In what will be remembered as one of the oddest presentations ever, TAG Heuer CEO, Jean-Claude Biver took the stage with all the exuberance of a Steve Ballmer/Roberto Benigni admixture and delivered something thought impossible: too much cowbell. There was also cheese and some confusion regarding what a computer is. But most important was the announcement of a beautiful and conversational watch from a company with a 150 year history of premium and exclusive timepieces. The TAG Heuer Connected, the first Swiss smartwatch that the energetic Biver described as a marriage between Watch Valley and Silicon Valley.
TAG Heuer’s mission from the start was to create something that has all the functionality of a smart, or connected watch but looks like a traditional wristwatch. The Connected is made from Grade 2 Titanium, so even though it’s fairly thick at 12.8 mm it’s a very light and durable 52g. The display is a 46mm crystal sapphire screen that unfortunately is only a 360 x 360 LCD with an noncompetitive pixel density of only 240ppi.
Behind the screen, a 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom Z34XX takes the place of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chips we have seen in almost every Android Wear watch save the original Moto360. The rest are industry standard; 1GB RAM, 4GB of storage, and a 410mAh battery that Biver claimed will get you a minimum of 25 hours. The watch is IP67 rated as well. What isn’t standard is of course the price. With the basic black rubber strap, the Connected goes for $1,500. Other bands must be purchased separately.
Biver mentioned several times that they want their watches to be eternal. A task that is difficult to achieve with smartwatches that become obsolete within a few years; a compromise the company was unwilling to make. To make a watch that will stay with you for years to come, TAG Heuer announced an “upgrade” program. After two years, if you believe your smartwatch has become too dated for your taste, you may bring it in and have it updated to a pure mechanical version, extending its life. Here is where the details are a little muddy though. It’s not completely clear whether this will be an exchange for a classic Carrera or if TAG Heuer will actually swap out the internals of the watch. Furthermore, even though most are saying the upgrade will cost an additional $1,500, bringing the total price to $3,000, it’s not specifically mentioned on the TAG Heuer site and was not made clear during the presentation. Further confusing things is another unverified rumor that the “upgrade” will be to a mechanical Carrera model based off the design of the Connected, that TAG will be selling for anywhere between $1,500 – $5000 separately of the smartwatch version. Some clarification is needed and this post will be updated once the details are verified completely by TAG Heuer themselves.
The functionality of the watch is standard Android Wear fare, but TAG Heuer did include some beautiful and brand-iconic watch-faces to make the Connected look as much like a mechanical watch as possible. There is also an app that allows some light customization like you would find on the Asus Zen or Moto 360 watches. The rest is pure Android Wear with the usual notification and app interactions we have been privy to.
The watch is already available for sale in a small number of select stores with extended availability, including Europe, coming next week.
If you would like to watch the entire eccentric presentation and all the cheese and cowbell glory, you can do so below:
So what do you think of the first truly premium Android Wear device on the market? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.Source: TAG Heuer
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