Luxury watchmakers have been slow on the uptake when it comes to responding to the deluge of smartwatches and other technological innovations that take the attention away from beautiful timepieces. While we don’t dispute the magnificence and timelessness (pardon the pun) of a classic wristwatch, it’s good to see Swiss luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer step up to the plate with the TAG Heuer Connected. This watch was unveiled late last year and has finally made its way to the Philippines.
Here’s what you need to know about one of the first luxury smartwatches out now:
Still a TAG Heuer timepiece. At 46mm in diameter, the look of the TAG Heuer Connected still screams true chronograph. It features a case, back, deploying buckle, and lugs made from Grade 2 Titanium, which promises to be more resistant than steel or gold, while keeping the weight of the watch down. You have seven different rubber straps to choose from including black, red, blue, white, green, yellow, and orange. The last one, according to TAG Heuer’s Area Sales Director Romain Cans, is one of the best-selling versions. The Connected also has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with a 1.5-inch fully circular transflective LTPS LCD touch display and a 360 x 360 resolution. It also has an IP67 splash-proof water resistance rating.
The power underneath. The TAG Heuer Connected is an Android Wear-based watch, which is Google’s platform for wearable devices. But this watch will work with both your Android (4.3 version or higher) and iOS (8.2 version or higher) smartphones. Of course, you’ll get more functionality out of an Android device but you will still have access to key apps such as Google Fit, Google Translate, Google Maps, and Google Search. If you’re out and about and not online, the resident apps like music, timer, alarm, and step counter will remain active. But if you are connected, you’ll be constantly exchanging information with the cloud and receive real-time notifications. Powered by an Intel Atom processor Z34XX, the Connected promises roughly 25 hours of use from its 410mAh battery. It has 1GB RAM with 4GB internal storage and has Bluetooth BLE 4.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. There’s also a mic in it so you can do voice commands using OK Google or other apps with dictation features. The Connected charges via a conductive charging cradle.
Highly customizable. One of the great things about the Connected being an Android Wear device is you get a number of watch face option. These include three digital watch faces that reflect TAG Heuer’s design codes: the chronograph dial, the 3-hand dial, and the GMT dial. These three faces display are available in black for the chronograph, deep blue for the 3-hand dial, and pearl white for the GMT dial. According to TAG Heuer, these “faithfully reproducing the appearance and functions of a true dial, with shadows under the hands and the beautiful sunburst effect of the light.” The watchmaker says the digital hands and indexes remain visible at all times, even when the watch is in ambient energy-saving mode. But aside from these three dials, TAG Heuer ambassadors like Cristiano Ronaldo, David Guetta, Tom Brady, Jeremy Lin, G.E.M., and Jessica Korda, to name a few, have also created customized watch faces for the Connected. TAG Heuer even has a dedicated online platform to share new features and get partner apps for interactive watch faces and the like.
A pricey deal. Infusing it with TAG Heuer’s DNA means it’ll cost you more than your usual smartwatch. The TAG Heuer Connected retails for a very cool P69,999. But there’s a deal TAG Heuer is offering to Connected owners, which we will elaborate on in the next point.
TAG Heuer wants you to stay #connectedtoeternity. Cans admits to the relatively limited lifespan of smartwatches. So after the two-year warranty of the Connected, TAG Heuer is offering its owners a chance to upgrade their watches for CHF1,500 (which is roughly P71,000) to get a special edition Carrera that’ll only be available to them. These watches resemble the look of the Connected but it’ll be a mechanical watch, which TAG Heuer says will “connect you to eternity.” You can only avail of the exchange in the country where you purchase the Connected watch.