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TAG Heuer's $1,500 luxury smartwatch proves luxury smartwatches make no sense

TAG Heuer's $1,500 luxury smartwatch proves luxury smartwatches make no sense
TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer is one of the world's premier Swiss watchmakers. It's been making fine watches since 1860. So when the company announced it was releasing its first-ever smartwatch, both techies and watch collectors got excited. Then yesterday, the watch was finally revealed, and it looks like a million bucks. Unfortunately for your wallet, it costs 1,500 bucks. It also looks, well, just like a watch:

It's called the TAG Heuer Connected. As far as style goes, it's definitely one of the most attractive wrist computers on the market. It's round like the Moto 360, but it doesn't have that unfortunate "flat tire" at the bottom of the face. It reminds me a lot of the LG G Watch R, but with an extra dash of refinement and class. For $1,500, it better look expensive.

But when it comes to what's inside the watch, you're going to be disappointed. It has a fairly typical 1.5 inch display that has 240 pixels-per-inch (PPI). For comparison, the $350 Apple Watch Sport has 326 PPI. It has 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 1.6Ghz dual-core Intel processor. The processor is admittedly a bit faster than the LG G Watch R or the Moto 360, and there's twice as much RAM, but all-in-all, it's not a very appreciable step up for an extra thousand dollars or so.

The TAG Heuer connected runs Android Wear, the exact same version as other Android smartwatches, except it does have some custom TAG Heuer apps and watch faces.

One unique thing that sets the Connected apart is its interesting two-year warranty and replacement program. Basically, you have a full warranty for two years, then at the end of those two years, you can pay TAG Heuer an EXTRA $1,500 and get a replacement watch. This replacement won't be a smartwatch. It's a regular mechanical watch that looks just like the Connected.

That doesn't sound like such a good deal, and it isn't. In fact it perfectly illustrates the big problem with luxury smartwatches like this or the gold Apple Watch Edition.

I bet somewhere in your family tree, you have at least one piece of heirloom jewelry that gets passed down through the generations. For many families, it's a fine Swiss watch. Since the 19th century, if you owned a TAG Heuer watch and kept it in good repair, you could expect it to last forever. You pay a premium for it, but it will stay in your family line forever.

Can you imagine doing that with a computer or cellphone or, in this case, a smartwatch? They're obsolete in one to two years, never mind one to two centuries! Why spend $1,500 on something you just have to replace in a few years when you can get a much better device for a third the price?

It seems like TAG Heuer recognizes this issue, which is why it created that (ludicrous) replacement program. If you want a luxury watch, you should invest in a classic. If you want cutting-edge tech, check out our smartwatch comparison chart.

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Source: Ars Technica
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