Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver said his company has been building mechanical watches for 155 years but knew little about building an Internet-connected device that younger buyers would want. So it partnered with Intel and Google in what he calls the "marriage of Watch Valley and Silicon Valley."
Various manufacturers have made watches using Google's Android Wear system but they typically look more like mini computers on the wrist rather than a traditional watch.
Luxury comes with a price: the Tag Heuer Connected starts selling in the U.S. on Monday for $1,500 (roughly Rs. 99,500). By contrast, the cheapest Android Wear watch costs $129 (roughly Rs. 8,500). Sales in Japan begin next week and in other countries in Europe and Asia by the end of November. Apple Watch has a luxury edition, with a case made of gold, for $10,000 to $17,000 (roughly Rs. 6,63,500-11,28,000). The regular Apple Watch starts at $349 (roughly Rs. 23,000).
The Tag Heuer Connected adopted the company's Carrera Calibre mechanical design and uses premium materials, including titanium lugs and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal screen. Straps come in a choice of seven colors.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said Tag Heuer showed his engineers the design elements desired and worked with Google to tweak the Android Wear software for it.
"Our teams have brought what they are uniquely good at and have fused together something that is bigger than the sum of its parts," said David Singleton, a vice president of engineering at Google.
Tag Heuer Connected measures 46mm and is about 12.8mm in thickness. It weighs just 52 grams. The smartwatch comes with Titanium Grade 2 case that includes horizontal and vertical fine-brushed titanium lugs; "Tag Heuer Connected" lettering engraved with silver lacquer; Black, sandblasted, carbide-coated titanium bezel with anti-fingerprint coating, and is also IP67 splash-proof water resistance.
The Connected Android Wear smartwatch sports a 1.5-inch LCD touch screen with a resolution of 360x360 pixels and comes with a pixel density of 240ppi. It packs a 410mAh battery which the company touts can deliver up to 25 hours battery life based on typical usage. Under the hood, the smartwatch is powered by a 1.6GHz dual-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM. It comes with 4GB of inbuilt storage and comes with gyroscope, tilt detection sensor as well as microphone.
The smartwatch is compatible with Android 4.3 and above while also supports iOS devices (iOS 8.2 and above). Connectivity options include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Written with inputs from AP