Swiss luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer has a new smartwatch, its third in total. Like the previous two, it’s called the Tag Heuer Connected, and it starts at a similarly hefty price tag of $1,800.
And while an outrageous price was sort of excusable when the Tag Heuer Connected first launched, back in 2015, as smartwatches were still a nascent category, it really feels extreme now.
That’s because the new Tag Heuer Connected is based on the aging Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, which hasn’t been updated in *checks notes* two years, and even this processor, as Ars Technica notes, isn’t a significant update from Qualcomm’s earlier smartwatch chips.
Other specs of Tag Heuer’s new Connected smartwatch are decent but certainly not extraordinary: a 45mm case, a 1.39-inch, 454×454 pixel OLED display protected by sapphire glass, a 430mAh battery with 20 hours of battery life, a built-in heart-rate monitor, WiFi, GPS, and 5 ATM water resistance.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with a Snapdragon processor and Wear OS, except for the fact that neither Qualcomm nor Google seem to care about smartwatches very much. The last time Wear OS was updated with major new features was in 2018. Many major manufacturers, including Samsung and Huawei, simply resorted to using their own OS and their own processors to power their watches.
An additional problem with the Snapdragon Wear 3100 watches, which run Wear OS, is battery life. Recently, Chinese manufacturers have been launching cheap smartwatches that don’t offer much in terms of performance, but at least the battery lasts for weeks.
At least with Tag Heuer’s mechanical watches, you were paying for luxury materials.
The $1,800 Tag Heuer Connected has a stainless steel case and a rubber strap — not exactly the epitome of luxury. If you like, you can dish out $1,950 for the same watch with a steel band, or go as high up as $2,350 for a titanium case variant (again, with a rubber strap). You do get some unique, Tag Heuer-style watch faces, though.
Finally, the original Tag Heuer Connected came with an interesting offer: After a while, Tag Heuer promised to trade in the watch for a regular, mechanical one. As paradoxical as this offer sounded, it was still better than nothing. But in its press materials, Tag Heuer doesn’t mention a similar offer for the new Tag Heuer Connected.
One point still stands, though: Even at $1,800, the Tag Heuer Connected is still cheaper than most of its mechanical watches, which typically start at around $2,000 and can go as high as $25,000. So if you want a Tag Heuer watch that’s only very expensive instead of extremely expensive, the Connected might fit the bill.
The Tag Heuer Connected is available now from selected brand shops and retailers, as well as on Tag Heuer’s website.