Luxury watch maker TAG Heuer is entering the smart wearable space with a watch designed to look good, but which has all the featured you’d expect from a modern smartwatch.
The new TAG Heuer Connected watch also happens to be the most expensive device running Google’s Android Wear software to date: it’s priced at $1500 and it goes on sale today.
There’s another tech feature that makes this watch unusual: it has an Intel processor rather than an ARM-based chip.
CEO Jean-Claude Biver says the watch is the marriage of Watch Valley (in Switzerland) and Silicon Valley (in the US) and says it’s a milestone for the company but also for the Swiss watch industry.
The watch has a titanium case, a light design, a sapphire glass display, am IP67 water-resistant body, and straps that are available in seven colors. Biver says it’s the “first connected watch that looks like a regular watch,” which is something I suspect Huawei, LG, Motorola, Withings, and a number of other companies would take issue with.
The watch has a circular 360 x 360 pixel 1.5 inch LTPS LCD touchscnreen display with a 46 mm diameter and raised numbers on the bezels. The straps are 29 gram vulcanized rubber straps with titanium clasps. They’re available in green, blue, orange, red, white, black, or yellow.
Under the hood, the TAG Heuer Connected has a dual-core Intel processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, a 410 mAh battery (for 25 hours of battery life or more), and connects to a USB charger with a conductive charging port. There’s a microphone, haptic engine, gyroscope, and tilt detection sensor. The watch supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1.
While the materials, design, and price tag may be a little different, the software seems to be pure Android Wear. The watch supports Google Now, search, and notifications, activity tracking, and communications. It should be able to pair with an iPhone or Android phone.
There’s one key difference between TAG Heuer’s smartwatch and just about everyone else’s: the company has a plan to let you keep your watch useful indefinitely. Luxury watches are designed to last for decades, but the tech inside a smartwatch might start to feel outdated in a few years.
So TAG Heuer has an “eternity in a box” offer: if you don’t want to upgrade to a new model, after you’ve had the Tag Heuer Connected watch for two years you can take it into a store and trade it in for a mechanical TAG Heuer Carrera watch that has the same look, but which lacks the smart connected capabilities.