Google inked a $40 million deal to buy smartwatch technology under development by fashion and jewellery company Fossil Group, fuelling speculation it is planning an expansion into the wearables market.

Fossil didn’t specify exactly what type of technology is included in the swap in a press release announcing the deal. But it did note members of its R&D team who have been working on the intellectual property in question will make the leap to join Google.

Google already offers a range of hardware including a Pixel smartphone, Pixelbook laptop, Pixel Slate tablet and smart home products. Onlookers have speculated a Pixel smartwatch could be the company’s next venture, a natural follow up to its development of the WearOS platform for wearables.

Stacey Burr, VP of product management for Wear OS, said in a statement the acquisition “demonstrates our commitment to the wearables industry by enabling a diverse portfolio of smartwatches and supporting the ever-evolving needs of the vitality-seeking, on-the-go consumer”.

In January 2018, Google closed a similar deal in which it acquired a smartphone R&D team from HTC for $1.1 billion.

Fossil, which makes smartwatches that run on Wear OS, added it will continue to be a player in the wearables segment, retaining an R&D team of more than 200 for product development.

The transaction is expected to close this month.