He renowned Swiss watch manufacturer TAG Heuer might have been producing watches for more than 150 decades, but this week marked the launching of its debut smartwatch. The TAG Heuer Connected is a far cry from TAG’s basic mechanical chronographs — it’s powered by Intel Inside and runs Google’s Android Wear functioning system. And it has got people talking.
The watch was launched in New York City by TAG Heuer charismatic CEO Jean-Claude Biver, who had been eager to point out that unlike a lot of the contest — he did not name names — his name is a connected watch that looks like a standard watch.
Which it does — sort of. However, the dial is unmistakably composed of pixels (360×360 of them at 240ppi of these, in fact).
That apart, this is an important addition to the fast-expanding canon of smartwatches. Bringing Silicon Valley together with Switzerland’s famous Jura Valley, the heart of the country’s watchmaking business, is a smart — forgive me — move. It hastens luxury and tech in a manner that opens the door a bit wider than many Swiss smartwatch efforts have handled so far (the one exception could be Frédérique Continuous’s Horological Smartwatch — but TAG’s alternative is a whole lot wider than this ).
It is accompanied by an interesting sub-clause, also. After two decades of ownership, once the warranty runs out, it is possible to chop it in because of its mechanical twin, a new version of this Carrera which will only be available to anybody seeking to trade in their own Connected.
The initial outlay for the Connected is 1,100 ($1,500), and you’re going to require the same again to switch (up?) To the mechanical. What the take-up would be is anybody’s guess at this stage — Mr Biver said he was expecting 10 percent. Regardless of the numbers, it’s a novel reaction to the issue of obsolescence all smartwatches confront. It also resembles a neat mechanical watch fund plan — #2,200 in two installments over two years. Will get some people thinking, surely.
Anyhow, the Associated watch includes a few other surprises. First is that it works with both Android-based phones as well as iPhones, albeit with decreased performance through the latter. Additionally, it is amazingly light — its 46mm case is made from Grade 2 titanium, which means the whole package weighs in at only 52g.
It comes in a range of colours — black, white, blue, green, orange, yellow and red — and together with subscriptions to a number of exclusive programs, such as GolfShot Pro (golfing ), RaceChrono Guru (motor sport watch) and Viewrangers (trailing). It runs Google Fit and additional third-party programs will follow. It has got 4GB of storage , a mic so that you can get Google to search with voice commands, and it’s also water-resistant, but only according to the IP67 rating — about one metre.
It’s an impressive piece of kit, no doubt, and provides some zest to the smartwatch narrative, but will it work? It went on sale in 20 US sockets an hour after launch, and had sold 20 at the first 20 minutes. Not bad, but barely game-changing. It lands in the united kingdom on November 30th — set your watches.