The head of TAG Heuer stated that the company’s upcoming Android Wear smartwatch will cost about $1,400 when it goes on sale later this fall. The TAG Heuer Android Wear watch is an exciting new addition to the traditional product line that TAG Heuer have.
TAG Heuer was founded in 1860 in Saint-Imier (Switzerland) and one of the most respected watch brands in the world with a long tradition of high quality “sport watches”. Many probably know TAG Heuer from their Carrera line . TAG Heuer began as Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG, founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer in St-Imier, Switzerland. The company was purchased by Techniques d’Avant Garde in 1985, when the Heuer brand became TAG Heuer. In 1999, TAG Group sold TAG Heuer to French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH.
The name TAG Heuer combines an abbreviation for Techniques d’Avant Garde and the surname Heuer.
TAG Heuer first announced its plans for an Android Wear product in March. Intel will provide the hardware for the smartwatch. Jean-Claude Biver, the head of TAG Heuer, revealed the $1,400 price tag of the still unnamed smartwatch to Bloomberg. He added that the device should go on sale sometime in October or November, and that its battery life should last up to 40 hours.
TAG Heuer is one of the first large watchmakers that has started to embrace the new smartwatch era that is coming our way. The stylish and sportive luxury watch brand is showing the entire watch industry that luxury, class and tradition can go together very well with innovation and state of the art digital technology. TAG Heuer is hoping to take this new customer segment by storm and give potential customers out there a real high quality alternative to the “common” Apple Watches and Android watches that are out on the market today.
The TAG Heuer CEO (Biver) commented on the launch of the Apple Watch:
“I hope they sell millions and millions and millions of them,” Biver said, speaking ahead of the official opening of a Hublot boutique in Dubai Mall. “The more they sell the more a few people will want something different and come to TAG Heuer.”
First reactions to the TAG Heuer smartwatch
The first reactions on TAG Heuers move into this new industry and step away from solely focussing on the creation of mechanical watches was received with a bit of scepticism from the Android Wear community.
Not all Android Wear (smartwatch) fans are truly convinced that TAG Heuer will bring something new to the table. If TAG Heuer do not “combine” their traditional strength in analog timepieces with the new technology and “only” add a new outer shell to already existing smartwatches, it might not actually add a lot to the current set of available watches out there.
One person wrote (scoty024 @android central)
They are correct, TAG isn’t building a watch here, they’re building an Android Wear case. Here the $1,500 price tag isn’t a reflection of the construction and accuracy of a time piece, it’s only a reflection of the case and strap build quality… and the brand name.
I feel that this is a logical reaction to a somewhat more expensive price point than the current smart watches that are on the market today. I think we need to understand that the target group that TAG Heuer are trying to reach are not the typical Android Wear users, but a new (more settled and traditional) luxury customer segment that do not feel are being served well with the watches that are on the market today.
Tag Heuer Carrera Wearable 01
In an interview with Wearable, TAG Heuers CEO confirmed the name for their first Android Wear smartwatch. It will carry the name “TAG Heuer Carrera Wearable 01”. The name is very closely related to the Carrera – Heuer 01, that was presented at the watch fair in Basel (Switzerland) early 2015.
The name shows that the smartwatch will be very closely related to the regular Carrera – Heuer 01 and will follow the same or a similar build type. The form factor will be very important for a premium brand smartwatch and the TAG Heuer fans will not be disappointed.
The launch date will most probably be November 2015. Only a few more months to go and we’ll finally know what the real watch will look like.
Tag Heuer smartwatch: Battery life
In an interview, Biver boasted that the new Tag Heuer smartwatch will have a battery life of 40 hours. That’s much better than the Apple Watch but next to mechanical watches and hybrids such as the Withings Activité, it doesn’t look so hot. Time will tell if Tag’s customers are enamoured enough with the smart features to put up with charging an expensive watch every two days.
Wareable has been told by Tag that the Android Wear smartwatch will be upgradeable. We spoke with UK communications manager Alexandra King, who revealed that a key focus would be the lifespan of the product.
“The watch will change the technology as it develops, Jean-Claude Biver was clear about that. We want to be able to change the technology but keep the watch elements,” she told us.
“If your child completed their Masters degree, you might want to give them a watch. We want to create something that will stay on your watch for a lifetime, that’s what Tag Heuer does. And as the technology changes, it will change,” she added.
TAG Heuer vs Apple Watch vs Moto 360
With the introduction of the Apple Watch (and its high price points), Apple have opened the smart watch market up to a new customer segment that were not interested in these “cheap” toys before. These users want to feel that they have something that not everyone can afford and own. Something exclusive, something special. I feel that this is exactly what TAG Heuer would like to create, an awe effect and something to dream about – and not a product for the masses.
If TAG Heuer do not live up to the high expectations of bringing a new innovation to the table and creating a “new generation” of best of breed traditional watches with the newest technological advances, it might rightfully so not suffice to compete with the Apple Watch or Moto 360 (of which one could buy 10 at a price tag of 1,500 Dollar).
Fact is, the traditional watch industry is moving forward and are taking the threat of smart watches very seriously. Luckily they are not just complaining about the new technology, but actually joining in on the fun and bringing something to the table that non of the current tech companies can truly bring; traditional craftsmanship and unparalleled luxury beyond merely using a gold “sugarcoating”.
As soon as the first version is out there, I would love to be able to have a closer look at it and report back to you with more insights.
Source: Bloomberg, “content” and images: Android Central