Today TAG Heuer, a traditional Swiss watchmaker, announced their entry into the world of smartwatches with the TAG Heuer Connected. This is really the first example of a luxury Android wear watch, and also the first example of a traditional mechanical watch manufacturer moving into the smartwatch space.

The TAG Heuer Connected has a diameter of 46mm, a thickness of 12.8mm, and a mass of 52 grams. The chassis of the watch is made of titanium, and the LCD display is covered by a sheet of sapphire glass. The display itself is a 1.5" 360x360 fully circular transflective LTPS LCD, which means it can use the reflection of light to improve visibility and drive down power consumption. The last time I remember hearing about these sorts of displays was Pixel Qi's transflective LCDs, but the tech hasn't really gone anywhere since that time. It'll be interesting to see who is making the panel for the TAG Heuer Connected and how it fares in bright light compared to other smartwatches, as well as compared to a traditional mechanical watch which doesn't use an LCD at all.

  TAG Heuer Connected
SoC Intel Atom Z34xx
Display 1.5" 360x360 LCD, 240ppi
Diameter / Mass 46mm / 52g
Battery 410mAh
OS Android Wear
Other Connectivity 802.11b/g/n + BT 4.1
Price $1499

Interestingly, the TAG Heuer connect is powered by an Intel SoC rather than the Snapdragon 400 chip that has shown up in most Android Wear devices. More specifically, it's an Intel Z34xx series SoC, which has a peak frequency of 1.6GHz but TAG Heuer notes that the nominal frequency will be more like 500MHz. The SoC is paired with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of NAND, which puts it ahead of the 512MB of RAM found in most Android Wear watches. The sensors include an accelerometer and a gyroscope, but no heart rate monitor which is definitely a letdown for fitness-oriented buyers. The watch is also advertised as having IP67 water resistance.

Because 30% of the Connected's parts are made outside of Switzerland the watch isn't officially "Swiss made", and I don't expect that's going to be an easy problem to overcome when there are now many electrical parts inside the watch being made overseas. Something interesting is that the Connected is modeled off of TAG Heuer's Carrera mechanical watch, and after two years the company will allow you to trade in your Connected along with $1500 to receive an actual Carrera. To me that move seems a bit pessimistic about the company's own future in the smartwatch space, as it seems like there's an assumption that users will give up a smartwatch and go back to owning a mechanical watch. It would make more sense to me if you could trade up to newer versions of the Connected.

The last, and possibly most important detail about the TAG Heuer Connected is the price. TAG Heuer's mechanical watches can cost several hundred dollars, and so it's no surprise that the TAG Heuer Connected will have a retail price of $1500

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  • evilspoons - Monday, November 9, 2015 - link

    Funny to finally hear about a device with transflective tech again after all these years... I had a Toshiba e750 PocketPC in like 2003 with a TF LCD. I was surprised this tech wasn't developed further with the explosion of mobile devices, as it seems like a good idea - re-use ambient light to your advantage instead of fighting it by trying to overwhelm it with a brighter backlight.

    Curious about how the Intel SOC will turn out in Android Wear devices. Now, if we could just get the Moto 360 2nd gen in Canada already... I still haven't seen one.
  • bhtooefr - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    IIRC, it had negative effects on color accuracy, and backlights got good enough for many users.
  • evefavretto - Monday, November 9, 2015 - link

    The Sony Smartwatch 3, which is also an Android Wear device, also use a transreflective display.
  • Valantar - Monday, November 9, 2015 - link

    A whole bunch of running watches use transflective LCDs, like Garmin's Forerunner series.
  • futrtrubl - Monday, November 9, 2015 - link

    I feel the trade is more them saying that after 2 years any smart watch will be obsolete. So here have a mechanical watch for dress and other occasions and you can buy a new smart watch.

    Still doesn't make all that much sense.
  • beginner99 - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    After second thought it does make sense. Smartwatches will be obsolete fast. If they commit and say buyers can replace it with the next model for less than new price it also means they will have to create such a model or loose face.

    By saying they will replace it with a mechanical watch, they are 100% sure they can do that and are not forced to either create a new model or loose face. It's their first try. If it fails in the market there won't be a second try anytime soon.
  • boozed - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    Tag Heuer's definitely not going to stand for watches with loose faces.
  • Murloc - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    loose (lo͞os)
    1. To let loose; release.

    [Middle English louse, los, from Old Norse lauss; see leu- in Indo-European roots.]

    lose (lo͞oz)

    1. To be unsuccessful in retaining possession of; mislay.

    [Middle English losen, from Old English losian, to perish, from los, loss; see leu- in Indo-European roots.]

    They are not even pronounced the same so you have no excuse.
  • bhtooefr - Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - link

    So, looks like it's the Z3460 or a very similar SKU, then, based on the 1.6 GHz capability:

    Wonder what the battery life will be like.
  • Coup27 - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - link

    "TAG Heuer's mechanical watches can cost several hundred dollars"

    I think you mean several thousand dollars. Most Tag watches cost thousands, not hundreds.

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