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Our Take

The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 41 is a perfectly-sized smartwatch, with a technical specification that’s superior to its bigger brother, without sacrificing the unique customizability. Yes it’s more expensive than the majority of mainstream Wear OS watches, but it has a definite luxurious air, and we felt pretty special with it on our wrist.

Are there any alternatives?

There are a lot of touchscreen smartwatches out there, and the vast majority cost a lot less than the Connected Modular 41. Although we really like it, it’s very hard to justify the additional cost if you’re simply looking for a smartwatch, and aren’t being tempted by the Tag Heuer brand and Swiss history. The size makes it the most tempting out of its main competitors — the Montblanc Summit and Connected Modular 45 — but the Movado Connect is half the price, and has a less aggressive design, making it more suitable for everyone.

The perfectly sized, most wearable luxury smartwatch on the planet.

If you’re not looking for a Tag Heuer smartwatch, then our current favourites are the $300 Samsung Gear Sport and the $350 Apple Watch Series 3. Don’t dismiss the growing number of luxury hybrid smartwatches either, which offer Swiss credentials and style, without a touchscreen and limited battery life. We love the Frederique Constant Hybrid Manufacture and the Alpina AlpinerX for example.

How long will it last?

The modularity helps avoid that worrying end-of-life aspect of any non-replaceable battery operated smartwatch, but it does come at a price. However, it’s a distinct benefit over other expensive smartwatches. Outside of this, the watch has water resistance to 50 meters, and is made of genuinely tough materials — titanium, sapphire crystal, and ceramic. You’ll have to work hard to damage or destroy the Connected Modular 41.

Oddly, our review watch hadn’t yet received an update to Wear OS, Google’s rebranded version of Android Wear. It’s not missing out on many new features yet.

Should you buy it?

Yes. Tag Heuer has answered the question of what luxury smartwatch you should go out and buy with the Connected Modular 41. By shrinking the size by a few millimeters, Tag Heuer has carried out the impossible: It has created the perfectly sized, most wearable luxury smartwatch on the planet, and we liked it so much it had to be wrestled from our wrist. The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 41 is the ultra desirable, Swiss made luxury smartwatch we’ve been waiting for.

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Screen and battery

Tag Heuer has added a ceramic bezel to the Connected Modular 41, in either a black or polished finish, that adds to the durability. It surrounds a 1.2-inch AMOLED screen with a 390 x 390 pixel resolution. This is a little lower than the Modular 45, but the reduced size means the pixel density is higher, resulting in a sharper screen. It looked great indoors, and the brightness has been increased for outdoor use.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

We experienced no problems viewing the screen outside, helped by an anti-reflective coating added to the crystal, and the effective automatic brightness adjustment. We also cannot overstate the difference the thick slab of sapphire crystal over the display makes to the viewing experience. There is a stunning sheen to sapphire that glass or plastic lacks, which adds considerably to how great the watch looks in person.

We got at least a working day’s worth of use out of the 345mAh battery, but we’d have to charge it every night to ensure two days of use. Battery drain was relatively consistent. Charging is enabled using a disc that magnetically attaches to pins on the back of the watch. There’s no heart rate sensor, but we don’t consider this to be a fitness watch, so we didn’t really mind.

Tag Heuer Connected Modular 41 price and release date

  • Very expensive for a smartwatch, but relatively good value for a Tag
  • Starts at $1,200 / £1,000 / AU$1,600

Just like its bigger brother, the Connected Modular 41 runs Google’s Wear OS operating system, and as such works in the same way as smartwatches like the Huawei Watch 2, LG Watch Style and others from the likes of Fossil, Casio and Michael Kors.

Those examples also take style into account – they aren’t just miniaturized smartphones for your wrist – but the Tag Heuer gets to boast about its name, history and the ‘Swiss Made’ motif to take things to another level.

As such, the $1,200 / £1,000 / AU$1,600 starting price is unlikely to shock those familiar with the rest of the Tag Heuer range, and we suspect those who already own a Tag are the kind of people who see four-digit value in the name and logo on their wrist, as much as what it’s actually capable of.

While the larger Connected Modular 45 offers a wide range of bezel designs (white gold and diamonds, anyone?), the 41 keeps things simple.

Thanks to an online configurator you can choose from titanium or black ceramic for the bezel, then pick from a range of rubber straps, or a titanium bracelet in black or silver. The silver titanium model with a ceramic black bezel ups the cost to $2,100 / £1,700 / AU$2,800.

Новые роскошные смарт-часы Tag Heuer

Роскошный швейцарский часовой бренд Tag Heuer готовится выпустить свои новые смарт-часы. Генеральный директор компании Жан-Клод Бивер подтвердил это в четверг.

В 2015 году Бивер предложил Tag Heuer выпустит второе поколение смарт-часов Connected, к концу 2016 года или в начале 2017 года. Бивер рассказал очень мало о дизайне предстоящего устройства, но сказал, что оно сможет похвастаться GPS слежением с точностью до одного метра, лучшим беспроводным приёмом, большей емкости батареи, NFC, и «более мощным» дисплеем.

Это будет одно из первых устройств, которое начнет поставляться с Android Wear 2.0, операционной системой Google следующего поколения, которая, как ожидается, будет официально запущена в начале февраля. Некоторые функции, включают возможность запуска автономных приложений, то есть часы не должны быть подключены к телефону всё время. Улучшенные опции ввода, облегчат реагирование на сообщения, а поддержка Android Pay позволит осуществлять бесконтактные платежи.

Новые смарт-часы Tag Heuer также появятся и в меньшем размере, направленном на женщин. Это будет сделано в сотрудничестве с Intel, но устройство не будет иметь пометки Tag Heuer «Swiss Made», и будет поставляться в большом варианте цветов и отделок. Корпус часов и их дизайн, сейчас проходит через этап последних доработок в Швейцарии, сказал Бивер. Хоть и не было упомянуто про цену смарт-часов, но они не будут дешевыми, если учесть цену на последнее поколения смарт-часов компании в 1500 $.

Кроме того, пока не ясно, будет ли распространяться предложение об обмене — за дополнительные 1500 $ (89.500 руб.), владельцы смарт-часов Connected могут через дилеров Tag Heuer поменять их на механические часы Carrera. Бивер заявил, что модель Connected продавалась оживленно. Компания Tag Heuer уже поставила 56000 единиц на рынок, превзойдя собственные прогнозы 20000 единиц, в связи с чем, часовому бренду пришлось увеличить производство с 1200 штук в неделю до 2000, для того, чтобы успеть за спросом.

Новые смарт-часы Tag Heuer будут отличатся от других своим дизайном, который отдает дань памяти классическим механическим швейцарским часам Heuer, с титановым циферблатом и двумя классами чисел, которые окружают экран.

Но, на рынке уже есть и другие конкуренты. Роскошный бренд Movado, также начал движение в данном направлении, ещё в конце 2015 года со смарт-часами Fossil, а недавно, рассекретил новые высококачественные часы на выставке Consumer Electronics Show в январе. Бренд Swarovski, также планирует представить свои смарт-часы на конференции Baselworld, в этом году.

Стоимость

Как уже упоминалось раньше, SmartWatch Tag Heuer Connected относятся к классу люксовых моделей, а значит, не могут стоить дешево. Цена девайса составляет 1500 долларов. Однако можно с уверенностью сказать, что эти часы – лучшие из тех, что представлены на рынке умных часов Они выступают как качественный классический бренд, имеющий в себе дополнительные функции.

Представленная модель доказывает, что современные технологии не чужды традициям. И производители, ориентированные на классический дизайн наручных часов могут использовать их в своих моделях. Совершена маленькая технологическая революция, которая может вывести производство девайса на новый уровень, кому как не гигантам своей отрасли их совершать?

Performance and software

Examine the tech, and you’ll see the Modular 41 is the more technically-capable Tag Heuer smartwatch. The Modular 45 was produced in close conjunction with Intel, and once again it’s the company’s technology platform inside the Modular 41. Memory has been increased from 512MB in the Modular 45 to 1GB, and storage increased to 8GB. The watch connects to headphones using Bluetooth, and we tried it out in the gym. Downloading Google Play Music playlists is a pain, as it never completed despite multiple restarts. This may be a software problem though, as we’ve experienced the same problems on other watches.

There is a stunning sheen to sapphire that glass or plastic lacks.

It’s Google’s Wear OS onboard, which is the same as you’ll find on any other Wear OS smartwatch, outside of some Tag Heuer watch faces. Intel has cut right back on development of its wearable platform, which is a great shame. On the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 41 it’s responsive, quick, smooth, and stable. Connection to the watch is also very good, with data tasks happening quickly, including browsing the Google Play Store and using Google Maps The watch’s Intel processor is fast and the 1GB memory helps keep things zipping along.

The watch has NFC for Google Pay, GPS for fitness tracking without the need for a phone, and Google Assistant with a long press of the crown. Sadly, the crown doesn’t control the operating system outside of a button push. It’s a shame a rotating feature to navigate menus isn’t included. The vibration motor doesn’t feel overly aggressive, and the haptics the watch provides are just right. It’s a controlled, unobtrusive “buzz,” which isn’t overly audible, but you still feel it prodding your wrist. I didn’t miss notifications because it was too weak, and they didn’t jolt me to attention with a sharp, noisy alert either. Just right.

Tag Heuer also provides its own app, which we tried on Android. It’s expressly for designing watch faces, and is easier to do on the phone than on the watch, although it replicates functionality. There’s no fitness tracking, workout plans, or data related to activity.

Modularity

The Connected Modular 41 isn’t a watch you’ll throw away when the battery is dead a few years down the line, or one you’ll abandon when you want to wear a mechanical watch, or a different strap. The clue is in the name. You can strip the watch down and change components, changing straps, horns, and even the body itself, if your wallet has the required depth.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

It’s very easy to do, and genuinely increases the lifetime use of the watch, particularly as you can purchase a mechanical Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 watch body. This means swapping out the smartwatch body for a watch that doesn’t need charging, and still uses your existing strap and horns. The same positive design aspects of the connected body apply here too, with the converted mechanical watch looking great on the wrist.

It’s an expensive endeavour though, with the best straps costing several hundred dollars, and the Calibre 5 body itself an extra few thousand dollars. It’s also unique. No other smartwatch company offers such customizability, outside a few straps, and even if you splash out on the Carrera body, the combination is still a “cheap” entry point into Tag Heuer watch ownership.

Design and display

  • Same premium design as the larger model, but in a more compact case
  • Blends the looks of a luxury watch with the touchscreen of a smartwatch
  • Although the case is 4mm narrower, it is almost as thick

Just like its predecessors, the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 41 neatly blends the design of a luxury Swiss watch with the touchscreen, button, microphone and charging connector of a smartwatch. The Tag’s grade five titanium case looks and feels tough but isn’t overly heavy on the wrist.

What we like about this watch – and its larger sibling – is how it doesn’t shout too loudly about what it is. Those who know their watches will know, of course, but to everyone else the Connected Modular is a sharp looking sports watch which (at first glance) may or may not be a smartwatch.

Unlike the square-screened Apple Watch 3, the Tag takes an approach shared by other Wear OS devices from watchmakers: it looks like a traditional watch.

There is a single button at 3 o’clock, mimicking the crown of a mechanical watch. A press of this wakes the watch up (as does a tap of the screen or raising your wrist), then a second press shows a list of the watch’s applications. Press again and you are taken back to the watch face.

Below the button is the watch’s microphone, which is used for speaking to Google Assistant and dictating for when you want to reply to a message.

The watch gets its name from how the strap and lugs can be removed and replaced with alternatives, thus making it a modular design. There is a button where each strap connects to the case; press this while simultaneously pulling the strap towards the back of the case, and it slides free. It’s a simple but well-engineered mechanism and one we feel can be trusted to keep the watch safely on your wrist.

At 41mm across, the Tag Heuer’s case is about the average size of a men’s wristwatch. Though, this downsizing will be welcomed by anyone who felt the 45mm version was just too big for their wrists. However, the new model is only very slightly less chunky, as the depth of the case is 13.2mm compared to the 45’s 13.75mm.

When you consider the Apple Watch 3 is a skinny 11.4mm, you realize the new Tag – while more accommodating than ever before – isn’t quite as compact as it looks when viewed face-on.

It should still slip beneath the sleeve of all but the tightest of fitted shirts (and the strap tapers to a thinner width than on the 45), but it’s still a chunky timepiece. The Tag’s inherently sporty design helps the chunky dimensions look deliberate, and we feel it just about gets away with the case being as thick as it is.

The circular, 1.2-inch (30.4mm) display sits beneath 2.5mm-thick, scratch resistant sapphire glass. It’s an AMOLED panel which has a resolution of 390 x 390, and while this is 10 pixels fewer than on the larger Connected Modular 45, the smaller size means a pixel density of 326 per inch, up from 287 on the 45.

What all that means is the smaller model actually has the higher-quality display – and it’s a lovely display at that. Watch faces are beautifully crisp, with every digit, number, hand and dial looking sharp. You can still tell it’s a digital display and not a real watch face, of course, but it is very pleasing to the eye and easy to read in most circumstances.

We say ‘most’ because it can be tricky to see at a glance on sunny days. Indoors was never a problem, but outside on a bright day we sometimes wondered if the watch had somehow switched itself off, such was the lack of visibility.

A flick of the wrist, press of the button or tap of the display fixes this, bringing the watch to life and replacing the energy-saving monochrome watch face with a bright, full-color and highly detailed face.

Striking a balance between battery life and offering an always-on display bright enough to see outdoors is something all smartwatch makers are still grappling with, so we can’t single Tag out for this.

Finally, the Tag Heuer 41 is water-resistant to a depth of 50 meters, so you can take it swimming without a problem.

More compact design

This is a Swiss-made smartwatch, make no mistake. When Tag Heuer collaborated with Intel on the Connected Modular 45, the chipmaker explained to us how many design and technical alterations were necessary for both companies to be satisfied with the end result. This ranges from the watch body being clamped together with gaskets, rather than glued, to the ambient light sensor being concealed behind the screen so it doesn’t ruin the look.

The commitment to making a true Tag Heuer smartwatch also shines through in the materials. It has a smooth, lightweight titanium body, and sapphire crystal over the screen for example. Does this matter? Oh yes. Titanium makes the Connected Modular 41 so wonderfully light on the wrist. It’s barely noticeable, and very comfortable. Unlike the Connected Modular 45, the Modular 41 doesn’t have a plastic back, giving it an even higher quality feel. The sapphire crystal is 2.5mm thick and subtly curved, providing the screen with more protection and visual depth, At least one person commented that they didn’t know it was a smartwatch at first glance, something that’s due to the beautifully engineered sapphire crystal, and expertly rendered Tag Heuer watch faces.

This is a Swiss-made smartwatch, make no mistake.

What about the size? It’s surprising how much difference cutting back on a few millimeters makes. The body isn’t as wide, and therefore it’s so much better proportioned than the Connected Modular 45. The horns hug the case, and the strap flows from them in a more visually appealing way. The Modular 45 is much more chunky, and alongside the Modular 41 the screen looks massive, yet in reality it’s just 0.2mm wider. Tag Heuer has deftly managed to avoid making the watch too small too. The 38mm Apple Watch skews in this direction, and the 42mm version is far more preferable unless your wrist is incredibly dainty. We think it’s likely to appeal to both men and women because of this

The Connected Modular 41 looked exactly right on my wrist, and I regularly wear very big watches. The lugs didn’t spill over my wrist, so you can see the whole design of the watch when looking at the screen. A luxury watch, smart or not, is worn just as much for our personal enjoyment as it is for functionality, and if it doesn’t sit right, it won’t make your heart pound. That’s important when you’re spending thousands of dollars.

You’re not limited to one model either. Tag Heuer produces seven versions with different straps, and in nine different colors. It’s also great to see the strap has a traditional buckle, and not the more complicated and much larger clasp on the Modular 45. There are also two different strap lengths available, showing Tag Heuer’s thinking about male and female wrist sizes.

The rubber version we tested was small — it wasn’t our choice, but the only non-metal version Tag Heuer had at the time of review — but it still fitted well. The rubber is quite “sticky,” and would catch wrist hair when taking the watch off, because the keeper liked to grasp the strap itself very tightly. We liked the leather strap more, which has a rubber under section, making it more comfortable, more resistant to sweat, and longer lasting too. There are also two titanium metal link bands, which are ultra-light, and the black PVD version does look very swish, however the rubber and leather versions’ wider ends visually fit the watch’s body better.

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