Tuesday, 10 November 2015

TAG Heuer Introduces its First Smartwatch, the $1500 TAG Heuer Connected

TAG Heuer has just taken the covers off TAG Heuer Connected, a titanium smartwatch running on Google's Android Wear platform and powered by an Intel processor, but one that also features dials that mimic a mechanical watch. 


After several months of energetic promotion by its irrepressible chief executive, Jean-Claude Biver, TAG Heuer has finally introduced TAG Heuer Connected, a smartwatch similar in form to the mechanical Carrera Calibre 01 - essentially an Android Wear smartwatch packaged inside a TAG Heuer watch case. 

The case is 46mm in diameter and entirely in titanium, with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal on the front. It even has three dial options that reproduce the look of a mechanical watch, offering dials featuring a chronograph, GMT or time-only functions on its large, 1.5-inch screen, that are each similar to mechanical Carrera watches in the TAG Heuer collection. Additional watch faces will soon be available for download.


Though TAG Heuer Connected looks and feels like a traditional watch on the outside, the inside is entirely electronic - a drastic about-turn from the $400,000 double tourbillon-chronograph the brand unveiled, and then killed, last year. Powered by an Intel dual core processor, the smartwatch runs on Android and can function on its own, without the need to be connected to a phone. But it can also sync with Android and Apple iOS smartphones.

The TAG Heuer Connected has 4GB of memory, giving it plenty of space for songs and apps. Because it runs on Android, the TAG Heuer smartwatch is compatible with the thousands of apps created for Android like Google Maps. On a full charge it'll run for about 25-hours with average use.


Despite being a true smartwatch, TAG Heuer is still hedging its bets. The TAG Heuer Connected watch can be traded-in - along with a payment of US$1500 or whatever the retail price of the smartwatch is locally - for a basic, mechanical Carrera automatic within the smartwatch's two year warranty period. Essentially the owner of the TAG Heuer smartwatch gets to convert the electronic timepiece into a mechanical one for a cost that's double the retail price of the smartwatch.


Offered on a rubber strap in seven colours, the TAG Heuer smartwatch is priced at US$1500 in the USA, SFr1400 in Switzerland, while in Singapore it's S$2100. It is available from TAG Heuer's dedicated website, and also its brick and mortar watch retailers.

More details on this later in the week.