Last updated: October 26, 2016
Pro: Swiss precision, 26-hours of running time, works with iOS and Android smartwatches
Con: $1,500.00 price tag may turn away some smartwatch buyers
Leave it to the Swiss to break into the smartwatch arena with a device that combines precision time keeping and elite craftsmanship with a fairly steep price. Tag Heuer Connected, the first connected smartwatch ever constructed by the 155-year-old brand, took one year from conception to create and is now being sold in 20 stores across America for $1,500. While that's far less than its iconic Carrera, the price certainly lands Tag Heuer's new watch in the higher end of the smart device spectrum.
Calling the partnership with Intel and Google a “marriage of America and Switzerland," Tag Heuer's CEO Jean-Claude Biver notes this new invention is “…a major milestone for the brand and connects the Swiss watch industry to the future of technology."
At $1,500 the Tag Heuer Connected is certainly more expensive than many of its smartwatch competitors. Sure, Apple Watch has a luxury model in 18-karat yellow or rose gold for $17,000. At that, $1,500 seems a steal, but consumers may ask what they're getting beyond the Tag Heuer brand when Apple Watch can also bought for $349 — an Android Wear watch at just $129.
Tag Heuer decided to align with Google for its smart technology, with the watch running on Android software, with Intel processors tucked inside. There's 1GB RAM, 4GB of storage, plus battery life that is estimated at 26 hours, with low usage. The Tag Heuer Connected can work with smartphone that run Android 4.3 — as well as those running iOS 8.2 or higher.
In this new design, the watch is made of precious metal grade-2 titanium, covered in crystal sapphire, and fitted with a black rubber texturized strap if you buy the watch online, multiple color options if purchased in a store. The piece features a 1 ½ inch LCD touchscreen display in a choice of black, deep blue, or pearl white, and is lightweight at 46 mm in diameter, comfortable enough to wear all day. Its size firmly places it in the men's watch category— but the watch maker says a women's version is in the works.
Aside from the basics of telling time and date, the smart watch will deliver and send texts, give directions, search Google, host multiple apps, and a slew of other real-time computer functions, right on the convenient, easy-to-glance-at spot, the wrist.
In its much-hyped release, Biver touted the Swiss watchmaker's legacy in time-keeping. But noted the brand must also address the shift towards the future.
“Tradition connects you to yesterday, but we need to connect to tomorrow," he says.