TAG Heuer’s smartwatch - now in the Middle East

As the Carrera Connected is unveiled in Doha, we take a closer look at what AED 5,500 of Android tech gets you.

Neil Churchill February 23, 2016

It’s hard to know if the watch industry blinked at all when Apple released its smart watch in April last year, confirming to the world that the high-tech wrist pieces were to be taken seriously.

They probably shrugged off the digital competition as child’s play. But, in the hills outside Geneva the world’s leading watchmakers have definitely blinked now, as for the first time global sales of smartwatches have outsold Swiss traditional pieces. 

One watch brand however would have read the news with a smile, as it is the only maker to have a foot – or should that be wrist – in both camps. We are of course talking about TAG Heuer, and its Carrera Connected.

It’s a fitting time to take stock of TAG's smartwatch, as it is unveiled to the Middle East for the first time today at the Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition, and will go on sale in the local market in Spring. 

Using android software and an Intel processor, the Connected watch has been designed to look like a classic Carrera. The 46mm sapphire crystal touchscreen has three faces to choose from: the 3-hand dial, the chronograph and the GMT. All faces come in black, deep blue and pearl white and act like a real mechanical dial, with shadows under the hands and sunburst effect in light. 

While the watch shows the time in the traditional sense, information from your apps is shown in the three counters on the chronograph dial. If you want to see more, tap the dial in question and it enlarges to full screen mode. The crown at the 3 o’clock position contains controls too.   

Made from titanium, the Connected comes with a few in-built apps and you also have access to the thousands available on the Android Wear platform. Plus, TAG has included some classic mechanical functions, including a timer, alarm and stopwatch. 

The watch has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection, comes with 4GB of memory, microphone to take voice commands and is water resistant. The ever-important power supply is a lithium battery that provides a full day’s lifespan; just remember to charge it while you sleep. 

But above all of that, the coolest part and biggest USP that the Carrera Connected has, is that you can trade it in after two years for a real mechanical TAG Heuer watch. Giving the watch back, plus putting down a further AED 5,500 gets you the real deal – consider it a two-year payment plan. 

It’s a clever move by TAG to snap up young watch enthusiasts now – encouraged by the brand’s younger and social media friendly ambassadors – who in their late twenties and thirties may fancy buying their first mechanical timepiece, and will already have the TAG philosophy installed in their minds. 

Will it work? Time will tell, but for now TAG will enjoy reading more news of the smartwatch vs. mechanical battle. It’s a win-win. 

AED 5,500. tagheuerconnected.com