John’s Watch Box #1: Fossil Skeleton Watch

Hi, everyone! As I somewhat diverge from the traditional purpose of this blog, said purpose being project updates, I feel that it is a good time to start writing about some of my other hobbies that I enjoy. One such hobby is watch collecting, and this post is the first of potentially many in a series I call “John’s Watch Box.” Today’s watch is one that watch enthusiasts will likely not appreciate, but more casual wearers like myself will enjoy for the most part. This is a Fossil SK-4928, a 1990s skeleton quartz watch that I inherited with a retro and eye-catching design.

An Important Note
Before we begin, I want to make it clear that this is very much a watch that prioritizes form over function. While this may not fly for a more expensive watch, these vintage Fossils tend to go for very little on sites like eBay since they lack the craftsmanship and brand prestige that you’ll find from some alternatives. That being said, if you ask me, the only issue with these so-called “fashion watches” is their tendency to be overpriced, and at only about $20 for this watch, I feel that this argument is largely invalidated. Case in point, even if this watch may not technically be the best value for your money, it’s low price and unique design may make it worth it to you.

On a watch like this, the dial design matters a lot, and thankfully it more than delivers in this regard. Sure, some may scoff at the fake gears meant to resemble a mechanical movement, but it definitely contributes to this watch’s unique steampunk style. The Roman numeral hour markers, accompanying symbols, and pointed hands also give it a vintage look that is very classy and attractive. If I have one complaint about the dial, it has to be the dark hands. While they work well with the center of the dial, they’re difficult to distinguish from the black outer rim of the face. It’s also worth noting that this watch does not feature any luminescence, although this could easily detract from the steampunk aesthetic.

Overall, I feel that this watch features an attractive dial, and it’s this quality that makes me enjoy wearing it, despite its flaws.

Around the 34 millimeter dial, this watch features a non-metal case. Its golden color works very well with the dial, but its construction doesn’t quite hold up. Unfortunately, whatever material Fossil used for this watch is much more prone to scuffing than stainless steel, and there are some clear signs of wear on my watch’s lugs. This makes the watch look less premium, and the finishing definitely leaves a lot to be desired.

Thankfully, for me, this watch isn’t too large by any means. It’s 42 millimeters tall and has a lug-to-lug width of 18 millimeters, allowing for the use of standard straps and bracelets. On the topic of the lugs, they have a bulky, rounded look that further contribute to the vintage aesthetic this watch possesses.

This being a quartz watch, it should come as no surprise that it is very thin and light. I feel that it fits very well on my somewhat large wrist, and I imagine that most people will find this watch fairly wearable.

Moving on, I think it’s important that I address the crystal that covers this watch’s dial. It has a subtle but pleasing dome effect, although it doesn’t really create any distortion. Sadly, this is very likely an acrylic crystal rather than a more premium material like glass or sapphire, and it will be fairly prone to scratches as such. Given the fact that this case is made out of resin, I suppose this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it is disappointing nonetheless.

Before we move on to this watch’s performance, I feel that it’s probably a good idea to mention the crown. It’s pretty small, but it does have a helpful texture on it that provides some additional grip. It stays in place, and you’ll likely not need to use it very often due to the generally high accuracy of quartz watches.

I am unsure as to what quartz movement in particular this watch is using, but I have obviously witnessed its functionality. In short, it’s perfectly fine for this watch. Yes, the second hand doesn’t consistently hit the markers, and no, this won’t put most other similar watches to shame. However, it keeps time well enough, and I honestly wouldn’t expect more than that for this piece.

Before I conclude, I will mention that this watch has a snap-on case back that provides 30 meters of water resistance. In reality, this means that it can survive splashes and not much more. This being a dressier watch, I don’t think this is much of an issue, but it would be nice to have a bit more than that.

For around $20 used, you really can’t expect much from this watch, and with one exception, it really doesn’t stand out too much. That exception, of course, is the dial. It’s not for everyone, but it does have a distinct and vintage design that I think is quite attractive. The rounded shape of the case paired with its pronounced lugs may look out of place on other timepieces, but they certainly contribute to this one’s steampunk aesthetic.

It’s this unique dial and the low prices this watch goes for used that can make me recommend it to those looking for a cheap but unique watch. No, it’s not necessarily the best bang for your buck, but for those who put style first, it’s by no means a bad deal either.

Personally, I’ll continue to wear this watch for a good while to come, as I really enjoy its design. Even if I did have to pay for it myself, for that reason, I’d be content with my purchase.

Anyway, that’s about it for this watch. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more posts!

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