Fossil was founded in 1984 as Overseas Products International by Tom Kartsotis, a formerTexas A&M Universitystudent living inDallasfrom a suggestion by his older brother, Kosta Kartsotis, amerchandisingexecutive atSanger-Harris. Kosta told his younger brother about the potential largeprofitsthat could be made in importing retail goods made in theFar East, specifically in importing moderately-pricedfashionwatches.Their main product was fashion watches with a retro look. In 1990, they introduced leather goods under the Fossil brand, and the Relic line of watches.
Zodiac Watcheswas a Swiss brand that had been operating since 1882 when Fossil acquired it from Genender International in 2001 for $4.7 million.Fossil's desire to establish a Swiss presence led to the purchase of the Zodiac Watch brand and a complete retooling of that line to reflect aretromodern 1970s style in a higher end watch. The 2004 purchase of Michele Watch completed the cycle by offering a high-end Swiss watch with a designer flair.