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Watchmaker Fossil picks up fitness wearable tech w/ $260M Misfit acquisition

Speedo Shine 21

Misfit, makers of popular smartphone-connected wearable fitness accessories, today announced the company is being acquired by watchmaker Fossil Group for $260 million, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Fossil plans to take the technology and integrate it into its traditional watch designs, according to the report:

“We believe it isn’t about function. It is about function and design and branding,” said Greg McKelvey, chief strategy officer and digital officer at Fossil Group. “We see tremendous growth opportunity and that a lot of our jewelry and watches could be connected devices,” he said.

Publicly traded Fossil expects to incorporate Misfit’s technology into products that look like traditional watches, rather than rubber fitness trackers, as soon as next year. It plans to continue producing Misfit’s own products, as well, Mr. McKelvey said. He said the company’s battery life innovation was especially appealing to Fossil.

The move comes as other watchmakers look to make an entrance into the smartwatch and wearable space. This week TAG Heuer officially launched its highly anticipated Android Wear-powered watch with a unique offer to convert the smartwatch to a traditional mechanical watch after it becomes outdated.

Misfit’s latest product, the Shine 2 fitness and activity tracker, was launched last month, joining its lineup of similar wearable products. The company also has other smartphone-connected accessories, including the wireless Misfit Bolt lighting system and the Beddit sleep monitor, and partnerships in place for co-branded products with Swarovski and Speedo. We’ve reviewed the Bolt and other Misfit products in the past.

While Fossil plans to integrate the technology into its own products, the company confirmed Misfit will continue selling and supporting its own line of popular fitness wearables.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.