We actually quite enjoy watching how connected watches are progressing. We have the all-tech company watches like Apple and Samsung doing them, and we have sports and activity oriented companies like FitBit and Garmin doing them.
And then we have companies like TAG Heuer, which bring something completely different to the game.
TAG Heuer brings serious horological DNA to the game, most easily seen by the different finishes and levels of finish to their latest connected watch, the TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4. It looks, feels, and wears like a real watch. After all, TAG Heuer has had generations of experience with this.
It also has technology, and the stuff we like most is the ability to play with all the possible faces. TAG Heuer has some wonderfully fun non-traditional watch faces that add art and whimsy to the wrist, such as the one with color-morphing and flowing field beside an analog subdial, or the star field. It also has traditional watch faces from their past and present models, and one of those, a chronograph, is actually apparently the most popular. There are also the tech looks that are not as utilitarian as those on meter activity monitors but rather have a bit of TAG Heuer design flair.
The new watch comes in two sizes, but each is a little different. The 45mm is more sport-oriented, and has an external bezel. The 42mm has no external bezel, and is sleek and clean. I would use a rubber strap for the 45mm and a leather strap for the 42mm. Note that the different watch sizes take different straps. TAG Heuer seems rather more concerned about proper watch balance and feel than the tech companies where one strap fits all, if there are even different sizes.
The new watch is slightly different in other ways from the previous model. The crown is a little larger, and the push buttons were redesigned for better ergonomics. The screen is sapphire and high-definition of course.
The TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 is meant to be more usable as a sports and fitness monitor and indeed supported than you might expect. If you so desire, you can call up exercise programs that were created by actual sportspeople and coaches for guided workouts. And rather than computer-generated diagrams, they used 3-D filming to create the images you can follow.
It is interesting to watch the progress that continues with these and all the smart and connected watches. The different makers are really creating different products. And while the backbone is technology, it is really good to see TAG Heuer continue to take a stand for horological history and excellence even as they push forward developing the software and sensors and all. The end result is a product with character and heritage, and technology as support rather than as be-all and end-all.