These days you can find wristwatches with “smart” features in a range of prices and styles. There are models that sell for under $100 and which let you view notifications from your smartphone on your wrist. And there are pricier models that use Google, Apple, or Samsung software to let you run third-party apps. Some are also better looking than others, and you typically pay more for quality design.
And then there’s TAG Heuer’s Connected smartwatches. The premium watch maker launched its first Android Wear model in late 2015, charging $1500 for a watch with modern features and classic design elements.
Now the company has something new: the $1,650 TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 is a customizable smartwatch with straps, buckles, lugs, and other components to choose from before ordering… and which you can swap out later.
Like the original TAG Heuer Connected, the new Modular 45 also has one key feature that may help justify the high price tag for a device that may feature obsolete hardware in a few years: if and when you don’t want to use the smartwatch anymore, you can swap out the watch module for a more traditional mechanical watch face and keep the strap, lugs, and other components.
As for hardware, the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 features a 1.4 inch round AMOLED display, an Intel Atom Z34XX series processor (which is an older smartphone chip from a company that’s no longer really making smartphone processors), a 410 mAh battery, GPS, NFC, and a waterproof rating that will let you go swimming at depths up to 50 meters.
The screen is scratch resistant, and the watch runs Android Wear 2.0 software with support for Android Pay.
The specs are decent. But it’s really the design that makes the Modular 45 stand out. TAG Heuer says you can choose from dozens of different designs when ordering the watch, which could help it appeal to luxury watch enthusiasts looking for smartwatch functionality.
Wondering if anyone’s actually willing to spend that kind of money on a smartwatch? Well, the fact that this is TAG Heuer’s second smartwatch should tell you something: the company wasn’t disappointed with the “more than 56,000” units it sold in the first year, and figured it was worth launching a new model.
Luxury watches don’t need to sell millions of units in order to be success stories.