Tag Heuer unveils Android Wear-based $1,500 Connected smartwatch

By , Nov 9, 2015

Tag Heuer Connected image 001

Tag Heuer, a Swiss watch maker, announced at today’s event in New York City a brand new smartwatch that its outspoken CEO Jean-Claude Biver claims has “almost the same features as an Apple Watch”. Marketed under the Connected moniker, the $1,500 titanium-clad 46mm device is powered by Google’s Android Wear software for smartwatches, delivering “micro apps” to your wrist.

It has a classic design and Tag Heuer is offering a selection of six colorful bands (black, white, green, blue, orange, yellow and red). The watch is priced at $1,500.

Based out from La Chau-de-Fonds, the cradle of Swiss watchmaking in the middle of Alpine pastures and mountains, Tag Heuer has officially become the first Swiss watch vendor to officially make a smartwatch in partnership with Google and Intel.

Inspired by its classic Carrera watch (an auto racing timepiece that dates back to 1963), the Connected features an almost unchanged titanium case and sports a sapphire crystal-coated 1.5-inch circular LTPS LCD touchscreen display with a 360-by-360 pixel resolution and a pixel density of 240 PPI.

Tag Heuer Connected image 002

As for the sensors, you have your gyroscope and tilt detection in the form of an accelerometer but that’s about it, there’s no heart rate monitor or other dedicated sensors on this device. It also lacks GPS, cellular connectivity and a speaker, an odd decision since there’s built-in mic.

Build quality should be super because titanium is very strong and Tag Heuer is renowned for the durability of their watch cases. The Connected is 12.8mm thick and weighs in at 52 grams. Its sandblasted bezel has an anti-fingerprint coating and the watch is IP67-certified waterproof, making it splash-proof.

Specs game

In addition to running Android Wear, the Connected uses Intel’s Atom Z34XX dual-core chip clocked at up to 1.6 GHz, with 500 megahertz “normal operation speed.” The Intel chip includes one gigabyte of RAM. A built-in 410 mAh battery should keep you going for 30 hours with normal use. The watch provides haptic feedback and packs in four gigabytes of flash storage.

On the connectivity front, the timepiece features energy-efficient Bluetooth 4.1 and 802.11 b/g/n/ Wi-Fi networking. The Connected displays the time with an accuracy of one-hundredth of a second. A range of watch faces with classic TAG Heuer dials are available through the software, with customizable complications.

The watch connects with both Android and iOS devices.

It’s interesting that Apple last year poached Tag Heuer’s Vice President of Sales and Retail, Patrick Pruniaux, who is now charged with Apple Watch positioning and marketing.

“The difference between the TAG Heuer watch and the Apple watch is very important,” said Biver in July 2014. “That one is called Apple and this one is called TAG Heuer.”

He was half-joking, of course, but there’s one crucial difference between Apple and Tag Heuer when it comes to obsolesce: After two years, Connected owners can pay another $1,500 to have their unit swapped for a mechanical TAG Heuer watch. Oh, and you get a full two year warranty coverage for your purchase.

According to Bloomberg, the case and buckle are designed and manufactured in Switzerland by the same team that makes the rest of TAG’s watches, but it’s unclear if the device bears the ‘Swiss Made’ label reserved for watches with at least 50 percent of components made within Switzerland.

More information is available on the Tag Heuer website. A replay of the company’s press conference in New York City can be watched on YouTube.

Availability

The Carrera Connected is available starting today in the United States in limited quantities before its November 12 debut in Japan. The Connected will follow shortly in other countries, said the company.

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  • Romi

    Wow.

  • Chindavon

    Quite nice. Not for 1500 tho.

  • The watch is a thing of beauty however I’ve said it before and will say it again I’m not convinced that round displays are best for presenting information and the video demoing Android Wear apps only confirms this. Also because it’s running Android Wear it will be severely crippled on iOS although this isn’t the watches fault.

    • George

      I predict apple will release a round and rectangle option next year and people will call it revolutionary.

      • Apple could very well do this and people could very well call it revolutionary. Everything I’ve seen so far though that uses a round display has the same problems demonstrated in the demo video in this article. If Apple does decide to use a round display hopefully they’ll find a way to overcome the problems associated with using a round display.

      • Benedict

        I don’t see any problems with round displays.

      • Look at the video. Text is often difficult to read and sometimes appears clipped. You also can’t have multiple lines of text consistently layed out.

      • Benedict

        Font sizes in the video are very big. Also the text margins are set way smaller than e.g. on a moto 360. I guess it’s just because of the demo. Also it depends on the length of the message – a rectangular screen won’t save you from scrolling, too, sooner or later.
        Having a round watch is more essential for customers.

        When looking at WatchOS closely, you can see some indications that it might initially been designed for round watches: The launcher is arranged in a circle, also the watchfaces are round and not rectangular.

  • pnh

    When watches are jewelry it is not unreasonable to charge $1500 and have a select clientele. When watches are technology (in any way associated with iOS or Android), they become outdated rather quickly and one would have to be a fool to “invest” in one of these. BTW- same goes for Apple’s Edition Watch.

    • TBagsUaL0t

      Or you are just a member of an even smaller group of select clientele!

  • TBagsUaL0t

    Android wear for $1500? WOW!!! Also who cares?

    • Benedict

      At least the display stays always on… Or who wants to run around with an empty watchface!?

    • Dan

      Obviously not fanboys.

      • TBagsUaL0t

        Obviously

  • Hi

    So, buy a watch or a high end back book pro….
    Tough choice (sarcasm)

  • Mark

    I mean it is really nice looking but 5x as much as an  Watch, almost the same features as an  Watch, runs Android Wear and is round. Umm… No thanks.

  • Martynet

    TAG Heuer and android just doesn’t match… Smart watches in circle shape just doesn’t work. And only Apple seems to realize that.

    • Benedict

      Why doesn’t it “match”? Seems it works perfectly. WatchOS wouldn’t match because it does not support circle watches.
      And why don’t circle shapes work for smartwatches? Any arguments or just an uncomfortable feeling of yours because Apple just managed to make it square in the end?

  • Just when you thought apple watch was overpriced.

    • mrgerbik

      You forgot about Apples $15,000+ version already? How convienent.

  • Jordan Lewis

    It actually looks like a watch

  • Mark Dasbeck

    It’s really great, and I was looking forward to it. But… NO GPS? WTF guys!?

  • AwkwardApple

    I think it looks like all the other cheap Android Wear watches. For $1500.00 I would buy their mechanical watch.

  • Matthew Sheffield

    I own a tag connected. However I am android wear limited due to having an iPhone. I can not switch from iPhone due to work. But here is my thought to gain the most from the android wear app. I am thinking to buy a cheap android phone. Load watch to that phone. Add to my plan. Connect watch to that phone to download and have access to full apps. Then leave phone at home connected. Then connect watch to know wifi areas and/or tether to iPhone personal hot spot. Think this would work? I appreciate any feedback or ideas.