TAG Heuer has yet another surprise for watch enthusiasts and connoisseurs. Five long years after the launch of the first TAG Heuer Connected, the Swiss watchmaker has now launched the latest version in 2020. By combining elegance and top-notch craftsmanship with state of the art technology, TAG Heuer has created a whole new domain of physical as well as technical user experience. The emphasis has been on performance but at the same time aesthetics have not been forgotten.
New TAG Heuer Connected 2020
The 2020 edition of the TAG Heuer Connected builds on the previous models while adding a bunch of sophistication and refinement. The timepiece is hands down the most advanced smartwatch that the Swiss horologist has ever created. The watch consists of a combination of details, some of which are more subtle than the others. Another key element that makes the all-new Connected 2020 important is that TAG Heuer especially designed it to last as long as possible without the need to replace it. The battery, for instance, can be easily removed and replaced in this one. Secondly, this time around, the watch has a partner in crime in the form of a mobile application. This way users can be informed about new watch faces and the latest updates.
A Little Backstory
TAG Heuer entered the smartwatch market back in 2015. Around this time, the then CEO of TAG Heuer, Jean-Claude Biver described the smartwatch as ‘a marriage between Switzerland and America’. Well, this was a much dumbed-down version of the truth. In reality, it was more of a complicated relationship between TAG Heuer, which took the responsibility of the design department, Intel, which developed the watch’s hardware, and of course, Google, which had its hands full with the operating system. The result of this harmonious congregation resulted in the first smartwatch from the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer.
In 2017, TAG Heuer launched the Connected Modular 45, the brand’s first truly Swiss-made smartwatch. Since the timepiece was assembled at TAG Heuer’s Swiss workshop in La Chaux de Fonds and 60 per cent of the total costs were incurred in Switzerland itself, it became eligible for the aforementioned title. What made this timepiece different was that users could now switch from a smartwatch to a mechanical watch thanks to the newly introduced modules. The Connected Modular 45 was powered by the Intel Atom processor Z34XX. It also ran on the Android Wear 2.0. This allowed users to install and use standalone applications without the need for an actual smartphone.
The Modular 45 aimed at increasing user engagement and it succeeded at it. The watch was the first to introduce the TAG Heuer Studio that enabled the customization of watch faces. Users could choose from around 30 distinct designs and personalize specific features such as the colour.
The Present: The Connected 2020
It should be pretty clear by now that the new addition to the Connected watch family is here for the long haul. The watch is an ecstatic amalgamation of a chronograph inspired design and a top-class digital experience that strives for an excellent as well as versatile performance. The 2020 edition is different from its predecessors and by different, I mean better. Ranging from day to day services offered by Wear OS from Google to a holistic active life experience provided by the new TAG Heuer Sports application for activities such as running, cycling, golf, and walking, Connected 2020 really hits the sweet spot.
The company wanted to make this more of a watch than a gadget. Perhaps that is why this TAG Heuer watch feels like it was developed by a single party. Not only that but the dual pushers and the crown, which also has a scroll function, help the user navigate through and use the watch’s features such as the chronograph and other sports tools. To think of it, the user does not have to engage with the touchscreen at all to use the watch. Not that it matters but as mentioned earlier, the idea is to make it feel more like a luxury watch than a mere gadget.
The touch screen itself is a wonder of technological charisma. The OLED screen has been teamed up with a sapphire crystal resulting in the best looking screen in the entire range of Connected smartwatches from the brand. The focus, once again, has been completely on making this piece of technology look more like a conventional luxury watch rather than a contemporary smartwatch. Each of the stainless steel and black PVD-coated titanium watches has elements that help them achieve this. For instance, the new ceramic bezel introduced in the 2020 edition of the Connected series is also a facilitator for the antenna underneath it. Had it been a metallic bezel, the antenna could not have received any signals.
Everything about the watch screams ‘active’ and that is why TAG Heuer wanted to make sure of it that using time and activity tracking on the Connected is as effortless as walking in a park. Along with the numerous tools, the watch also possesses a GPS and a heartbeat monitor, which together with the accelerometer is a spectacular combination when it comes to the activity tracking experience. When it comes to the luxury appeal of the smartwatch, the function that truly pops up is the chronograph that can be activated by using the bottom pusher. Both the pushers can then be normally used to navigate through the chronograph just like in a mechanical watch. Another function is the vast variety of activity tracking. The beauty of this function does not lie in the exclusivity of it but in the way it is presented and based around the luxury factor of the technology-oriented timepiece. This brings us to the next subject of discussion.
Some of the smartwatch’s most brilliant features are the pusher buttons and the crown. While the pushers do exactly what you think they do, they work the chronograph, the crown is both a scroller for the user interface as well as a pusher. The watch comes with a beautiful combination of analogue as well as digital watch faces. Many of these come pre-loaded while the creative team at the company will regularly release in-house designed watch faces that could be downloaded via the TAG Heuer Connected mobile app. Speaking of watch faces, the Connected 2020 also has an ‘always on’ mode that allows for an idle version of the watch face which is not as bright as it usually is but is sufficient for viewing the time.
As far as the hardware of the watch is concerned, it is definitely a whole new level that we are looking at. When compared to its predecessors, the TAG Heuer Connected 2020 is not only way better looking but also functionally miles ahead. One attribute that stands out quite well is the slim profile of the smart timepiece. The watch is much thinner than the previous models in this series. At 45 mm width and just 13.5 mm thickness, the Connected 2020 by far the most handsome of the lot. The heartbeat monitor is seated at the back of the case and the timepiece itself has a water resistance of about 50 meters.
Despite being a smartwatch, the target audience of the TAG Heuer Connected 2020 is not the smartwatch loving gadget enthusiasts. Instead, its home ground is among the luxury watch aficionados who want to experience newer things and at the same time want a luxury watch on their wrist. While the company’s aim would always be to expand the horizons of the customer base of the TAG Heuer brand, it is also trying to emphasize the importance of this smartwatch as an entry gateway to the world of mechanical watchmaking. What Quartz watches failed to do in terms of keeping the users interested, smartwatches accomplish in a mind-blowing fashion. At the end of the day, it is all about the richness of the wearing experience and the Connected 2020 has it all.