed stainless buckle is a delight to wear – a feature I noted on the “Machine Ana Digital” model I already own.  The watch is marked on the dial (and the back) as 10ATM (100ft) Water Resistant and the back also sports the Model Number and Serial code.

Brushed stainless steel buckle with Fossil logo.

Brushed stainless steel buckle with Fossil logo.

Time setting – To alter the date pull out the large crown to position 2 and move in either direction to set the date to the day PRIOR to the one you wish to set.  Then pull the crown out to position 3 and turn anti-clockwise to move the date to the correct date and then continue to the correct time.  I note the crown does not “click” into any position, but simply moves, which is a little disconcerting – but it seems to function OK.

Flat back comfort comfortable and a perfect size.

Flat back comfort comfortable and a perfect size.

In conclusion I would comment this is a very fine watch and indeed it puts others to shame with it’s overall finish, build quality and design.  I would further comment and say I’m very impressed with quite a number of Fossil watches over the past couple of years as they’re making a habit of producing models that are very attractive, a slightly butch look but without being ostentatious or silly.  Not only a fashion watch as some might say and to me Fossil are pretty serious watch maker now.

To sum up this watch in one word I’d have to say  “quality”.  It is a seriously good watch, especially for the money.

Fossil Machine

This week I’m wearing an unusual model from Fossil – the Black Fossil Machine Chronograph Alarm FS4682.  And no it’s not a military watch though it does look like one, as it has that black dark stealthy look about it that says it’s maybe not a dress watch – or is it?  The feature that attracted me was actually the Analogue/Digital display, which for those regular readers should know by now is a format that I particularly like.

Fossil Machine Black Alarm FS4682 Ana/Digi Watch

Fossil Machine Black Alarm FS4682 Ana/Digi Watch

It’s one of those watches that draws comment if seen by friends and I have to admit I like wearing it.

One of the unusual and fascinating aspects of this model is it’s large digital display, which features a “permanent” green luminescent Matrix display in addition to analogue hands.  The display actually reminds me of my Breitling Aerospace in that it has a luminescence that tends to pick up or reflect any ambient light and is visible in most day situations.

45mm diameter but only 13mm depth - means a neat fit.

45mm diameter but only 13mm depth – means a neat fit.

I had some concerns at the time that 45 mm diameter could be too large for me, but owing to it’s relatively small depth at 13mm, it actually fits my 170mm wrist very well indeed.  It sits flat against the wrist and easily slips under a shirt cuff and it’s very comfortable with the extremely flexible rubber strap and flush fitting black stainless buckle.  The case is black Ion Plated solid Stainless Steel with a wide matte black heavily knurled bezel and a flat non-reflective crystal.  The black case body (only noticeable at the sides) has a gentle gloss though the lugs are a brushed matte finish.

Military look Fossil

Military look Fossil

I already mentioned the strap and whilst it looks like “steel bracelet links” it’s actually made of black rubber, the inner surface of which, against the wrist, is actually smooth and very comfortable with a conventional buckle which is rather neatly figured.  It has a full screw back in mirror finish stainless steel with the Fossil logo, model number and a quoted Water Resistance of 5 atm or 50m.
On each side of the case are 4 x black textured push buttons that operate the digital functions and a large knurled center crown adjusts the analogue hands.  Interesting to note the buttons are set slightly straight compared to the case shape and as a consequence are much easier to operate than most.

Fossil with flexible rubber strap & black IP steel case

Fossil with flexible rubber strap & black IP solid steel case

The watch face features conventional analogue hour and minute hands, which are quoted I recall by Fossil as “hi visibility” orange tipped and an orange center seconds hand.  Now whilst these do show very well against the matte dial black background in good light, they are not quite so good in low light.  The hour baton markers are silver colored.
Personally I would have preferred a white color for both the hour and minute hands and hour markers – from my experience so far, it would be clearer, certainly in low light.  Note there are no luminous features on this watch at all – though this is not uncommon on ana/digi models.

The large digital Matrix display shows Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Day and Date and as independent of the analogue settings can be used as a 2nd Time zone if preferred.  The display normally shows a slight luminescent green color and is quite clear to read in most daylight situations.  It can also be back lit (EL) using the top left button B and changes to a blue color (see image below) for a few seconds for low light and night time use.

EL Back- light turns green to blue - quite effective for night use.

EL Back- light turns green to blue – quite effective for night use.

For me I might prefer it to be just a little brighter, but I wear glasses and am getting older – so perhaps this is more my problem!

The standard digital functions on this model are scrolled through using button A (lower left) and in order of – Time/Day/Date, Alarm and Stopwatch, then Time/calendar setting.

As the Date seems to set correctly for odd months it obviously is an auto-calendar, though I don’t know the final date (perhaps 2099?).  There is also a PM indicator on 12 hour format, but using button C (upper right) you can toggle either 12/24 hour time.

The Alarm function can be set for Alarm, Chime or both.  The alarm sounds a double beep, though as these days I can’t hear it so good, same for the hourly Chime, so I have to leave opinion to others – My wife always hears it!
The stopwatch has standard functions with stop/split (you can measure multiple split times) and reset, works great.  This is is a digital stopwatch only – the hands are not involved.

As said when in normal Time/Day/Date view the button A (lower left) scrolls in sequence to Alarm and Stopwatch, then continues to Time setting and the Seconds flash.  The setting sequence is Seconds, Hour, Minute, Month, Date and weekday.  If you adjust with button C (upper right) it then progresses to Hours and so on – pretty normal stuff.  It’s quite logical and reasonably intuitive once you’ve tried it a few times.  I would note that the standard Instruction booklet that’s included does NOT actually cover this model, so there are no Digital settings instructions.  You have to download a supplementary set for it – called Ana-Digi QFL133SB.  I provide a link HERE.

This trend for NOT including specific model instructions with the watch I find quite annoying as not everyone has internet access.

Overall though this is a really smart looking watch with a surprisingly good digital display in reasonable light.  It’s slim enough to fit most wrist sizes and very OK as a dress watch.  If you like the “military” look then it’s OK for that too, with the IP black stainless steel case and black rubber strap (note- the strap is 24mm wide with quick release bars at lugs).  The build quality too is pretty good, dial, hands and case and the Matrix display a bit of a revelation and it’s available at a reasonable cost.

Any downsides? –

Well for me maybe the loss of analog clarity in low light which could be better.  Also the lack of a model specific instructions with the watch is disappointing.  Also note this model has 3 batteries! and it would be useful to have instructions as to which powers what, to enable changing when required.

Overall: – an excellent watch for the money and I’m very pleased with it.

I’m not too familiar with the Fossil name, though not just a fashion company it seems.  They have quite a history of watch acquisition and now manufacture in their own right apparently.  They both import and manufacture in Switzerland and China and distribute in USA, Germany and Asia.  In 2012 they bought the well known company Skagen and in 2013 started an upscale Swiss range – Fossil Twist which they both design and make.  Some other brands are associated with them such as Adidas.

How to display, two different ways.

How to display, two different ways.

My last image shows it with the Timex Expedition just as a comparison.  Two totally different displays, yet both looking good.

Note – You can see a range of Fossil watches available in the UK HERE
Note 2  This model comes with 3 batteries.  As shown in the image – the 1st (recessed) is for the analog time, the 2nd (bottom) is the Digital movement and the 3rd to the left is for the EL back light. Remember the analog and digital are independent of each other (hence the Dual Time function).
Note 3
 – This model comes with a standard 2 years Warranty.  However more importantly there is also a Lifetime (limited) Warranty on the movement, hands and dial and if sent for repairs here in the UK, Fossil will require a copy of the proof of purchase or stamped and dated warranty.

Addendum – unfortunately the Ana/Digi model FS4682 is no longer available, which is a pity as it is one of the best Fossil models I’ve come across in a long time.

Ref. SO 050815