Smart watches are becoming incredibly popular as of late, more specifically the Apple Watch. While smart watches were originally looked down upon by wearers of expensive traditional watches, I see more and more important business people wearing Apple Watches. It’s a rather interesting new trend that’s emerging. But even the nicest of Apple Watches seems to look a bit like a toy, rather than a true luxury item. So what about the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45?
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While Tag Heuer is one of the horological giants of the world, with a rich history in making high-end timepieces, it’s now developed a new smart watch to compete with more high-end Apple Watches. This may seem beneath a brand like Tag Heuer, who has made some truly timeless watches in its day, it shows an emerging trend in the watch industry. To be fair, the new Connected Modular 45 is actually the brand’s second attempt at a smart watch but it’s so far improved over the first model, it’s the one we’re going to talk about.
The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 gets its name from its modular design. The actual “module’ is what we’d normally call the case of a normal watch. This module houses the sapphire crystal touchscreen display and the electronics underneath. The module can come in a variety of different finishes, such as titanium, ceramic, aluminum and even diamonds. Most of which are offered in a variety of colors. Different sorts of straps and lugs can also be chosen and you can sort of customize the watch with these different options.
Inside the Tag Heuer Connected’s module lies an Intel Atom Z34XX processor with 512 MB of main memory and 4 GB of storage. There’s also an accelerometer, gyroscope, tilt detection sensor, microphone, vibrations and haptics engine, an ambient light sensor, GPS, and even NFC payment capabilities. All of this is run on Android’s latest wearable operating system. It’s actually pretty impressive.
I think it looks pretty good, as well, and it’s hard to distinguish from a regular Tag Heuer Carrera from even a relatively close distance. The screen is high-def with crisp graphics and, when displaying a traditional watch face, looks every bit like a regular watch until you look really, very close. It also seems to work really well, with a slick processor and smooth operations. It doesn’t seem to lag like some Android-based smart watches.
Now, it isn’t cheap, like most smart watches are. With a starting price of around $1,600, it’s about as much as a regular Tag Heuer, so one questions its value. Despite being a fast and slick smart watch that offers a lot of features, it’s still just a smart watch and doesn’t do any more than an Apple Watch would and the latter costs around $250 bucks. For the same money, you can buy one of Tag Heuer’s own mechanical watches, the Formula 1 Calibre 5, which comes with a great automatic movement and handsome looks.
I think what the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 really does is offer luxury watch buyers a way to own a smart watch that can handle all of the functions they need it to while not looking like a toy. It looks like a proper watch, is 50m water resistant and has all of the tech they might need. This is a third or fourth watch in someone’s collection, not something to compete with Apple or Motorola for smart watch dominance. My only reservation about the Connected is that real watch snobs, people who appreciate horology and can typically afford three or four premium watches, will likely not want something with circuit boards on their wrist. What do you think, does a Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 belong on the wrist of a proper watch snob as a genuinely useful tool or is it just a toy?