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Up Close With The TAG Heuer Connected

TAG Heuer’s new smart timepiece will get you #ConnectedToEternity.

OK, SMARTWATCHES ARE NOT GOING AWAY ANYTIME SOON. But if you really have to, please hedge your bets with one from a proper watch brand – like TAG Heuer.

WHY? As TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver puts it, his brand’s first such timepiece, the TAG Heuer Connected is a “marriage of Watch Valley and Silicon Valley.” He’s telling the truth – this is the first digital smartwatch developed by a Swiss luxury watchmaker in partnership with tech giants, Intel and Google.

GOSH, IT EVEN LOOKS LIKE A REAL WATCH! Really! At first glance, you’d think that you are staring at a regular Carrera – until it hits you that the dial has a digital interface. Obviously, a lot of effort has gone into making it look like a bona fide mechanical timepiece.

WHAT? A SMARTWATCH TRYING TO LOOK SWISH? Not exactly. Think of it as a luxury Swiss timepiece with smart technology.

SO WHAT’S THE LUXE LOW-DOWN? First off, its grade 2 titanium case. Employed for its lightness and resistance to impact, titanium also offers a polished sportive look. There’s also an IP67 rating on the watch, which means it’s completely dust-proof and water-resistant.

THE CARRERA REFERENCES ARE JUST OFF THE CHARTS. The Connected is programmed with three dial options—chronograph, GMT and three-hand. They are so realistic you can even see ‘shadows’ under the hands.

AND THE TECH BITS ARE NOT TOO SHABBY. Ready? Here we go: the watch is powered by Google’s Android Wear, with 4GB of storage and 1GB of RAM, double that of standard Android Wear watches. It is fitted with custom Intel Atom Z34XX chip, Bluetooth LE technology and WiFi connectivity, and is Android and iOS compatible. Phew!

BUT WAIT TILL YOU GET THIS! It’s fair to say any smartwatch will either be phased out or updated in about two years. So what happens to the TAG Heuer Connected you’ve just shelled out US$1,500 for? Well, you can keep it for sure and still have a functioning timepiece. Or you could upgrade it, after the two-year warranty expires, to a special edition TAG Heuer Carrera powered by the Carrera 5 automatic movement made just for Connected owners.

A REAL WATCH FOR A SMARTWATCH? Yes! The timepiece (above) is essentially a mechanical version of the Connected. It’ll cost another US$1,500 for the upgrade but, if you think about it, US$3,000 is a pretty sweet deal for a Carrera that’s going to last you, as Biver hopes, for eternity.

Ex Managing Editor

Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".

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