TAG Heuer experimented early with smartwatches when it first announced a partnership with Google and Intel and created its first connected timepiece in 2015.
LVMH stablemate Hublot followed in 2018, but only with limited editions created as part of its Official Timekeeper status at the 2018 FIFA Football World Cup in Russia.
This week, both brands have unveiled smartwatches, in the case of Hublot, a completely new concept for its Big Bang e, and from TAG Heuer, an improved suite of applications for the third generation of its Connected model made for golfers.
Hublot’s launch is the more significant, because it is a full-throated attempt to establish the brand in the smartwatch space.
The Big Bang e comes in titanium or black ceramic and adopts many of the Big Bang family’s signatures such as the sandwich construction of the 42mm case, the design of the screws and pushers and its rubber strap.
It is also waterproof to 30 metres.
The central AMOLED touch screen is a window into applications that run on OS by Google, but the outer ring of the watch has physical hour markers that will still be visible when the screen is dark.
Hublot’s slogan, the Art of Fusion or the #HublotLovesArt movement, is seen in a partnership with artist Marc Ferrero, who has created eight special dial styles that mark the top of every hour with a five second animation.
Disappointingly for Hublot’s authorised dealers, the watch is launching online and available for sale at Hublot.com, and will only later be offered at its own stores and those of retail partners. Dealers hate this sort of preferential treatment, particularly when they have to tell customers that are reading about the Big Bang e today, that they need to go direct to Hublot.
The titanium model is priced at £4,300 and the black ceramic version is £4,800.
TAG Heuer Connected Golf Watch
TAG Heuer’s contribution is an improvement to its Golf App, which helps golfers navigate around courses with 3D mapping, hazards distance, shot tracking, scorecards, pro stats and a new Driving Zone feature.
The company launched its first Connected Golf Watch in 2019, and this year’s version builds on the same package built on OS by Google. It has a 45mm mattte-black DLC-coated titanium case and rubber strap, onboard GPS, heart-rate monitor, compass, accelerometer, gyroscope, NFC and microphone.
It will go on sale for £2,100.
“The TAG Heuer Connected Golf Edition further solidifies our leadership in the luxury smartwatch segment with a one-of-a kind timepiece thoughtfully crafted to boost the player’s game and stand out on the course. Playing with a TAG Heuer Connected is a true game changer that will give any golfer an immediate competitive edge,” explains Frédéric Arnault, TAG Heuer’s Chief Strategy and Digital Officer.
“Marrying form and function in a brand-new way, it offers a smooth, easy-to-use and performance-oriented digital experience not only for golf, but many sports and everyday activities as well. Every detail has been purposefully engineered to help refine the player’s strategy, improve their accuracy and remove the guesswork so they can focus on enjoying the game, without compromising on elegance and style.”