The TAG Heuer Connected: A Luxury Smartwatch
The TAG Heuer Connected was the first smartwatch from a Swiss luxury watch company. It combines the Carrera's looks with smart technology like apps, wifi, and GPS. Some models boast modular construction, so you can also use a mechanical caliber.
The Carrera With Smart Technology
In a November 2015 interview with WatchTime, then-TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver explained: "If you know about the brand, you know that its motto is 'Swiss Avant-Garde Since 1860.' A connected watch is avant-garde, no? If we are truly avant-garde, we need to offer a connected watch." The Connected lives up to that philosophy. It combines the technology of a smartwatch with the look and feel of a luxury watch, specifically that of the famous TAG Heuer Carrera.
The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer teamed up with two of the tech industry's biggest names to develop the first-generation Connected: the microchip specialists Intel and internet behemoth Google. While Intel provided the Connected's heart in the form of the Atom chip, Google was responsible for its Wear OS operating system. TAG Heuer's own designers are behind the case, bands, and virtual dials. The use of virtual dials means you can change your watch's face to any of a number of the Carrera's historical designs with a simple swipe of the finger.
The Connected Modular debuted in 2017 and is TAG Heuer's second-generation smartwatch. While technologically similar to the first generation, its modular construction allows the wearer to change the watch module with minimal effort. In fact, TAG Heuer offers mechanical modules with the Carrera Calibre 5 or chronograph Calibre 16 in addition to the smartwatch module. You can even get a version with the in-house caliber Heuer 02 Tourbillon. Furthermore, the lugs, bands, and clasps can all be easily exchanged to fit your current mood or style.
TAG Heuer abandoned the modular concept for the third generation of Connected watches. Instead, these smartwatches use cases nearly identical to that of the Carrera, including the presence of chronograph push-pieces. Once you've selected the right virtual dial, the 2020 Connected is hard to distinguish from its mechanical counterpart.
5 Reasons to Buy a TAG Heuer Connected
- A smartwatch with the design of the TAG Heuer Carrera
- An Android operating system with access to thousands of apps
- The Connected Modular: a replacement module with the in-house Heuer 02T caliber
- Models in titanium, ceramic, or rose gold
- Connected Modular Full Diamonds: the world's most expensive smartwatch
Prices at a Glance: TAG Heuer Connected
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Generation, size, material|
|SAR8A80.BF0605||1,100 USD||1st, 46 mm, titanium|
|AWBF2180||1,800 USD||2nd, 41 mm, titanium|
|SBG8A10.BT6219||2,000 USD||3rd, 45 mm, stainless steel|
|SBG8A80.BT6221||2,300 USD||3rd, 45 mm, titanium|
|ACBF2A80||3,300 USD||2nd, 46 mm, titanium|
|SBF8A8011.62FT6079||3,500 USD||2nd, 44 mm, titanium, diamond bezel|
|SBF8A8001.11EB0099||16,000 USD||2nd, 45 mm, titanium|
How much does the Connected cost?
The most affordable TAG Heuer Connected models come from the first generation and cost around 1,100 USD. Prices for the Connected Modular largely depend on the module and components. You can find a smartwatch module with a titanium case for as little as 1,300 USD, while those with rose gold components, diamonds, or a mechanical module demand between 1,800 and 4,700 USD. The versions with a Heuer 02T model top the price range at roughly 16,000 USD. Third-generation Connected watches are much more affordable at approximately 2,000 USD.
The First Generation With a 46-mm Case
The first generation of TAG Heuer Connected watches bears the reference number SAR8A80. Despite being a stately 46 mm in diameter, this watch weighs only 52 grams thanks to its titanium case. It comes on a rubber, stainless steel, or leather band. The large TFT touch display is made of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and has a resolution of 360x360 pixels. The same ceramic bezel with a minute scale found on many Carrera models surrounds the dial. Instead of turning, the stationary crown serves as a home button. Be sure to keep this timepiece away from water; it's only water-resistant to 30 m (3 bar, 98 ft). This means you can wash your hands with this watch on but should take it off before showering.
As a smartwatch, the Connected can do much more than show the time. You can download apps for it in the Google Play store. The apps range from activity trackers and weather apps to those for following your favorite sports teams. TAG Heuer has also designed numerous dials for you to download. Each watch has 4GB of storage and the ability to connect via Bluetooth or wifi.
Plan to spend around 1,100 USD on a mint-condition first-generation Connected on a black rubber strap. Models with a colorful strap usually cost around 120 USD more. You'll have to dig a bit deeper in your pockets for the versions on a stainless steel bracelet or leather strap. Never-worn models generally sell for around 1,400 USD.
Second Generation: A Modular Construction, GPS Capabilities
In 2017, TAG Heuer released this collection's second generation in the form of the Connected Modular. At first glance, this newer timepiece bears a strong resemblance to its predecessor. However, it's available in two sizes: 41 or 45 mm. That being said, the Connected Modular's greatest asset is its modular construction. These watches are made up of several different components that you can change out at will. You can choose from titanium, ceramic, or rose gold lugs; various rubber, ceramic, or stainless steel bands; and clasps in different materials.
At the center of every timepiece is the smartwatch module, which still comes in titanium and with durable sapphire crystal. Inside, you'll find the familiar Intel Atom processor. The 45-mm edition has 512MB of processing power and 4GB of internal memory, while the 41-mm Connected has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. New features include the display. TAG Heuer chose an AMOLED display with a resolution of 400x400 pixels. These displays are especially bright and easy to read, even in direct sunlight. What's more, the engineers place both an NFC and a GPS chip in each watch. This means the Connected Modular supports services like Google Pay and Google maps.
Prices for this versatile smartwatch are as varied as the different potential component combinations. They range from around 1,200 USD for the 41-mm version on a rubber strap all the way to 3,600 USD for models with a diamond-studded bezel.
Mechanical Modules With a Chronograph and Tourbillon
TAG Heuer takes advantage of the modular construction in another special way: In addition to a smartwatch module, these Swiss watchmakers also offer modules with automatic mechanical calibers. This allows you to transform your Connected Modular into a three-hand Carrera with a date display using the Calibre 5 module. Perhaps you'd prefer the Calibre 16 module, which turns your watch into a genuine chronograph based on the Valjoux 7750. The module with the caliber Heuer 02T is wonderfully refined. This in-house chronograph movement features a tourbillon.
The modular system has yet another benefit: You can save a lot of money compared to the cost of a proper Carrera. The Connected Modular 41 Automatic Calibre 5 module sells for about 1,800 USD, a solid 660 USD less than the Carrera Calibre 5. You can purchase the module for the Connected Modular 45 Automatic Calibre 16 for about 3,300 USD. This is roughly 1,000 USD less than the comparable Carrera Calibre 16. Even the so-called Connected Modular "luxury kit" with the in-house Heuer 02T movement is a steal. The kit contains the smart and automatic modules as well as a leather and a rubber strap. It costs around 12,500 USD – only a few hundred dollars more than what you'd spend on a Carrera Heuer 02T on its own without a smartwatch.
Connected 3.0: Classic Looks, Smart Interior
TAG Heuer announced an entirely reworked Connected in 2020. This third generation does without a modular construction and, instead, uses nearly the same case design as the mechanical Carrera. It measures 45 mm in diameter and, at 13.5 mm thick, is slightly flatter than previous generations. TAG Heuer offers the Connected 45 in stainless steel, as well as sandblasted or black-coated titanium. A minute track adorns the stationary ceramic bezel. Finally, the push pieces and multifunctional crown enable the wearer to navigate the watch's menus.
Of course, you can also use the touch screen instead. The OLED display is 454x454 pixels and protected by scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Furthermore, its entire surface can respond to touch.
TAG Heuer also made some major changes inside the watch. For example, its power now comes from a Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 processor optimized for Wear OS. It has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of memory for storing apps.
You can find a pre-owned Connected 45 on Chrono24 for as little as 1,900 USD. The titanium edition will set you back roughly 2,300 USD. Those who like to spend their weekends on the golf course should take a closer look at the Connected 45 Golf Edition. While technologically identical to its sister models, it features green accents on its crown and bezel and a white rubber strap with green stitching. Furthermore, it comes pre-installed with the Golf app, which contains information on over 4,000 golf courses around the world. You can call the Connected 45 Golf Edition your own for about 2,600 USD.