TAG Heuer Launches the much anticipated Carrera Connected Replica smartwatch in New York sale
Apparently it’s connected, not smart. At least, it’s not obviously smart. The point of TAG Heuer’s Connected replica watches is that it should do everything you can imagine a smart watch should, without committing the sin of looking like one – an ambition that’s not a million miles from George Daniels’ diktat on making the watchmakers’ work invisible.
At the launch Jean-Claude Biver, chairman of TAG Heuer and the driving force behind the project, says he wore one for three weeks without anyone spotting it as TAG Heuer’s leap into the unknown. And bar the tech specs, that is essentially the story, save for the finer design points and the interesting question of how you integrate Silicon Valley connectedness with more traditional horological virtues.
At least that’s what the script says, though I’m not so sure that you’ll really believe this could be mistaken for a normal fake watches uk – and how no-one spotted it on M. Biver’s wrist for three weeks beggars belief.
It doesn’t flash on and off in the same give-away manner that the Apple Watch does, but, with the screen active there’s a strong glow (all the more noticeable given the 46mm size), while the screen fades when resting to almost grey. That cavil apart, the watch does actually look like a watch first, which I think is the point. More importantly, it packs a serious punch in terms of its performance.
The much touted product of intensive work with Intel and Google, the Copy Tag Heuer Connected Watches is the complete expression of Android Wear – as with the difference in experience between iOS and Android, Android Wear is less polished than WatchOS, but freer and more flexible. And it has to be said, as a product of just over a year’s work between the three parties, the Connected Watch has been achieved at serious speed.
The interface is what you expect – the watch dial is the portal through which alerts and data are accessed (though there’s a more conventional scrolling menu for apps as well). Notifications, the little glances that Android’s David Singleton identified as key to the wearable experience (think gate announcements or traffic alerts) are delivered to the watch in the form of “interactive counters”. These appear inside the three counters on the chronograph dial at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock. Tap on these and the underlying app opens up, but the key is that these look like sub-dials until you need them. The watch will have access to both standard Andoid Wear apps and special themes and device specific apps.
As replica watches first and digital sidekick second, the Connected watch strikes a nice balance – so much so that TAG Heuer will allow you to trade in the watch for a mechanical powered version once the Intel part has finally been superseded, a slightly left-field offer that makes the point that TAG Heuer is still in the business of making watches that last (if not quite to the eternity that Biver was insisting on.) The watch head is certainly well enough made to be worth giving a second life though, with its grade 2 titanium case and black carbide-coated bezel.
More important than the cheap replica watches though is the project. This is Switzerland playing on even terms with Silicon Valley heavyweights and showing that such wildly disruptive technologies can be harnessed to the watch industry’s own ends. This is not about telling the time, it’s much more than that, which why LVMH put on its bravest show to welcome Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, and David Singleton, VP of Engineering for Android at Google – Bernard Arnault was there to help. Biver mentioned a marriage between the two most innovative nations on earth and, again, there was a kernel of truth in the hyperbole, as the Swiss will learn from this, gaining expertise that they will undoubtedly make the most of. TAG Heuer has truly caught the train, to use another of Biver’s analogies.