We admire Tag Heuer for going all-in on the smartwatch movement, while most of its Swiss rivals remain on the sidelines. This is now the company’s third smartwatch, so clearly the formula is working and enough are being sold to make developing newer models worthwhile.
This is good news for both the smartwatch and traditional watch industries, demonstrating how they can live side-by-side, and even stray successfully onto each other’s turf.
The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 41 is of course beautifully built and exudes a sense of quality that most other smartwatches lack. From its plush, oversized box to the selection of beautiful watch faces to pick from and customize to your taste, the Connected Modular 41 feels like a quality and well-thought-out product.
But underneath the glamour, it is still just a Wear OS smartwatch like any other. It performs the same tasks, runs the same software, and even falls behind in some key areas, like the absent heart rate monitor.
Who’s this for?
With a starting price of $1,200 / £1,000 / AU$1,600, the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 41 of course isn’t for everyone. It is for a tiny sliver of the market who want a luxury Swiss watch, but one which can do more than merely tell the time.
Buyers may well have other watches with four-figure price tags in their collection, but fancy dipping a toe into the smartwatch waters to see what all the fuss is about.
Those interested in the Connected Modular 41 will likely see the Apple Watch 3 as too common, too obvious, and may already own other Tag Heuer models, so are fans of the brand.
More specifically, this 41mm version is for those who feel the 45mm is too large but want the same set of features. It just so happens that they get a better display and improved performance too, and for less money.
Should you buy it?
Even if you are in the market for a four-figure watch and fancy something with a touchscreen, Wear OS and everything that entails, we should issue a word of warning. It is unknown if a smartwatch bought today will receive software updates to keep it stable and functioning just a few years down the line.
Where a mechanical watch of this value could be passed down to your children or grandchildren, it is very unlikely that a smartwatch will be of any use by then. Look at how this Tag Heuer does not work with smartphones running versions of Android or iOS that are more than a few years old; one day, this watch will no longer work with your latest smartphone.
Tag or Google may issue a final software update to keep it working as a watch, but the smartness would be gone. Perhaps that will make it an interesting, quirky and rare timepiece years down the line, but you shouldn’t bank on it.
By all means, go ahead and buy this watch if your budget allows - you’ll be getting a true luxury smartwatch - but remember that time is unlikely to be kind to it if you do.
First reviewed: May 2018