Can a Swiss watchmaker beat Apple in the luxe smartwatch stakes? Tag Heuer believes so, teaming up with tech heavyweights Google and Intel to create its new Connected wristwear line.
But you'd have to look twice, and then a few times more, to realise this is a US$1,500 smartwatch rather than one of Tag's traditional mechanical masterpieces.
Encased in a water-resistant titanium shell with digital faces designed by Tag to mimic the Connected's analog siblings, Tag's goal was to “make it look like a watch” rather than a smartwatch, says Tag CEO Jean-Claude Biver.
Speaking at the Connected's launch in New York this week, Biver said that despite wearing the device for the past three weeks, nobody has twigged that it wasn't 'just another' Tag.
Simulated shadows even appear under the hands as they sweep around the 1.5 inch (38mm) sapphire crystal display.
But swipe the screen, move your wrist, tap the crown or speak into the tiny embedded microphone and Google's Android Wear operating system puts a range of apps at the ready.
Three discrete display zones located at the watch face's 6, 9 and 12 positions neatly integrate alerts and activity information into the face.
You can also park an app there, to launch full-screen with a tap on that part of the display.
Digital dial options include a chronograph dial, three-hand dial and GMT dial, which can all be conjured up in black, deep blue or pearl white.
There are more dial styles on the way, and you can further customise the watch's face using a Tag Heuer app.
Under that morphing screen lurks one Intel's thumbnail-sized Curie 'wearable tech' modules, containing a tiny Quark processor, Bluetooth radio and movement sensors. Battery life is rated at over 25 hours so the Connected should easily blast past the 'all day' mile marker.
In a nod to more youthful buyers Tag supplements the conventionally-styled titanium bracelet with a range of coloured 'vulcanised rubber' straps.
The casing itself is 1.8 inches, or 46mm, which puts the Connected on the large side of the ledger, but the titanium case keeps weight to a minimum and Tag says a smaller model will follow.
Sit back and enjoy the video below for more on Tag's high-tech timepiece.
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