The first Swiss-Made connected watch has arrived. Following up on last year’s TAG Heuer Connected – which had sales of over 56,000 units! – the Swiss watchmaker is back with a new and highly-customizable model: the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45.
The Connected Modular 45 runs the recently launched Android Wear 2, and like its predecessor, it’s based on an Intel chip. Unlike the original Connected though, just about every part of the Modular 45 can be swapped, from the straps, to the buckles, and lugs, and even the watch module itself. That’s right, you can change the electronic module with a mechanical watch module, which not only gives you extra customization options, but it ensures that your expensive watch won’t become obsolete in just a few years.
Thanks to the mechanical module that’s included in the package, the Connected Modular 45 qualifies for the Swiss Made label, which denotes that it’s made in Switzerland with predominantly Swiss components. That wasn’t the case with last year’s Tag Heuer Connected. It might not sound important to you, but watch aficionados – and the Swiss watchmaking industry – take the distinction very seriously.
You can choose from a multitude of straps, finishes, materials and colors, across 11 base designs and 45 additional options that are available on special order, including premium materials like rose gold and diamonds. In total, there are 500 different design combinations, enough to satisfy the pickiest buyer.
If you decide you want to switch between the digital and mechanical modules, you can do it yourself, thanks to a clever mechanism that doesn’t require using any special tools.
The 45-mm watch module features a 1.39-inch AMOLED display covered in 2.5-millimeter-thick sapphire glass. The watch is made of sturdy titanium, and if you’re so inclined, you can dive down to 50 meters without fear of damage.
Specifications are on par with recent Android Wear 2 devices, with the major difference being the processor. It’s an Intel Atom Z34XX, as opposed to the Snapdragon chips used on most other smartwatches. You get 4GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and the battery is good for 24 to 30 hours on a single charge. There’s no heart rate sensor, but the presence of an NFC antenna means you will be able to use the Connected Modular 45 to make Android Pay payments, smartphone-free.
Google Assistant will be baked in, as with any Android Wear 2 device, but Intel will equip the Connected Modular 45 with its own brand of AI. It’s not clear for now what features this AI software will enable, though Intel promised it would stand on its own compared to Google’s Assistant. The AI will be added to the watch’s firmware via OTA at a later point.
You didn’t expect the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 to be cheap, did you? The smartwatch will cost $1,650 in the United States, slightly more than the 2015 Connected. That’s the base version, adding fancier elements will make the price closer to $10,000. It will also go on sale in the UK, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.