Investment Group Buys Fossil’s ‘Connected’ Watch Division

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An ana-digital stainless steel Meta Watch model with Bluetooth wireless techology

Dallas and Espoo, Finland—A group of investors, including former executives at Suunto and Nokia, announced Monday they acquired Fossil’s Meta Watch brand and related technologies, for an undisclosed sum.

Meta Watch is part of a movement in watches called “connected” wristwatches, timepieces that will be Bluetooth-enabled so that they can connect wirelessly to a smartphone or other hand held devices, for alerts, notifications, messaging, missed calls etc. Meta Watch, which creates products for platform developers, not end-use consumers, offers a development platform for starting at about $200 and promises more to come.

According to the team of investors, which are lead by Juha Pinomaa, former president of Suunto and a former Nokia executive, Bill Geiser and David Rosales, who previously worked for Fossil’s watch technology division, will continue with the company.

Head Start in an Emerging Market

“Over the next 10 years billions of people will carry smart phones changing how consumers live and creating new opportunities and markets for connected watches and other wearable devices,” said Pinomaa, chairman. “Acquiring Meta Watch not only gives us a head start in this emerging growth market, it brings us the industry’s most experienced management team who have been designing and shipping connected watches since 2006.”

Geiser, who is Meta Watch’s ceo, told gigaom that the new company’s formation is a “win, win, win” for all concerned.

“It’s good for Fossil, good for us and good for this category. But the connected watch business wasn’t in scope of Fossil’s core competency of lifestyle products,” Geiser said.”So this generated an opportunity for a focused team to take this on because when you throw radios in these products, it changes everything.”

Geiser said that the company hopes “this new category will allow thousands of mobile application developers to quickly and easily extend applications to the wrist, helping consumers to stay connected and to stay in style when they are really mobile and on the go.”

About Meta Watch

Meta Watch is a privately-held design and technology development company focusing on reinventing the watch as a stylish and relevant mobile accessory. The Meta Watch platforms enable developers to quickly and easily extend the interfaces of devices and applications to the wrist. Target markets and applications include: messaging, alerts, and notifications; social networking service updates; turn-by-turn directions; LBS notifications, sports performance feedback; music controls and more. Meta Watch is based in Dallas, with a research and development facility in Espoo,Finland.

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