There were raised eyebrows when TAG Heuer slapped a £1100 price tag on its first Connected watch in 2015. The TAG badge appeared to treble the price of a watch that did pretty much what most other £350 smartwatches were doing at the time.
The lure of a connection to the Swiss watchmaker worked its magic and the first Connected was a sell-out, with production volumes increased almost immediately by the brand.
Today TAG Heuer has gone even further upmarket, revealing the 2017 Connected Modular 45 with a starting price of £1400 for the entry-level model, and a set of options that will take the price up to $17,000 (£13,600, excluding VAT).
The key is the modular design of the watch, which allows customers to start their journey with the entry level TAG Heuer smartwatch, which uses the latest Connected watch based on Android Wear 2.0, but buy additional modules including one housing a Calibre Heuer 02T and another using TAG’s Calibre 5 mechanical movement.
The smartwatch module has only 24 hours of battery life, but can be swapped out without using tools for an automatic that will keep working as long as the wearer keeps walking.
Unlike most of the watches that will be presented at Baselworld this month, the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 goes on sale immediately.
At a press conference in Brunen this morning, Jean-Claude Biver, TAG Heuer CEO and president of LVMH Watch Division, revealed five version of the smartwatch connected module in aluminium, ceramic, rose gold, diamonds, and steel.
“After the huge success of the first TAG Heuer Connected watch, today I am very proud to present the Connected Modular 45. This is a Swiss watch which embodies the luxury codes of tomorrow, and which not only enables you to connect to the future, but also to connect to eternity thanks to its simple and smart modular design. This innovative, unique and distinctive watch is at the forefront of the latest technologies available in Silicon Valley and, at the same time, a genuine Swiss watch, bearing the Swiss Made label. It is the incarnation of our leading position with luxury connected watch and with this high level of technology,” said Mr Biver.
Swapping to the mechanical modules is just one option. The Connected Modular also has 18 different straps to choose from, including ceramic, titanium, rubber or leather.
Even the lugs are detachable and can be built up into a collection including version in titanium, gold, ceramic or diamond-studded.
Each additional piece of the wrist-worn jigsaw will be available to buy separately – the sort of repeat business that will have retailers salivating.
Overall, TAG Heuer says, there are 56 possible variations available from day one.
“This innovative, unique and distinctive watch is at the forefront of the latest technologies available in Silicon Valley and, at the same time, a genuine Swiss watch, bearing the Swiss Made label,” Mr Biver declared.