The materialis a combination of rubber and leather which is both soft against your wrist andnice looking. I'd say Fossil has realized that functionality alone is not goingto sell these watches -- they have to look and feel good, as well. And size doesmatter in the world of watches. Although oversized watches are clearly much moreacceptable than they used to be, MSN Direct watches have set a new standard, andnow companies like Fossil and Suunto (with the newn3i) are hoping to gain a competitiveadvantage by slimming them down.Unfortunately, it didn't take me long to realize that in many ways, the beautyof the Fossil is skin deep. I mentioned the poor feel of the buttons earlier, butI didn't mention the mysterious enter button (middle button on the right). Forsome reason, Fossil designed the button to look like a winder you would find ona mechanical watch.
I think it'sperfectly reasonable that one might have two MSN Direct watches: the everyday andinformal "beater," and one for slightly more formal occasions.After activating the watch, I gave it some time to download my channel data andwatch faces, and in a few short hours (the initial setup takes a fair amount oftime, but subsequent updates and tweaks aren't so bad), I had a carbon copy ofmy Swatch Paparazzi, at least from a data perspective. All the same channels anddata were available on the Fossil as on the Paparazzi with theexception of watch faces. Each MSN Direct watch comes with a default collectionof watch faces, and then you have the ability to pick two additional faces throughthe online inte***ce. My two additional faces were available on boththe Paparazzi and the Wrist Net, but otherwise, the default watch faces are completelydifferent. The Fossil Wrist Net came with either 13 or 26 different watch faces(not including the two downloadable faces), depending on your perspective. Thereare 13 unique designs, each available in white on back and black on white, fora total of 26 faces. The Paparazzi comes with only five,not including the two downloadable faces.Getting back to the design of the new Fossil Wrist Net: it looks good -- maybeeven classy -- and does a very good job of hiding it's bulk. It's not significantlysmaller than the Paparazzi, and in fact is slightly heavier, however the size ismore evenly distributed. Ironically,even with a far more prominent antenna embedded in it, the Fossil's band is less rigid, bettercontoured, and generally more comfortable than the Paparazzi's band.