In November 2015, TAG Heuer announced a dedicated smart watch dubbed “The Connected Watch”. The watch itself was nothing really ground-breaking, using existing Google and Intel technology, but in the case of what appeared to be a large TAG Heuer mechanical watch. I was on stage for the launch, and the difference between this TAG Heuer and say, oh, I dunno, the Apple Watch, is that the TAG Heuer featured the form factor of a traditional wristwatch. I think many were skeptical about the legs of such a product that was 46mm in diameter with a price of $1,500 using technology available elsewhere for far less â but it has seemingly worked. And what’s more, as of today, this watch is now available in solid rose gold. Price? $9,900.
Above is the video we recorded with HODINKEE CEO Kevin Rose, a man who knows a little bit about technology and personable wearables. It’s clear he wasn’t convinced that there was a place for such a product, in particular at this price point. And I agreed â I was outright skeptical. But then we talked with Jean-Claude Biver about what his actual goals are with such a watch, and it all began to make a little more sense. This watch isn’t looking to compete with the Apple Watch â how could it, really? What the purpose of such a product is is to simple siphon a small fraction of the Apple Watch users into the world of TAG Heuer â in hopes that it will then lead them to purchasing a mechanical watch, or two, or three. And remember, after two years of owning a TAG Connected Watch, you can easily upgrade to a mechanical watch in the same shape.
And now, some months after Apple subtly removed their own solid-gold offerings from the Apple Watch family, we see a solid gold TAG Heuer Connected Watch. Price? $9,900. Now I don’t suspect TAG thinks will be the most popular watch in the world â but likewise I don’t believe that’s the goal here. Just to sell a few of them to make a statement â the same thing they are doing with the existing version, that’s what they’re after. If I know anything about how Mr. Biver thinks â and over the years, I’ve seen him in action many times â I am wondering today, the day TAG launches a solid gold digital watch, if this decision wasn’t made simply to prove that to the west coast of the United States that indeed, they might have the brain power, but Switzerland has the brand power to sell what is essentially a disposable gold watch.
I am wondering today, the day that TAG launches a solid gold digital watch, if this decision wasn’t made simply to prove that to the west coast of the United States that indeed, they might have the brain power, but Switzerland has the brand power.
Think about it â TAG Heuer, to most people in this country and others, is a luxury brand. Apple is too, but in a different way, and on some level, I can see people (at scale) being more comfortable spending $10,000 on a gold TAG than a similar price point on a gold Apple watch. Only time will tell, and again, I think many of us doubted that TAG had any place at all in the smartwatch world, and frankly they don’t, but we’ve seen that the TAG Connected Watch absolutely does have a place as the market leader as a smartwatch from a Swiss brand, whatever that is worth.
Find em at your local TAG Heuer authorized dealers this fall. More here.