To connect with the future whilst remaining true to the values of the past. Such is the latest challenge undertaken by Tag Heuer with the launch of its second connected watch. With the first version, clients had been offered the possibility, should they not be fully convinced, to exchange their connected timepiece back for a mechanical watch by the end of the two-year warranty period. Now, Tag Heuer is anticipating and releasing a new model, the game-changing Connected Modular 45: through an ingenious attachment system for the different components of the watch, it is now possible to change straps, lugs, buckles, cases and even the central module in a single click. In other words, you can now choose to live in a digital world for part of the day, and then comfort yourself with a mechanical watch just a few hours later. Both the degree of personalization available and the chosen materials provide a deep sense of luxury. Indeed, whereas the first edition of the Tag Heuer Connected was made out of Grade 2 titanium, the new version is now produced in satin-brushed or polished Grade 5 titanium and also offers a wide variety of options when it comes to the bezel (ceramic, stainless steel, aluminium or even 18K pink gold, with or without diamond setting). But luxury is brought to a new level with the possibility of purchasing an additional case with a 3-hand mechanical movement …or why not even a Tourbillon Chronograph for the lovers of horological complications. When it comes to the dial, a huge number of display options is made available: horological dials featuring the typical brand codes such as the famous “Panda” dial, sunray-finished dials with two or three sub-dials…or even personalized dials if you are ready to go through the Tag Heuer Studio. All in all, a total of 56 possible configurations and 11 base-models available in the Tag Heuer boutiques. The remaining options are available through special order. No excuse, this watch has been entirely designed to fit our changing moods and preferences, through easy and complete personalization. Wouldn’t this actually be the true definition of luxury?
Furthermore, innovation is also to be found in the Swiss Made designation of the watch. Indeed, this is the first connected watch entirely imagined, designed and produced in Switzerland. To develop its Connected Modular 45, Tag Heuer imported the Intel know-how in its own factory, thus gaining the capacity to create a luxury watch that combines connectivity and intelligence with Swiss watchmaking know-how. A sort of mini Silicon Valley has popped out of the ground in La Chaux-de-Fonds with the mission of producing the forecasted 150’000 units. This production volume is to be compared to the numbers of the first edition, with 58’000 units produced and sold. To reach this ambitious objective, the brand will obviously rely on rock-solid marketing, a Jean-Claude Biver speciality, but also on the enthusiastic relay provided by the media. For instance, the latter was recently invited to the big product launch organized in Brunnen, the heart of Switzerland, and just a few meters away from the highly symbolic Grütli meadow. In this way, with a fondue fork in the hand and facing a breath-taking panorama, Tag Heuer achieved to definitely connect us to the future.
Ladies and connected watches
What should we think of it? Generally speaking, the connected watch is a brilliant innovation, an essential accessory for us, permanently connected cyber junkies and in constant lookout for our dose of instant information. The market for connected watches represents a total of 40 million watches per year (number advanced by Jean-Claude Biver, though non-confirmed). These could be divided in three major categories: the sporting watch, the high tech watch and the hybrid version proposed by horological brands. My feeling is that women would probably not be very inclined to invest in a sporting watch, unless it has been designed by a famous couturier or that there is a project of climbing Mount Everest. If we look at the high tech watches, their usage is very often too complicated and we end up having to search for the information on our smart phones. What definitely works best is when we have a playful interface, a flawless design and a real added value in terms of applications enabling us to leave our phone in our handbag or back at home, even if only for a couple of hours.
Digital detox or hyper connectivity on your wrist?
Another way of apprehending the connected watch is to see it as a tool for digital detox, enabling us to filter efficiently the flow of information. This can be done through an intelligent and moderate usage of the available technology whilst at the same time keeping the hands as free as possible.
If holding an IPhone enables us to never feel completely alone, to be able to find all these functionalities directly on our wrist will probably further reinforce our sense of security. In that respect, the connected watch can be seen a meaningful technological progress offering a “doping” and reinforcing effect…especially thanks to the GPS option that will show us the way home in case of an overly optimistic jog. Without mentioning the NFC technology that will enable us to spontaneously buy these Manolo Blahnik shoes found at the corner of the street on our way back from this same jog. Very fast, we are getting closer to a complete sense of freedom.
The only issue with this Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 is that we will need a (rather strong) man to accompany us and wear the watch for us. Good-bye the sense of freedom! Even the option of going for the rose gold and diamond-set declinations might not be enough to seduce some of those ladies. Indeed, with its imposing 45mm diameter, this timepiece has achieved to auto-exclude itself from the “boyfriend watch” category.
If only Tag Heuer had thought about women and proposed this Connected Modular 45 in a more wearable format. But as it appears, a 39.5mm unisex version should be presented in October 2017. So stay tuned, as this will be the perfect occasion for us to organize a photo shooting and a detailed review of the piece. In the meantime, we obviously still have here a fantastic present idea for our beloved men!
Just like in the world of fashion, the “see now, buy now” principle is valid here too. The watch is available as of now in the Tag Heuer boutiques, at a selection of trusted retailers as well as on the brand’s website. Price starts at CHF 1’690.-
Tag Heuer also proposes a luxury watchcase comprising the titanium Grade 5 case with titanium lugs and a light brown leather strap, as well as the prestigious, COSC certified, Heuer-02T Tourbillon Chronograph mechanical module with an additional rubber strap. The price of this high-end box is fixed at CHF 17’900.-.
– Macha Vananty