Live at a press conference this morning at the LVMH Tower, TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver introduced the much-anticipated TAG Heuer Connected watch. The press conference — with top executives from Intel and Google, in addition to Chariman and CEO of LVMH, Bernard Arnault, and the Swiss Ambassador Andre Schaller –was all about the grand marriage of Silicon Valley and the Swiss watch Valley, and more.
We have a lot to tell you here, so let’s break it down.
First: the watch
Offered in several different versions, it is a 46 mm watch that looks like the much-loved Carrera – with one big difference. Inside, instead of having a self-winding Swiss-made movement, there resides a digital movement with Google operating system. Essentially, this means that there is a computer inside the watch — the smallest computer in the world, according to Biver.
“At TAG Heuer, we have 155 years of history, but it is not enough to build on tradition. Tradition connects you to yesterday, but life is about connecting yesterday to tomorrow. Our Connected watch does both. It connects us to yesterday and to tomorrow. It is a marriage of American and Swiss technology, a marriage of knowledge and Research and Development.” This watch offers beauty, style, elegance, prestige, exclusivity and, says Biver, the connection to life.
The 46mm watch features a Swiss-made Carrera case of Grade 2 titanium and is offered with either a black rubber strap, or in a host of strap colors ranging from orange to yellow and green. The dial features three different TAG Heuer dials: chronograph, three-hands, GMT. The chronograph is a working function of the Smartwatch that is operated via a tap on the screen to start it and stop it. Tap the screen twice and it resets. Of course, it is not a mechanical chronograph, but rather a computerized time tracker. All other operations are implemented via the crown, which acts as the Connected watch’s main control.
The watch uses Bluetooth LE technology or Wi-Fi connectivity to connect to the smartphone. With 4 GB of onboard storage for apps and media, the watch offers such information as steps taken and other health/fitness data. All notifications are offered via a vibration, as the watch is devoid of speaker. As to the all-important concept of battery life, the TAG Heuer Connected watch offers 30 hours of battery life with normal use, and is sold with a USB charging dock. Purchasers of the watch will register with TAG Heuer to gain access to a host of other features.
Retailing for $1,500, the timepiece is available as of Noon today for sale at 20 different TAG Heuer stores in the USA and online. One last but certainly not-least feature of the watch, which is purchased on a two-year plan, is that at the end of the two years, the owner has an incredible choice: trade the watch in at any TAG Heuer retailer and, along with paying another $1,500, receive a mechanical Carrera.
Next: The Video
Next: Jean-Claud Biver’s Gems
In typical Jean-Claude Biver style, the press conference was complete with important notes of eternity, emotion and excitement. “This is the frist time we are both connected and eternal,” says Biver. “We are first, different, unique. We are the only brand where you can buy a connected watch and transform it into eternity.” (He is referring, of course, to the trade-in concept of the watch when the two-year contract is up.)
When prodded by moderator Ben Clymer of Hodinkee, Biver explained his definition of “luxury” since this new Connected watch is considered by the LVMH Group as a luxury connected watch. “Luxury is quality, service, innovation and starts with tradition,” says Biver. “All of that is in this watch.”
Last, but not least: the Tech Specs
TAG Heuer Connected watch
– 46.2 mm in diameter and 12.8 mm thick
– case, back, and lugs in grade-2 titanium and are Swiss made
– black rubber strap,and option to buy straps in vivid colors
– 1.5 in. transflective LTPS LCD display, 360 x 360, 24-bit display
– 1 GB main memory, 4 GB storage
– Dual core processor, rate at 1.6 GHz (normal operation speed = 500 mHz)
– 410 mAh battery with up to 30 hours of battery life in normal use