When one thinks of a smartwatch, the first thing that comes to mind is undoubtedly the Apple Watch or Samsung Gear. Likewise, when one thinks of a traditional watch, brand names such as Rolex, Breitling and, yes, Tag Heuer come to mind. Therefore it’s always a dubious claim when watches claim to be a hybrid combination of both – that they’ve found the perfect balance between technology and aesthetic. The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45, however, seems to have done just that, displaying all the characteristics of an authentic Swiss timepiece while packing in the functionality and utilitarianism of a smartwatch.
Released in 2015, the Connected was the first sign that the hitherto traditional and orthodox watch brand was serious about embracing technology. It was a big deal, considering that the watch was something of an experiment for Tag Heuer, a company that has existed since 1860 and focused almost exclusively on producing luxurious analog watches. And while they’ve broadened their production scope to include wearable tech, their classic timepieces are still available if you know where to look. You can often pick them up from watch dealers on online marketplaces like this one or find them in a number of jewelry stores.
The Modular 45 is the second generation of the Connected line. It retains the tasteful appearance as its predecessor but has had its software overhauled and super charged. Running Android Wear 2.0. and sporting a 400×400 pixel AMOLED display – a huge advancement over the previous low-resolution face of the last model – the Modular 45’s performance is far smoother and faster. And with its Intel Atom Z34XX processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage, it packs a marvelously powerful punch for its moderate size. It’s slick, cool, and the type of gadget you might find in a Bond or science fiction film.
Its true secret lies with its modularity. To stand-out in the burgeoning high-end smartwatch market, Tag Heuer have constructed the watch to be modular, allowing for more than 4000 different configurations. This means it’s rare that two watches will be configured in the same way, meaning the watch can be individually tailored to each wearer’s preferences.
Keeping with Tradition
Despite its high-tech interior, the Modular 45 has kept true to its Tag Heuer roots. The company has designed a timepiece that, to all intents and purposes, is a true Swiss watch with an authentic Swiss movement. The only caveat worth mentioning is that while most of the watch’s moving parts were made in the Switzerland, it was necessary for some of its inner hardware to be imported from Silicon Valley.