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The Modular Connected Watch

Following the success of its first Connected smartwatch, TAG Heuer has released the Connected Modular 45 — the Manufacture’s second generation smartwatch and the first ever smartwatch to hold the label “Swiss Made”

Launched in 2015, the Connected saw TAG Heuer team up with Intel and Google to create a smartwatch that combined Switzerland’s watchmaking mastery with Silicon Valley’s technical knowhow. For this year, the collaboration continues with the Connected Modular 45, the collection’s second generation smartwatch. The twist, however, is that this is the first ever smartwatch that can claim to be truly, “Swiss Made”, as TAG has brought the manufacturing and production process in-house.

This new timepiece truly lives up to its name, as all aspects of the Connected Modular 45 — from the watch module to the lugs to the strap to the buckle — are interchangeable. You even have the option of transforming this instrument from a smartwatch to a mechanical watch. Modular, indeed.

Taking inspiration from the Carrera Heuer-01, but with a firm eye on the future, this watch is the epitome of avant-garde. Sized at a generous 45mm in diameter, the watch module is available in an array of materials such as; grade 5 titanium with sandblasted satin finish, 18-carat rose gold plating, or black ceramic, plus a range that includes a diamond encrusted bezel and lugs. TAG Heuer wanted to give its clients an abundance of options and with 56 different variations on offer (11 standard models and 45 on request), we think it’s safe to say it succeeded.



 

Despite its hefty size, the watch module is surprisingly light, weighing just 64.4 grams. It features all the standard elements of a traditional watch, such as a crown with push-button at 3 o’clock (what TAG Heuer calls its “Command Crown”) adorned with the brand’s signature shield, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protecting the dial, and a solid caseback also made of sandblasted titanium. The colour of the watch module’s ceramic bezel varies based on which model you select, however, they all feature “TAG Heuer Connected” lettering and numbers that have been laser engraved with silver lacquer. The “Swiss Made” epithet also appears at 6 o’clock.

As this is a smartwatch, the Connected Modular 45’s sapphire cover glass is actually an AMOLED screen with finger recognition and the module boasts a microphone at 3 o’clock and proximity sensor at 6 o’clock. Its other sensors include: an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a tilt detection sensor, a vibrations/haptics engine, and an ambient light sensor, as well as GPS capabilities and NFC payment options. Despite all the fancy electronics inside, the watch is still water resistant to 50 metres, making it ideal for daily wear and a range of sporting activities.

The processor powering this watch is Intel’s Atom Processor Z34XX, which offers the user 512MB memory and 4GB storage. Google’s contribution is the Android Wear 2.0 operating system allowing the Connected Modular 45 to be paired with smartphones running Android 4.3 and above, and, significantly, iOS 9 and higher so iPhone users are not left out. To ensure constant connectivity, the watch is Bluetooth enabled and Wi-Fi equipped, meaning that it will continue to compute, display, and exchange data while Wi-Fi is available. Other applications, such as those controlling music selection, the timer, the alarm and the pedometer, always remain active even when Internet connection is not accessible.

Offering the wearer more than a full day of power (up to 25 hours according to TAG), the Connected Modular 45 runs on the latest-generation lithium battery. And when its power does run out completely, it takes approximately an hour and 50 minutes to get the watch back up to a full charge. Recharging takes place via a contact charger, which means the watch simply needs to be placed on top to regain its battery life.


 


Along with the Connected Modular 45, TAG Heuer presents the Connected App, a dedicated smartphone application built in-house and available on the Play Store (and in the coming months, on the App Store). This enables you to easily access and control the watch’s content, from selecting the dial face to choosing which registers you want to appear, as well as selecting what functions you want to use. You can even upload images to create a watch face that’s special and unique to you.

The watch’s customisability doesn’t stop at the module, as TAG Heuer offers no fewer than 18 possibilities for the watch’s strap. The choices are seemingly endless, from an assortment of colours to materials that include rubber, natural leather, titanium and ceramic, you can adapt your watch entirely to align with your specific tastes.

Owners of the Connected Modular 45 will also have the option to purchase additional modules for their watch, thus allowing them to retain the smart technology while enjoying such haute horology mechanical modules as the 3-hands Calibre 5 or Chronograph Tourbillon. That’s right, TAG Heuer is offering the COSC-certified manufacture chronograph Tourbillon Heuer 02-T, with a titanium and carbon case as a module option.

The entry level Connected Modular 45 is priced at $2,100, however, for those who want to go all in, a deluxe box set is available that includes a Connected watch (in titanium with a brown leather strap), along with the prestigious Tourbillon mechanical module, as well as an additional black rubber strap. Presented in a watch box with three drawers, complete with a desktop display stand to hold the watch and its charger, this grand case is priced at about $26,600.

With the Connected Modular 45, TAG Heuer has truly been able to merge artisanal watchmaking with smart technology. This is first and foremost a Swiss Made watch, a fact that is immediately recognisable as soon as you put the watch on your wrist. That it is also technologically capable and smartphone ready makes it an even more appealing timepiece for the world we live in today.

Tag Heuer is available in our Perth and Cairns boutiques.



 

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