As traditional watches wane, smartwatches continue to gather steam. In just a few years’ time, it’s become common to see Apple’s unmistakable Smartwatch strapped to wrists every where. But as someone who misses the look of a real watch, I’m backing TAG Heuer’s latest addition to the smartwatch catalog that continues its trend of combining the look of luxury watches with the functionality of smartwatches.
The Swiss watchmaker announced its fourth generation smartwatch, called the Connected Calibre E4, in a 42mm and a 45mm offering. TAG Heuer’s experience with smartwatches dates back to 2015 when they released their first attempt, which did have a clunkier look to it. But they’ve since improved on design, with the previous-generation Connected Calibre E3 looking more like a chronograph watch with hidden smartwatch features.
With the latest series, the Connected Calibre E4 still looks like it can pass for a traditional watch, even though it has more features. I can certainly get behind the sleek appeal of these, especially since they don’t look like those bulky smartwatches that were designed for the rugged outdoors. Because sometimes you just want the benefits of a smartwatch without strapping a huge clunker to your wrist.
Updated design — TAG Heuer added a bunch of new features to the Connected Calibre E4 that should keep it more competitive in the growing smartwatch market. The smartwatches have the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+ chips in them and have Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity that allows for faster transfer of your health data to your smartphone. TAG Heuer also included an altimeter, which adds to the existing accelerometer, heart rate monitor, compass, and GPS features for better tracking when using it for outdoor activity.
The 42mm model was built with a 1.28-inch OLED display, while the larger 45mm model has a 1.39-inch OLED display. The company said the battery life of the 45mm model is 30 percent longer than its predecessor, but that both smartwatches can last a full day of charge, depending on what activity mode you’re using it on.
The Connected Calibre E4 is more fitness-friendly now too, since TAG Heuer added a mode for guided workout routines that gives you on-screen prompts and animations so you don’t need to reference your smartphone or TV. In this mode, the watch vibrates when it’s time to switch to the next exercise, and can even be customized to match your current routine.
TAG Heuer said the smartwatches will run on Wear OS by Google for now, but will be running Wear OS 2 by launch. And once the Wear OS3 update is available, users will get the option to upgrade to the new operating system for free.
The price of luxury — There will be three models for TAG Heuer’s 42mm Connected Calibre E4 smartwatches, which start at $1,800 and top out at $2,000 if you opt for the steel bracelet option. The larger 45mm version starts at $2,050 and has a steel case and a rubber strap, but can go up to $2,500 if you want the titanium case option. Both sizes and their respective models will go on sale March 10 on the TAG Heuer website and in stores.
If you’re looking to upgrade your previous generation of Connected smartwatch, TAG Heuer is also letting you trade it in for some credit toward the new Connected Calibre E4. The company said the trade-in program works for all previous generations of their Connected smartwatches, even if they don’t work anymore. The trade-in program opens the same day their latest smartwatches drop.