Before we kitted them out with high-res AMOLED screens and WiFi, luxury watches were the sorts of thing you could wind up and pass down through the ages. With its new Connected smartwatch (seriously, its name is "Connected") TAG Heuer thinks it's captured "eternity in a box" and restored a sense of legacy to an otherwise obsolescing wearable. Erm, we'll see about that. Long story short, it's a $1,500 Android Wear watch that you'll be able to trade in for a mechanical version after two years if the whole connected lifestyle really isn't for you.
Of course, that sense of eternity will cost you. Let's say you pick up a Connected (available today at 20 of TAG Heuer's US boutique stores) and it eventually gets relegated to a fancy junk pile. In two years, you'll be able to pay another $1,500 to trade it in for a more traditional Carrera watch. That might sound a little insane, but considering other Carreras retail for well over $3,000, the intended audience probably wouldn't bat an eyelash at the extra cost.
This new connected Carrera tries to avoid same trap other luxury gadgets fall into; it does a little more than your run-of-the-mill Android Wear watch. Putting aside the generally pervasive sense of "sameness" that comes with using Android Wear as a platform, TAG has tricked out the Connected with special watchfaces (duh) along with apps for restaurant recommendations and golf tracking. Bloomberg also points out that Connected owners will soon get access to watchfaces designed in part by Tom Brady and Leonardo DiCaprio. Hell, it's more physically imposing than the competition, too. At 46.2mm wide and 12.8mm thick, it's broader than the new Moto 360 and chunkier than the Huawei Watch. Its titanium construction should keep your wrist from dragging on the ground, though.
Intel1.6GHz dual core processor (500mHz normal operation speed)
Yes, 2.4 GHz 802.11 B/G/N
But what of the technical nitty gritty? In addition to sporting the usual WiFi and Bluetooth radios, TAG Heuer says the Connected comes equipped with "directional wind and weather monitoring" and 4GB of internal storage. Moreover, TAG Heuer eschewed the usual Qualcomm chipsets for its Android watch and instead went with a chipset crafted by Intel, though it's not clear what sort of performance differential we're looking at. (Don't worry, hands-on coming soon!) In some ways, though, it's actually a little worse since you won't find a heart rate sensor here, a hardware tidbit that has become de rigueur for even mid-range Android Wear watches. Of course, anyone who's been charting the trajectory of these kinds of luxury gadgets shouldn't be surprised by the lack of new functionality. Remember those high-end Vertu phones that seemed happy to pass on the latest and greatest features? No, this isn't a wearable for the hoi polloi -- it's for those who value titanium-clad style and craftsmanship over sheer functionality.