As smartwatches get more popular, it will be interesting to see how traditional watchmakers react. Tag Heuer is getting a jump on some of its rivals by launching a US$1,500 Android Wear watch that stands as the first from a Swiss watch-making company.
Tag Heuer Connected is an interesting proposition. On one hand, it's a smartwatch with the cred of a 155-year-old Swiss watchmaker, and the craftsmanship you'd expect from such a timepiece. But on the other hand, well, it's a friggin' Android Wear watch that costs $1,500.
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If smartwatches from tech companies still looked like they did a year and a half ago, then this might be seen as a breakthrough. But companies like Huawei, LG, Motorola and Apple have shown that tech companies can make some stylish and beautiful watches on their own – and all but Apple's Edition models cost less than that (usually by a wide margin).
Tag Heuer Connected is the first Android Wear watch with a titanium casing, and it joins the Huawei Watch as the second with a sapphire display. Its band is made of vulcanized rubber and includes a titanium folding clasp.
If the watch's design doesn't entice you to fork over $1,500, then don't expects its tech to do anything to change that. It has a round 1.5-inch display with 360 x 360 resolution (240 PPI). It is the first Android Wear watch with an Intel processor, a 1.6 GHz dual core chip and is also the first Android Wear watch with 1 GB of RAM (every previous one has had 512 MB). Tag Heuer estimates a minimum 25 hours uptime for its 410 mAh battery with typical usage.
Those are some good, solid specs for an Android Wear watch, but not significantly better than rivals that run in the $300-400 range.
If you're shopping for a smartwatch, and don't fancy yourself a Swiss watch geek, then this probably isn't the product for you. Think of Connected less as as something you'll consider next to the Huawei Watch or Moto 360, and more for folks who already appreciate traditional Swiss watch craftsmanship and are intrigued by adding some smarts to that equation. For anyone else, it's hard to see how that price can be justified.
Tag Heuer Connected is available to order today, online and in Tag Heuer stores. It ships with a black case and a choice of seven band colors (though only the black strap is available for online orders).
You can get a closer look at the design in the launch video below.
Product page: Tag Heuer