During an event in New York today, Tag Heuer officially announced the Connected Watch, its first smartwatch running Android Wear. A luxury watch through and through, the Connected costs $1,500 and carries much of the legacy of Tag Heuer's watchmaking prowess. It shares many of its design attributes with Tag Heuer's Carrera analog watch. The company says it went through great efforts to make the Connected not "look like a connected watch."
The Connected is the first Android Wear watch to retail for over $1,000, and Tag Heuer isn't shy in making comparisons to the Apple Watch, which can cost as much as $17,000 for a tricked out gold model. The Carrera Connected isn't made of gold, but it is comprised of titanium, a metal prized for its high strength to weight ratio compared to steel. Tag Heuer says the watch can be personalized with six different rubber straps. The watch measures 46mm in diameter, putting it on the larger side of the spectrum.
Inside, the Connected features Intel processing power, which is a departure from the Qualcomm chips that are found in most Android Wear watches so far. Its touchscreen is covered in sapphire crystal, and its "all day" battery is recharged with a simple dock. It includes the standard Android Wear features of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a microphone for voice commands.
Intel powered and full Android Wear compatibility
Tag says that it developed three watch faces for the Connected, which emulate its analog designs. There is a chronograph, a standard 3-hand dial, and a world time face, and all three are available in black, white, or blue colors. You can obviously install other watchfaces from the Google Play Store, as the watch is fully compatible with Android Wear. Tag also developed a handful of apps for the watch, including a time, alarm, and stopwatch.
Of course, whether or not Tag's pedigree is enough to get people to spend $1,500 on a smartwatch remains to be seen, especially since it is not functionally any better than other Android Wear watches that sell for a couple hundred dollars. Tag Heuer's luxury bet will be put to the test immediately, as it is available for sale from the company's website and a handful of luxury boutiques around the world today. Interesting, Tag is hedging its bets, as a line at the end of the press release for the Connected states "Anyone who purchases a Tag Heuer Connected watch will have the opportunity to exchange it for a mechanical watch with Swiss movement inside."