Tag Heuer, the first Swiss watchmaker to embrace touchscreen smartwatches, has announced the third generation of its wearable, called simply the Tag Heuer Connected. The company has stayed with a similar design to the previous versions, but with some key alterations both inside and out to bring it up to date.
This is a luxury smartwatch, which means it’s made from high-end materials. The Connected watch comes in a choice of three polished or brushed stainless steel cases, plus one made from grade 2 Titanium, each with a fixed ceramic bezel. On the stainless steel models, this comes in either a metal or PVD black finish, while the Titanium version gets a matte black PVD bezel. (PVD, or Physical Vapor Deposition, is a process that vaporizes a number of metals, and then binds it on a surface, in layers, in a heated vaccuum.)
The new Connected watch has a 45mm case that’s 13.5mm thick, and is home to a 1.4-inch OLED screen covered in a piece of sapphire crystal. The resolution is 454 x 454 pixels, which should mean superb clarity and easy-to-read text. This is about the same size, but just a sliver thinner, as the older Connected Modular 45, and obviously much bigger than the Connected Modular 41 version.
On the side of the case is a rotating crown to make it easier to navigate the Google WearOS software, and in the biggest design change over older models, there is a button on either side of the crown to access special features. There’s a choice of strap available, including the comfortable rubber versions seen on previous models in a range of colors, along with a steel version with a folding buckle. The watch has a heart rate sensor, GPS, NFC for contactless payments, and the Tag Heuer Sport app pre-installed. This provides activity tracking, along with a set of golf-specific features sinilar to those seen on the excellent Connected Modular 45 Golf Edition.
The battery size has been increased to 430mAh, and Tag Heuer expects it to last for a full day even with a one-hour workout, or about six hours when the GPS and heart rate sensor are being used or music is being streamed. The watch uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 3100 Wear chipset, making it the first Tag Heuer smartwatch to adopt the platform. A range of specially made watch faces are included, many mimicking designs used on the brand’s traditional watches, and there’s a new ultra-precise Tag Heuer stopwatch app.
What’s not clear at the moment is whether Tag Heuer will continue offering a mechanical body that’s compatible with the strap system. This set the previous Connected watches apart from the competition. However, for this new version it has dropped the “Modular” part of the name, and makes no mention of a module in the press materials. It may be the older Carrera mechanical watch body is also compatible here too though.
Tag Heuer’s new Connected smartwatch will be available globally from March 13, either in its boutique stores, selected retailers, and online. Prices start from $1,800 or 1,495 British pounds for the steel-cased model with a rubber strap and increase to $2,350 or 1,950 pounds for the Titanium version.