The press event combined all of the glamour that you’d expect from the launch of a new top end Tag Heuer watch. There were sleek and snazzy videos, dimmed lights, showcase stands and razzmatazz as Tag executives lined up to show the world their latest watch – the $1,500 Tag Heuer ‘Connected’. Keen observes may have been slightly surprised therefore to see Intel executives in attendance, and those who recognised the Google executives may have been all the more surprised. The attendance of execs from perhaps the worlds leading technology company is not, after all, the usual expectations at a luxury watch launch. Except this was no ordinary luxury watch launch – this represented the day that Tag Heuer, in partnership with the aforementioned companies, launched the era of the luxury wearable. The ‘Connected’ just lifted the smartwatch into the next dimension.
Smartwatches have been a curious aspect of the wearable technology scene for some time now. As the ‘big brother’ of the fitness band, they supposedly represented the next technological frontier. The reality has been quite different though. Often painfully short of unique features which your smartphone, ubiquitous and always ‘on’ the person in question, was unable to already do, these devices have often case looked too techie, looked too tacky and have failed to appeal. Curiously, they have failed were the even more gaudy fitness bands have succeeded. They have entirely failed to break the business crowd.
Perhaps the smartwatch has trodden a little too close to the luxury fashion space. For many men – who remain the most prodigious early adopters of such tech – their watch is one of the very few pieces of jewellery that they will ever own and wear. The fitness band can sit on the other wrist, a statement of the fit and and healthy life you live – but you’re not likely to wear two watches, and to date the smartwatch comes second to the smarter time-piece. However, perhaps in a heart beat, the Tag luxury offering has changed that?
Gone is the plastic look and feel. Gone is the bright and frankly often-case obnoxious colour schemes. Gone is the slightly retro 1990’s sports watch design. In comes the shell of a luxury watch, complete with the brains of a next-gen smartwatch. Perhaps then, in comes a whole new era for the smartwatch.
For in a heart beat, the smartwatch goes from being not quite useful enough to warrant replacing your better styled time-piece, to a no-brainer. For, if you can get all of the design that a classic time piece from a company like Tag can offer, plus the smart features of a smartwatch, at a price thats in line with, if not lower than you’d expect to pay for a Tag, then surely this suddenly became a no brainer.
In a heart beat, has the smartwatch can from niche to the future of all time pieces? Because what we’ve really wanted all along is a traditional watch but with the smart features. We don’t want to sacrifice style, because a persons watch is a big style and status statement. But, if you can throw in some computing features, then we’re suddenly very interested.
Tag Connected – Redefining the luxury smartwatch sector with new smart-features
So what do you get with this device? Firstly, a host of the sorts of features that you’d expect from any smart device. So your step counting, your raft of notifications and other alerts, fitness toolkits and weather alerts. However, this watch is actually more like a concierge service spread between your smartphone, via the app and your wrist. This is all powered by ‘Insider’
Insider is the companion app. Its third party to the three way Tag, Intel and Google collaboration, but has been customised to work optimally with this Tag watch. It delivers lifestyle tips, fashion advice and timely travel information to you on the go, spanning 300 global cities. The information is crowdsourced from some of the worlds leading content producers, brands and exerts in the various fields. So expert advice on what you should wear, where you should go and what you should do when you visit a new city for the first time. It quite literally gives you the inside track on cities from the people who know it best.
All of this has left Tag Heuer hugely bullish about the market and where its going. Make no mistake, this company just bet big on the smartwatch and wearable tech sector, and here’s the proof. The company are offering a very interesting money back guarantee. If you go to their store and buy a Connected, and if after two years you don;t like it – and don;t believe that a smartwatch is for you, then the company will swop it for a traditional mechanical watch. No further questions asked. Its an irrefutable money back guarantee and it represents a significant statement of intent from Tag.
Tag believe tat if you buy one of these watches, that you’re going to fall in love with it. They clearly think that this represents a pivotal development in the entire smartwatch sector; the moment that it lifts from niche to norm. I am inclined to agree. The inclusion of the companion app and smart features are the bonus that sites on top of what is a fantastic looking Tag watch, as a standalone regular watch this would sell well. Its at a great price point, it looks fabulous and it has some innovative and actually added-value smart features. The concierge style app elevates it, highlighting the premium-ness of the brand and acts as a constant reminder that you have acquired a classic piece of mechanical machinery, with real prestige.
With this, I believe that Tag have just launched the era of the smartwatch. Forget the pretenders who came first, they have their place, but this space is made for the collaboration between the companies that can nail the styling (think Tag) and the companies that can smash the brains element – and who better then Google and Intel? A watch has to look great, as in the age when we can simply flick our phone out and check the time, it stands for so much more. Adding features to a watch which a smartphone cannot do is an act of folly in many ways, so it needs other value, it needs to play to the styling, it needs to play to the fact that you literally can wear a watch 24/7 whereas you WILL put your phone down. That’s where the value sits, and that’s where the sports and fitness features come in, and the step tracking, and all of the other goodies. They’re nice to haves though, as styling is so key in this space. Finally, thanks to tag, it has arrived.