Regular 5YP readers wilI know I have been ogling Fossil watches for a while now because I’ve been looking into Buying a Quality Watch.
I decided on Fossil about a year ago. They are a great American company, making quality watches at accessible prices. I first became aware of them in an airport duty free shopping lounge. I was admiring a great looking watch, which turned out to be a Fossil. I’d never heard about them so did some digging and googling.
Since then I’ve been pretty clear that I’d found the watchmaker for me, but hadn’t quite decided which model. So a Fossil has been my list of things that I haven’t yet got round to adding to my collection. As stamp collectors will recognise, having a known and identifiable gap in one’s collection is a frustrating thing.
So a few weeks ago I decided that the time had come to scratch that particular itch. I had a look at the Fossil collection in my local Debenhams to get some idea of what I was after. But the real high point was visiting my local Fossil retail store in Gateshead.
One of the great things about Fossils is that they are designed with interchangeable wrist straps. There is an ingenious little tab in the watchband which means that it is easy to detach and reattach. So each watch is available with a range of bands. Indeed in the Fossil store they have a build your own selection of watches. So you select the watch and the strap separately and build your own.
After that visit I was all fired up and had to restrain myself from buying one on the spot. As a man who is keen on a bargain I needed to do a bit of shopping around before making the purchase to make sure I got the best deal.
I settled on the Fossil FS4793. Catchy title, I know. Its alternative title is Machine Chronograph Leather Expresso. It retails for £125 in my local Fossil store and on the Fossil UK website. The same watch retails for $135 on the Fossil US website, i.e. about £90. Not sure why that is.
I searched around a bit and the lowest price I could find for that model in the UK was around £100. However I was able to find it on a US site mrwatch.com for only $96, which translated to just over £65 including shipping. This was nearly 50% lower than the UK price! I ordered it immediately.
I was conscious that there was some risk in ordering a watch from on online company about which I knew next to nothing. However, I did have some protection because I used my credit card rather than debit card. If the item did not arrive at all or was significantly different from its description I would have some recourse through my credit card company.
I was sent a helpful email the day after the order was placed with a link to enable me to track the movement of the watch from the US to the UK, which progressed well until the watch reached the UK.
At that point I was sent a bill for import duties.
I hadn’t seen that coming.
The import duty itself wasn’t too bad. It was £13.26. It was the additional £8 which seemed to be some kind of processing fee which rankled. So an additional £21 had to be added to the total cost, which was swiftly paid online. The watch was promptly delivered two days later.
All told, the cost of the watch, plus import fees, plus a mysterious credit card fee of just under £2, meant that I was still able to get the watch cheaper than the lowest priced UK website I could find. The watch was shipped the day after it was ordered and took 11 days to arrive, including 5 days in customs as I awaited the bill for import duties. So I was pretty impressed with the service.
It’s early days as the watch only arrived last Friday. However, I am really pleased with it. It is chunkier than I realised/remembered but looks great and feels good quality. I am looking forward to getting some additional watch straps in different colours in coming months.