Tag Heuer Connected: luxury smartwatch powered by Android, Intel

By David Flynn, November 11 2015
Tag Heuer Connected: luxury smartwatch powered by Android, Intel

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.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich with the company's tiny Curie module
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich with the company's tiny Curie module

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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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 733

Great, because what I really want when I'm buying a $4500 watch is for it to become obsolete in eighteen months.

It's weird. The Swiss watchmakers never got on board with quartz, even though it's, y'know, better, and instead persuaded their customers that old-fashioned mechanical gears were worth paying extra for, because, hey, gears are cool like steam engines.

Now they wanna skip quartz and go straight to smartwatch territory? I guess Tag does, in fact, make quartz watches, but still, it seems like an odd move. Especially since they don't have the UI design expertise of Apple, so whatever they make will inevitably wind up seeming rather clunky.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Aug 2012

Total posts 171

I agree Hugo, Why?  Just when Tag start making the right moves in going more with in-house movements they decide to go down the smartwatch path?

The cheapest Apple watch would be the only one worth getting as it will have the same functions etc.. if you want that sort of device on your wrist.  Paying 10k for a gold apple watch is ludicrous anyway. For 10k you get a Rolex Submariner, or for half that price you get an Omega Speedmaster and all the history that goes with it. And best of all, you can pass these timeless pieces to your kids when you leave this world. Will a 10k apple watch or expensive Tag smartwatch still be working in 50 years? Don't think so! But beautifully engineered mechanical watches will.

Tag are crazy, stick with developing high quality in-house movements/watches and let apple sell $400.00 smartwatches to those who want them so they can add them to their bottom draws in a few years time.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 548

Too classy looking for the isheep out there! Very nice

24 Mar 2015

Total posts 17


"...so whatever they make will invetiably wind up seeming rather clunky."

LOL!  Was that pun intended?  :-)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Gold

04 Jul 2014

Total posts 130

I've already got the Apple Watch and gotta say, considering jumping ship for this if I could with an iPhone.

For the people who are saying it is a bad move, I could not disagree more. Luxury brands across the worlds are currently trying to appeal to younger audiences, so that their brand is front of mind when they can in fact afford the items. Even traditional brands need to experiment every now and then.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Feb 2013

Total posts 9

As much as I hate to admit it, I cant help but drool over this watch (as a long time Tag admirer having given away 2 as gifts but never bought one for myself). Its a lot of money but I do like the idea of trading it in in 2 years time for a new one, even if you have to fork out another 2K.

Anyway, you can run andoid wear using an iPhone https://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/wearables/android-wear-watches-now-work-with-iphone-20150831-gjc4k2.html which is what makes this very appealing, although it wont be as feature packed as an Apple Watch, it will do most of what you need.

I love my Apple Watch but it just isnt sexy enough for me. This watch ticks all the smart watch boxes for style, its just a pity it doesnt have the substance as an Apple Watch.


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