Oh those Limited Editions! The Modern Machine LE1030

by Terry Moss in ,


Taking a short break from our journey through the Fossil Times newsletters, let’s discuss collector’s lore – Limited Editions! We love limited editions and like a fine automobile or in my case a clean pair of sneakers we enjoy sporting them on special occasions.

The Modern Machine Assembly LE1030 released in 2014 was a very limited run of 654 pieces. I’ve only just obtained one recently because these sold out fast at 495USD and rarely have come up for sale since. The reviews of the design and packaging have been discussed and envied for years now and I finally have one in my possession! Description from the booklet because I can’t say it better than Fossil:

A stylish watch set that harkens back to the aeronautic industrial era of the 1940s. Fossil’s Limited-Edition Modern Machine can be disassembled using multiple interchanging machined parts that reassemble into two very distinctive time-measuring instruments. Mix the bezel, band or even the watch center core for a new look, for a total of 32 different time-telling combinations. Its double 316L stainless steel shell is both robust and shock absorbent, with water-resistance of up to 100 meters, and the dial faces are designed with luminescent hands and markers to be read in low light or night. Along with its wristwatch combinations, the Modern Machine set features an optional field timer for everyday field carry. Packaged in a Limited-Edition gift box, this tough yet timeless set comes complete with four interchangeable batteries, one topstitched leather belt strap and one Zulu-inspired military weave strap with matching hardware, as well as a hefty three-row plated stainless steel solid bracelet. This sleek and modern set is all the wearer will need to complement any wardrobe choice. Limited to 654.

Limited Editions are the essential piece for any Fossil collector and we’ve seen all sorts of Limited-Edition collectors over the years. Some only collect Disney or Superman or other TV characters, while some like the sports releases (Nolan Ryan!) I tend to collect the military/field collections with the snazzy packaging and the LE1030 has been high on my list for almost 5 years now. The elegant leather box with the grey felt lining and presentation of the interchangeable bezels is beautiful. Some of these bezels aren’t found anywhere else and don’t get me started on the fonts – it’s a real treasure.


A touching non-eBay rare Fossil Defender find

by Terry Moss in


As collections grow we start to branch out to other forums to find nice pieces without having to pay wishful seller premiums. Anyone can start a website and attempt to sell collectible Fossil watches for $129. Likewise, anyone can sell watches on eBay and buy low with one user ID and sell high with another user ID…...we know who they are and over the years we’ve learned to avoid those traps. All of this to say in 2018 it isn’t difficult to still obtain vintage timepieces online at a reasonable price.

The purpose of this post isn’t to list out these other online avenues for great finds, but to highlight a nice story that worked out well in our ongoing attempt to finish the Fossil DE collection.

The rarest DE Defenders are the 4 similar models DE-1524, DE-1525, DE-1535 and DE-1536.

Rare Fossil Defenders

Some would argue that the DE-1542, DE-1543 and DE-1544 are rarer, but at least those appeared in several US catalogs. The 4 similar models only appeared in one Defender catalog, which we featured a few months ago. 

Collecting tip is the more desirable Defenders and to some extent Speedways appear for sale in Germany more so than anywhere else and our site metrics would indicate that to be true - we have a lot of German collectors. I don’t always search German classifieds, but when I do I find a rare Defender and in late 2017 a DE-1535 made a grand appearance on a German classified site.

Common concerns dealing with classified sites anywhere is reliability and trustworthiness of the seller. Add a few thousand miles between us and questions rise up like will she actually ship it? What guarantees will I have? How bad is the exchange rate?

Swallowing my nerves I sent off a simple email expressing interest and name dropping the Collectors Club and to my surprise Nadja, the seller was very personable and I knew instantly I could trust her. After a few awkward email exchanges with the language barrier we had a deal! Like all watches she bought it to wear it and realized it was too heavy for a woman's wrist even after swapping out the original brown strap for a black one. Nadja even went as far as sending me pictures of the watch all packaged up and a parcel number for tracking.

After a few weeks the DE-1535 made it's way to Ohio where it's proudly displayed with all the other DE Defenders. I like stories like this and had to share -- we're all people and these unique interactions is what makes collecting anything fun.  In the end I have a fun story to tell, a rare Defender watch and an extra OEM strap for another Defender that needed a good strap and I'll save that for another story. Happy Collecting!

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Limited Edition Fossil Q x Cory Richards – a new Blue

by Terry Moss in


Have you seen the news? There’s a new Fossil Blue in town and it couldn’t come at a more popular time. There’s a video, a blog entry, a press release and I got a special email about the new Limited Edition Fossil Q x Cory Richards smartwatch based on an old Blue watch Richards has. My first thought in reading the coverage, was “Hey I’ve been a Fossil enthusiast longer than Richards, where’s my collaboration?” I’m famous in my own world and I just so happen to be an expert in my opinion. I’m open for any collaboration, I have lots of ideas – let’s do this! Okay jealously rant aside, this is wonderful news and Richards seems like a great guy and from what I read it’s the first of a few collaborations in the future. Now that got my attention.

What makes this collaboration timely and why I'm highlighting it so soon after it's launch is the mention of the Blue watch. When the Fossil Collectors Club site launched in 2010, a lot of the questions and comments were about the watches & advertising from the early to mid-90’s. In recent months a shift has happened and more and more comments and emails and search results are coming in around fans looking for particular Blue models. With all things nostalgic there is a known 20 year cycle where those things become popular again as we age and look for items from our past. Look at the popularity of the Classic NES console this past Christmas or the re-launch of DuckTales coming in the summer of 2017 or the retro Nike Air Max shoes I just bought that came right out the 90’s.

20 years ago just so happens to be when I started college and you know what watch I wore to college? Yep a Fossil Blue. What watch did all my roommates have in the dorm? A Fossil Blue. What watch did my girlfriend buy me for Christmas in 2000? Yep a Fossil Blue. They were everywhere and for years it seemed that the only watches Fossil made in those years were Blue models. I'll be disproving that theory shortly as I post more catalog scans.

Our beloved Defender series launched about 20 years after the original run. Could Blue be next? Fossil has hinted at some of the Fossil Blue series in recent launches with the Breaker, but we’ve yet to see Blue written on the face. It was refreshing to see it in this current release and let’s hope for more. Pictured below are 2 of my Blue watches that like most older Fossil watches have a special place in my collection.

AM-3054. Received as a birthday gift in 1999 from my good friend Tricia, who later that year was killed in a car crash. One of the most generous people I've ever met.

AM-3054. Received as a birthday gift in 1999 from my good friend Tricia, who later that year was killed in a car crash. One of the most generous people I've ever met.

BQ-9065. Received for Christmas in 2000 from my then girlfriend and now wife. She was making big bucks selling Sprint cell phones at Best Buy! 

BQ-9065. Received for Christmas in 2000 from my then girlfriend and now wife. She was making big bucks selling Sprint cell phones at Best Buy! 


the old bucket list of watches

by Terry Moss in


To compare a watch to something on your bucket list is probably a bit much, but did I get your attention? We all have those watches amongst other things we are always on the hunt for. It’s the thrill of the hunt that keeps us going and it’s the most fun. I have watches that I’ve hunted for years only to wear them once or twice, but at least I have them. Two such watches on my “bucket list” of watches that I would pay anything for showed up in the same day on eBay and I pulled the trigger.

Defender DF-1003
When I first starting hunting & collecting Defenders in 2009, this Defender showed up on eBay for $50 and wasn’t sure the rarity or the value. Believe it or not Defenders were selling on eBay for $10-$30 all day long, this was before a wonderful Fossil Collector’s Club website came online and prices starting going up! Who is that guy? What a jerk! Anyways $50 was too high and as the auction closed for about $56 I remember thinking that’s the one I want.

Fast forward 7 years later to a rainy, autumn Sunday morning in Cleveland, Ohio and as I’m sipping my coffee while ignoring my children who are playing Minecraft in the other room, this Defender shows up at the top of my feed! Buy it now for $59.99, done! It wasn’t until afterwards that I saw the pictures of the crown being broken and even though the listing said the watch kept time, it doesn’t! I don’t care, I have it and if you follow us on Facebook you’ve probably seen that some of these chronos from Fossil are all related and all have the same movement. Anyone know a good horologist?

Fossil Automatic Breaker LE-1015
When this watch first hit the waves in 2013…get it waves? I took notice and so did many other watch collectors and blogs. By Googling Fossil LE-1015 you’ll get a taste of the torture that we’ve experienced for many years now because these watches are highly reviewed, very expensive (for a Fossil) and extremely limited. Now and again they come up on forums for about the original retail price of $445, which is too rich for the blood of this father of 2 in the great Midwest.

LE-1015 has been on my eBay watch list for years now and has never come up and it still hasn’t come up. While working on a Sunday night (living the dream!) and waiting for files to come in, I started browsing on eBay and this watch in it’s orange waterproof case appeared as the picture with the WORST title ever for this watch – no one would know what the watch was based on the title of "Fossil Watch Thin Blue Line Collection". I felt the rush of anxiety hit me, was this it, really? Checked out the seller profile, seems legit -- view all the pictures, okay and I hit buy it now for $89. I didn’t even double check that I had $89 in my account – bought!

On the other side of obtaining these 2 rare watches, I do find myself not searching as much for other watches – I had a major score in one day and I know that’s rare, it’s nice to take a break from screen time and just enjoy having the watches and taking in the holiday season with a rare watch underneath my ugly Christmas sweater. 


Aeroflite Limited Edition Mustang P-51: The 854 Club

by Terry Moss in ,


Way back in 2015 - Fossil released the Aeroflite Mustang P-51 Limited Edition in partnership with the Cavanaugh Flight Museum and thus launching the Vintage Aviation Series. Are you one of the elite in the 854 club?

I’ve been eager to talk about this watch for some time! The P-51 combines a lot of loves in one watch – it’s an Automatic, it’s aviation themed, it’s a limited edition, it has a luscious brown leather strap and the packaging and marketing campaign behind the series was unlike anything Fossil has done in recent memory.

The P-51 Limited Edition for Fossil is very unique and highly detailed and I wonder if we’ll ever see more in the Vintage Aviation Series. The case was etched with P-51 Mustang Limited Edition logo alongside the number produced and your specific number in the series. The rotor in the automatic movement is very detailed and adorns The Brat III nose art and colors. All automatics should have these custom rotors…..it’s a great feature and a talking point when people ask to see my watch. Reminds me of some of the Bremont watches I’ve drooled over. The strap was unique, thick and based off of the seat harness of the plane – I hope the strap never fails!

If you ever get the chance to see a P-51 in person, you’ll notice a lot of these touches with the watch and the packaging that is similar to the plane. There are many more!

The packaging was nice bonus as well. I’m a sucker for good packaging and this kit didn’t disappoint. A wings pin adorned with Vintage Fossil Aviation logo and an embroidered insignia patch were included in the kit. What I liked most however was the attention to detail that most people overlook. The wings logo was on the packaging, paperwork, the watch and even the wallet (sold separately). The little 4-page booklet gave a nice little history lesson about the heritage of the P-51 and tied it together nicely with the Cavanaugh Flight Musuem and the design team at Fossil. All of these goodies were neatly packaged in a military themed box with a green inlay that looks very familiar to a certain green you’ll find inside the cockpit.

There was a video and social media campaign that blitzed me all at the same time and I paid attention to every one of them. The picture above that showed up in all my social feeds was that of the watch, wallet and card holder all resting together with some paracord. The video posted below again reminded me of things I've seen from the Bremont Watch Company including the videos I've studied/memorized from them. Every time I was on the fence about making the purchase, one of these images/videos would popup in my feed and I wondered how many of the 854 were left?

At a retail price of $400 the entry barrier was a bit high, but for $400 you knew you were getting something special. I took my time purchasing one and after a trip to Fossil in March 2015 to meet the team and see more about their process and passion for this series – I made the plunge and haven’t regretted it.

Aeroflite display at Fossil HQ

Aeroflite display at Fossil HQ

Watches are meant to be worn and this watch sees a lot of action (office worker action!), but I wear it all the time and it has replaced many of my previous go-tos. I also purchased the wallet, there's something childish and wonderful bout about having the outline of a P-51 Mustang on your wallet.

My actual everyday wallet -- yeah I'm a big deal.

My actual everyday wallet -- yeah I'm a big deal.

Recently I saw a refreshed P-51 face appearing on the Fossil Q Marshal commercial. Nice to see that even after this watch has come and gone that elements of it live in the newer products.

My Christmas wish for 2016 is a second watch in this series with a possible review or advance screening for our readers....wink wink nudge nudge.

Perfect choice for cocktail parties - well done Bryan

Perfect choice for cocktail parties - well done Bryan


Fossil Facts - Volume 1 Issue1

by Terry Moss in


Occasionally we run across some internal documentation that sheds some light into the world of Fossil in the 90's. The below scans are one such item circa 1996 called Fossil Facts. This 4 page document was used for employees for quick hit talking points around the brand and some knowledge about the watches.

My favorite piece in this whole thing is when asked about the Fossil Image, the response is "Fossil focuses on the wholesome brand image of "America in the 1950's" targeting the value-driven, back to basics consumer of the nineties.

Ironically it was nice to see that Defender was marketed as “an exciting series of watches that is “classic rugged” in styling and geared for ages twenty and up”. Looks like I missed the target demographic for that by a couple of years in 1996 – now I’m pushing 40 and that 'classic rugged style' is what I’m looking for.


Missing Fossil Defender

by Terry Moss in ,


It finally happened....

After buying and selling 100's of watches on eBay and other forums, I have had a postal theft and I know it's a postal theft because we've had other recent incidents with packages that have been opened prior before arrival to our house. None of the prior incidents have lead me to file a complaint or be upset because nothing was stolen -- this time around however an envelope with a very rare (and not valuable) Fossil Defender DF-5003 with a black or dark blue face was nowhere to be found in the package. In fact the package arrived opened and empty.

this is what i got -- Post Office said they should never have even delivered it like this

this is what i got -- Post Office said they should never have even delivered it like this

Attention Pawn Shops, resellers or anyone else who may come across this slightly banged up Fossil Defender DF-5003 on it's way from Austin, Texas to Cleveland, Ohio --  please let me know. I'd love to use the power of the Internet and this site to find this watch because filing a complaint with the Post Office doesn't seem to go anywhere especially since insurance wasn't on the package. They offered their apologies and essentially said sometimes they employ bad eggs.

Contact me

I just want a good home.....

I just want a good home.....