TAG Heuer launches the Connected, sets a new benchmark for smartwatches.

TAG Heuer launches the Connected, sets a new benchmark for smartwatches.
January 10, 2016 Nicholas Kuhne

As wearable technology inches ever closer to the mainstream, the world’s most prestigious watchmakers have all been hard at work developing their own smartwatches in an attempt to keep up with the trend and become the standard by which all others are judged. The Apple Watch introduced the concept of smartwatches to the masses, but the new standard of style and functionality has just been set by Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer.

The ‘’Connected’’ (definitely not the best name choice!) is a beautifully constructed time piece and maintains the best of the TAG Heuer aesthetic. It weighs 52 grams, has a screen size of 3.8 centimeters, and boasts the latest Android Wear software. The company worked closely with Google and Intel to create this state-of-the-art product that pushes boundaries while maintaining discreet elegance. TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver, who launched the product on November 9, explained that his goal was to create “a smartwatch that looks like a watch”.

Take a look at the launch video and see if you think they succeeded.

Aesthetically, the TAG Heuer is created from a titanium casing with a signature strap in seven different colours and a hi-res, ‘’transflective’’ sapphire glass display. Users can select from a number of classic TAG Heuer watch faces to reflect the classic look that the company is known for. Unlike other smartwatches, the screen has two performance modes, which means that it will not go to a blank screen when it is deactivated like most other smartwatches, but instead will shift to a high-contrast monochromatic screen to give you a working dial that will not drain the battery.

Performance-wise, the watch is at the cutting edge of everything that’s available on Android Wear right now. It boasts 4GB of storage and 1GB of RAM, a haptic engine, gyroscope, microphone and tilt detection sensor. TAG Heuer also lay claim to “directional wind and weather monitoring”, although it is unclear at this point what that exactly is.

This video does a great job of showing all the functionality:

The watch will retail at $1500, which is certainly at the upper-end of the smartwatch scale. Interestingly, the company has said that you may trade it in after two years if you decide that the connected watch lifestyle is not for you and you can pay in the difference to get a more traditional TAG Heuer timepiece. That seems like a good incentive to minimize the risk that you may not like it, and grow the market segment as a whole.

TAG Heuer is not the only company launching new smartwatches this week. Pebble also announced its latest product, the Pebble Time Round, which is aimed at women with its thinner strap and smaller watchface. (http://mashable.com/2015/11/09/pebble-time-round-review/#dh4xtN.pPGqj) And fashion brand Fossil also stepped into the smartwatch game with the Q Founder, another Android smartwatch that will be retailing for $275. (http://www.theverge.com/2015/10/21/9582590/fossil-q-smartwatch-android-wear)

These are both great products and a sure sign that the smartwatch sector is heating up as we move into 2016. Yet neither of them has the mix of technology and styling that TAG Heuer has delivered. As a statement of luxury, sophistication and style, we can safely that its TAG Heuer time.

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