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TAG Heuer Unveils $1500 ‘Connected Watch’, Made in Collaboration With Intel and Google

Stephen Pulvirent and Chris Rovzar, writing for Bloomberg:

The Connected Watch is big at 46.2mm across and 12.8mm thick, but it’s made of titanium, so it’s surprisingly light. The bezel is marked in five-minute increments and has a black carbide coating that gives some contrast against the case’s brushed and sandblasted surfaces. Paired with one of seven colors of vulcanized rubber strap and a matching titanium buckle, it looks and wears a lot like one of TAG’s mechanical watches. From a distance it’s nearly indistinguishable from TAG’s Heuer 01. Still, though, I wish it were a lot smaller (maybe something closer to 42mm), and the fact that brands such as Motorola are sizing down their offerings tells me I’m probably not the only one.

46mm is a big watch, and the styling is decidedly masculine. But it definitely looks like a TAG Heuer. It doesn’t have a heart rate sensor, which seems curious. The watch faces are skeuomorphic copies of TAG’s mechanical watches. Like Apple Watch, it’s “splash proof”.

Now, one thing TAG can offer that none of its competitors can is a service it calls “connected to eternity.” (Again, I don’t know who’s coming up with the names here, but they’ve got some serious work to do.) After two years, a Connected Watch owner can bring the watch into a TAG Heuer retailer, trade it in with an additional $1,500, and receive a mechanical TAG Heuer watch in return. Sure, it’s not a one-for-one trade, but it’s definitely a big step up over letting a $1,500 Connected Watch sit dormant in a drawer for the next decade after its software becomes obsolete, until you finally toss it in the garbage.

This seems weird. If the reason for upgrading is that the technology in your watch is outdated, wouldn’t you want to upgrade to a new Connected Watch? It seems oddly pessimistic to assume that two years from now Connected Watch owners will want to go back to a mechanical watch.

Monday, 9 November 2015