Friday, October 5, 2012

Wristwatch Review: The Fossil Ansel Retro-Style Quartz Watch with Stainless Steel Band

From the classic-style of Mad Men to the latest iteration of James Bond, retro-style remains popular today.  There was nothing wrong with the watches of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.  They were functional and well-designed.  That's why the Fossil Ansel (Model FS4671) never goes out of style.

[In 2024, I'm reworking this post to include my review of the Fossil Ansel that first appeared on Yahoo Voices in 2015.]

Mid-Century Modern Style in a Twenty-first Century Package

If you want a vintage mid-century modern look on the outside and a twenty-first century quartz movement on the inside, check out this review of the Fossil Ansel.  It's got a vintage look in a convenient modern watch.

A Fossil Ansel Watch

The simplicity of a vintage watch design never goes out of style. When you get down to basics, the essential purpose of a watch is to tell time. However, truly vintage watches have their disadvantages. They require winding or maintenance. They may be too valuable to absorb damage. They may show excessive wear and tear from years of use. In addition, the size and dimensions of a classic watch may not match contemporary notions about the size of a watch. Fortunately, there are many contemporary watches with retro styling cues. One such watch is the Fossil Ansel (Model FS4671). I found mine at the Fossil Outlet Store at the North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville, Georgia.

As much as I love my classic Timex Mercury, the Fossil Ansel makes a great stand-in for a vintage watch for everyday wear. Since it has a quartz movement, I don't have to wind it or spend a few minutes figuring out how to set the date properly. It has a 22-millimeter wide stainless steel band and a perfectly-sized 41-millimeter diameter case. The dimensions just look right on my wrist today. However, other than size, the Fossil looks like a vintage watch in every significant way. For example, it features a bright silver sunray face and a domed crystal. The hours are marked by translucent blue batons and the minutes are noted by simple hashmarks at the edge of the dial. A small date window lies just inboard of the three o'clock marker.

The band was initially too large for my 7 1/2 inch wrists so two links had to be removed. Fortunately, that was done for free at the Fossil Outlet store It's proven to be a comfortable band and is secured by a sturdy foldover clasp with push button. The only drawback thus far is that the clasp was easily scratched while performing office work. After typing for just a couple of hours in a typical office cube, the clasp was was quite scuffed up. However, most Fossil Ansel watches come with a black leather band and may be able to withstand workday wear a little better.

Overall, the Fossil FS4671 Ansel watch has the has looks of a vintage watch from the 1950s or 1960s and the size and heft of a more contemporary watch. It's a no nonsense watch that combines form and function. Overall, I recommend the Fossil Ansel if you want a vintage mid-century modern look on the outside and a twenty-first century quartz movement.

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