Hands-On with the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45
March 14, 2017
Today, Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer launched its second generation of Connected watch, with its partners Intel and Google, at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco (as well as in Switzerland).
The version two TAG Heuer smartwatch referred to as the Connected Modular 45, comes with a plethora of new functionality, as well as multiple customization options, two mechanical module options, and other additional enhancements over the original.
Visually speaking, the watch case has been streamlined ever so slightly with sleeker lugs, as well as a reduction in case diameter down to 45 mm (from 46 mm). The result is a watch the is, even more, wearable. Look at the cover image, for example, and you can see how well it wears on a female wrist.
In addition, the case is now truly water-resistant with a rating a 50 meters (166.5 feet), up from just 3 feet on their first generation Connected watch.
A new OLED screen offers enhanced colors, sharpness, and resolution.
GPS is built-in now, enabling you to track steps and other performance metrics, with no need for your phone.
The Connected Modular 45 runs the latest Google Android Wear 2.0 and features NFC for payments using Android Pay. So, if you go out for a jog, you can track the distance, speed, and time – and then pay for a drink, with not phone or wallet needed.
In fact, without a phone or Wifi connection, the watch will still continue to run watch applications such as the timer, alarm, pedometer, music, and so forth.
Like the original Connected watch, version 2 can easily be synchronized with a mobile phone operating on Android 4.3+ or iOS 9+. There is also a new TAG Heuer Companion app available on Android, with iOS support coming soon.
As far as the mechanical modules, there are two: a Caliber 5 mechanical 3 Hand or the Heuer 02-T Chronograph Tourbillon COSC certified. These are purchased as a set along with a Connected Modular 45 watch, allowing you to change between mechanical or smartwatch, using one case.
The case is available in an array of materials including satin or polished grade 5 titanium, PVD plated titanium, 18K 5N rose gold plated titanium, and black ceramic, with or without diamonds.
After choosing a watch from the 56 different versions available from its launch (a selection of 11 standard models are systematically offered in store + 45 others on request), the entire exterior of the watch can be customized.
This customization will enable a multitude of combinations in terms of materials and colors. For the choice of strap alone, there are already 18 choices available, made from rubber, natural leather or anthracite gray leather, titanium or ceramic. There are even options for changing out the bezels and lugs.
The modularity concept does not end there. A really cool feature is that in addition to the 30 watch dials offered by default at launch, the new TAG Heuer Studio dial configurator also offers customers the chance to create their own dial.
Some of the included dials are white, black, light-gray, anthracite gray, chocolate brown, navy blue or gold, with sunray finish, skeleton dial, 3 hands, GMT, a chronograph with 1, 2, or 3 counters, plus a date and day window. All interchangeable with a single swipe of the finger.
There are even interactive counters, where you can choose to display up to three of your favorite apps on the dial.
The Connected Modular 45 was built in close collaboration with Intel to engineer the smart technology, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and NFC, and which also enables users to benefit from a wide range of functions offered by the Android Wear operating system.
Featuring 4 GB of storage memory and a latest-generation lithium battery providing more than a full day of power, the TAG Heuer Connected is fitted with a small water-resistant microphone enabling the wearer to communicate with it using Google Assistant, as well as a sapphire crystal touchscreen, to be used alongside the command crown at 3 o’clock. Recharging is handled via a contact charger.
However, the motherboard is produced in Switzerland. And the final assembly step and testing are completed in TAG Heuer’s own workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds. This is an undoubtedly a “Swiss Made” smartwatch.
The connected and mechanical modules benefit from a two-year warranty. This period – longer than usually offered on a product of this type - meets the same high warranty standards which luxury Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer offers for its timepieces. All the accessories (strap, buckle, lugs, charger) are covered by a one-year warranty.
The TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 starts at a retail price of $1650.
A deluxe box set including a connected watch (in grade 5 titanium, with titanium lugs and brown natural leather strap), complete with the prestigious COSC-certified chronograph Heuer-02T tourbillon mechanical module, plus an additional black rubber strap is available for a $17,000. The set comes in a magnificent presentation case with three drawers, complete with a desktop display stand to hold the watch and its charger.
Availability begins today at TAG Heuer boutiques, select retailers, and online via TAG Heuer’s eCommerce website.