Tag Heuer last week announced its new generation smartwatch, co-developed with Google and Intel. The new Connected Modular 45 timepiece uses an Intel SoC, runs Google’s Android Wear 2.0, and is listed with 'expanded functionality'. Tag Heuer will also offer a variety of customization options for the new smartwatch and aim to address different market segments with the new product. Furthermore, the watchmaker says that the Connected Modular 45 design could easily fit a mechanical module and be converted into a regular timepiece.

Tag Heuer, Google and Intel formally introduced their first-gen connected smartwatch in late-2015. The wristwatch was the first device of the kind for Tag Heuer and for Intel, and so it was largely a test vehicle for both of them. As it turned out, the Tag Heuer Connected was considered a success by its developers and with the second generation they decided to install a more capable computing platform, a better display and introduce customizable design options. The use of Google Android Wear 2.0 should expand the overall functionality of the new smartwatch, in order to offer more features.

Tag Heuer will offer different configurations of the Connected Modular 45: 11 standard versions available in retail and additional configurations upon request. Each timepiece consists of three key elements which users can mix and match: the watch module, the lugs, and the strap. All watch modules are made of grade 5 titanium 5 with a sand-blasted satin finish (of a chosen color), but users can choose bezels of different colors made of ceramic, gold, aluminum, titanium, and even covered with diamonds. The lugs can match the bezels and thus can be made of aluminum, titanium, ceramic and so on. Finally, the manufacturer will offer a variety of straps featuring different colors (black, brown, red, green, etc.) made of calfskin, rubber, ceramic or titanium.

The central piece of the Connected Modular 45 is, of course, the watch module. The latter is based on the Intel Atom Z3400-series SoC (Merrifield, two Silvermont cores, 1 MB cache) equipped with 512 MB of LPDDR3 memory (down from 1 GB in the previous-gen model) and 4 GB of NAND flash memory. The device comes with a wireless module featuring Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS and NFC as well as a host of sensors, including an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a tilt detection sensor and an ambient light sensor. In addition, the module has a water-resistant microphone and a vibration/haptics engine, but no speaker. The most notable upgrade of the new Tag Heuer smartwatch is the new 1.39” AMOLED display, with a 400×400 resolution and 287 PPI, which is higher than many competing wearable devices. The display is covered with a 2.5-mm sapphire glass, just like many Swiss-made watches. As for the battery, the manufacturer states that it has a capacity of 410 mAh and claims it can last for up to 25 hours.

Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45
Processor Intel Atom Z3400-series
PowerVR G6400 GPU
Storage 4GB eMMC NAND flash
Display 1.39" AMOLED
400×400 resolution
287 PPI pixel density
2-point touch
Display Protection 2.5-mm Sapphire Glass
Wireless Bluetooth 4.1
Sensors accelerometer
tilt detection sensor
ambient light sensor
Battery 410 mAh
Battery life: 25 hours
Charging Magnetic charging cable
Water Resistance 50 meters/50 atmosphere
Color Black, titanium, aluminum, gold, diamond, etc.
Strap Rubber, leather, ceramic, titanium
Dimensions Diameter: ≦ 45 mm
Height: 13.75 mm
Inputs One button, touchscreen
Operating System Google Android Wear 2.0 with phone application by Tag Heuer
Compatibility Google Android 4.3+
Apple iOS 9+
Price Starts at €1600/$1650

All the Connected Modular 45 watch modules are 50 meters water resistant, just like mechanical watches by Tag Heuer. Now, speaking of mechanics, when someone buys the Connected Modular 45, they can easily switch the smartwatch module with a mechanical watch module that Tag Heuer offers: a moderately-priced Swiss mechanical movement module with 3 hands (calibre 5) or an expensive COSC-certified chronograph Tourbillon Heuer 02-T. Both are also water resistant.

One of the things that Tag Heuer has learnt since the launch of the original Connected smartwatch is that there is a market for premium smartwatches. As a result, the Connected Modular 45 will be available at different price points depending on their external finish. The starting price of the smartwatch is $1650/€1600/£1400, but when fully beefed up with diamonds, their price increases to around $7000. Additionally, Tag Heuer offers the so-called Deluxe Box Set that includes one Connected Modular 45 (in grade 5 titanium, with titanium lugs and brown natural leather strap) and one chronograph Heuer-02T tourbillon mechanical module for a total price of €16,650/$17,000 (ex. tax). Both electronics and mechanical modules come with a two-year warranty.

Sources: Tag Heuer, Google, Intel.

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  • frodesky - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    That watch runs Android (without Google Play), not Android Wear. In other words, it'll probably run out of battery before half the day is gone, and it has NO apps aside from ones by the maker that are customized for a watch experience. It's basically dead in the water from day one, and you might as well get an activity tracker watch instead.
  • Notmyusualid - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    @ frodesky

    So you own one then? Nice review pal.

  • frodesky - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    Of course I don't own one - I'm not stupid enough to buy one when I wanted an industry supported OS, like Android Wear ;). There's reviews of it out there that echo my sentiments if you bother to Google.
  • Mathieu Bourgie - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    $1650 for a watch that can only keep time for 25 hours before needing to be charged, during which I can't put the watch on my wrist to do its primary function? That's way too inconvenient.
  • Shadow7037932 - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    Are you staying awake 25 hours?
  • beginner99 - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    Up to 25 hrs...So if you use it probably around 12h.
  • Mathieu Bourgie - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    Of course not, but it's going to be unable to tell me the time the next morning if I don't charge it, say if I'm staying somewhere else overnight, travelling overnight, etc. What if I just don't want to think about it every single night, because I'd much rather think about something else and not live in constant worry about having to charge my watch. Besides, it's just annoying to have to think about charging it every single night, otherwise I'm stuck without a watch the next day. Makes me feel like I'm working for the watch and not the other way around around.
  • fanofanand - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    I would suggest that you are not in the market for a "smart watch" based on what you wrote. You would be better off using your phone to tell time like 99.999999999999999999% of the world. This is a product searching for a market. All smart watches are.
  • LordOfTheBoired - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - link

    I have continued to wear a watch, smart or not, on my wrist because wristwatches are just so much more convenient than anything in my pocket.

    And really, that is the amazing thing about the current world to me: We had the time at a glance and could talk to anyone in the world at any time, and now the "right" way to do things is fishing out pocket watches and sending telegrams. Throw in some robot horses and laser-sixguns and I'll be living in a retro-future western.
  • boozed - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    Other than the price, you've just described almost all "smartwatches"...

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