Sports giant Puma is all set to launch its first smartwatch next year. The company has announced a partnership with Fossil Group, which will build and distribute Puma-branded wearables. The first Puma smartwatch will be available in the market by the end of 2019.
Puma has previously tried its hand in a somewhat similar venture, with its Sagem Puma phone failing miserably back in 2010. The company, however, seems to have better plans this time around. Fossil is already a well known smartwatch brand, and Puma's partnership is definitely in good hands.
“Puma is one of the world’s leading sports brands. We are excited to partner with them and bring our world class design and distribution capabilities to the Puma watch collection,” said Kosta Kartsotis, chief executive officer, Fossil Group.
Puma is the first sportswear company to collaborate with Fossil for smartwatches. The company joins some big fashion houses like Emporio Armani, Diesel, Michael Kors and Kate Spade. Interestingly, Fossil will also build non-smart watches for Puma, which the company already does for Adidas. So an old rivalry is only going to be renewed in some other field.
As for the operating system of the watch, it's not clear whether Puma watches will run on Wear OS or not. Many of the brands partnered with Fossil have made their introduction to the world of full-fledged smartwatches with Wear OS. However, Fossil also makes a good deal of hybrid watches as well.
There's also no details available on the design or specifications of the Puma smartwatch. But it should be safe to assume that it'll be a sport-focused smartwatch. Moreover, Puma's rivals, Nike and Adidas, have previously partnered with Apple and Fitbit respectively, for fitnesse-focused smartwatches. So Puma definitely doesn't want to be left behind.
The Puma-Fossil partnership is going to last for at least ten years, until 2028, so it's very likely that we'll see several iterations of Puma's smartwatch line. We’ll have to wait and see how things pan out.