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A few days ago, we told you about the new 6th Generation Fossil Smartwatch, that takes advantage of new hardware (you can see that here). Well, that’s just up for pre-order. If you really want to pick up a Fossil smartwatch – like right now – have a look at the Fossil Hybrid Pilot Retro Smartwatch.

As you can surmise from the name, the Fossil Hybrid Pilot Retro Smartwatch is not a smartwatch with a full-screen LCD. Rather, this is the sort of watch for someone who likes the look of a traditional analog watch, but also wouldn’t mind if the watch talked with the phone. Oh, and don’t want to have to charge the watch every night. That’s right, it’s powered by a humble coin cell – one that should last for about a year.

That’s the main benefit of not having that full screen going. Instead, the Fossil Hybrid Pilot Retro Smartwatch relies on the sub-dial at the 6 o’clock position to tell you information. The main one you’d probably be using is the retrograde display to see how many steps you’ve taken (courtesy of the accelerometer in the internals). If you’ve got it setup to have other notifications alerting on your wrist, you can see if the buzzing there is due to a message, calendar alert, or alarm, depending on where the hand is pointing.

Past that, you’ve got all the standard timekeeping stuff, and of course the Fossil Hybrid Pilot Retro Smartwatch can talk to your phone. What I find a bit confounding about the watch is how it gives the appearance of being a chronograph without actually being one. By that, I mean you’ve got a tachymeter scale around the dial, and you’ve got the pushers flanking the crown. But without a central seconds hand, well, you’re not timing much. I get that pilot watches often are chronos, but I could have done without that chapter ring and a smaller case size, perhaps.

The pushers, though, I’m ok with those, as you can actually customize those via the associated Fossil app to do what you want them to (something we saw in this review). If you’re looking for that faux vintage pilot style (which Fossil has done for some time now, if memory serves) with some additional smarts, you’ve got three dial colors to chose from. The Fossil Hybrid Pilot Retro Smartwatch is available now for $155 on a strap, or $175 on the bracelet. fossil.com

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Tech Specs from Fossil

  • Notifications: Alarm Clock, App Alerts, Calendar Alerts, Email, Multiple Time Zones, Social Media, Text
  • Functions: Activity Tracker, Control Your Music, Customizable Buttons, Interchangeable Watch Band, Notifications
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth Smart Enabled / 4.2 Low Energy
  • Compatibility: Fossil Smartwatches work with phones running the latest version of Android or iOS. Supported features may vary between countries with compatibility subject to change. 
  • Battery Life: Up to 12 months ** Based on usage**
  • Case Size: 44MM
  • Dial Color: Black, brown, or blue
  • Interchangeable Compatibility: 22MM
  • Operating System: Fossil Hybrid Smartwatches (Hybrid App)
  • Platform: RETRO PILOT DUAL-TIME HYBRID
  • Sensors: Accelerometer
  • Storage: Stores up to 2 weeks of data between syncs
  • Strap Width: 22MM
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Battery Type: CR2430

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.