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TAG Heuer Hosted a Watch Party and Everybody Came

The brand rolled out a new generation of its smartwatch.

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CONNECTED.”

Just two weeks ago, that word had an entirely different meaning than it does today. What a difference two weeks make. Hell, what a difference a day makes, amiright?

On Thursday evening, March 12, in an event space near the High Line in the West Chelsea section of Manhattan, a new, innovative smartwatch was launched by luxury Swiss watch brand TAG Heuer. The event was likely the last of its kind for a while, as the brand flew in watch journalists from across the continent (including yours truly) as well as from the United Kingdom (guests from other European countries had already been banned from travelling to the U.S. just days before), and because there were far more than 50 people in attendance doing the exact opposite of social distancing. Journalists from major consumer and lifestyle publications were there, as were editors and executives from popular watch publications, both print and online. And while the majority were greeting one another by bumping elbows in lieu of kissing thrice on opposite cheeks (it’s a Swiss thing), there was still a feeling of positivity and of unity. The watch industry is filled with intuitive people, and we all realized quickly that we were likely seeing one another in person for the last time in a while.

This recent generation of the brand’s smartwatch, simply called Connected – the third in TAG Heuer’s collection since the brand launched its first smartwatch in 2015 – is, by far, its most adventurous and advanced yet. While design-wise it’s not too far off from the first smartwatch TAG Heuer introduced, the watch’s technology is much more extreme (five years is a long time in the tech world) and its features are now geared more toward those with an active lifestyle.

The Connected watch measures a surprising 45mm in diameter. I use the word “surprising” because after years of writing about watches, I’ve developed a decent eye when it comes to knowing what the diameter size is of a watch once its on my wrist, yet when I put on this TAG Heuer, I had guessed it was about 42mm to 43mm. The watch, even on a woman’s wrist, doesn’t come off as some monster piece of workout equipment, but rather a regular, larger-sized timepiece.

Photo Gallery (6 Images)

Available in the stainless-steel or the titanium cases, the design of the Connected watch pays homage to previous TAG Heuer chronographs, with its outer characteristics including the brand’s signature faceted lugs, polished and brushed details, graduated ceramic bezel, central rotating crown, functional pushers, screwed case back, and both bracelet and strap options (with a quick-release system for easy changing).

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But for those who cycle, run, golf, track their steps, and do other physical activities, the TAG Heuer Connected watch offers a built-in GPS and heart-rate monitor to enhance the individual’s athletic lifestyle through daily connected services offered from Wear OS by Google.

Frédéric Arnault, TAG Heuer’s chief strategy and digital officer and the man who has led the project since its beginning over a year-and-a-half ago, said: “The watch was engineered with the same passion and attention to detail as our mechanical watches. Quality of execution is paramount in everything we do, and we never compromise on aesthetics or emotion. The Connected watch is not only a beautiful timepiece, it’s a truly immersive experience, as it now sits within a complete TAG Heuer digital ecosystem geared toward performance and sports.”

Arnault, who presented the brand’s latest release in person at its New York event, added that the watch “expresses the brand in a completely new way and offers limitless possibilities in terms of innovation for the future.”

The event had no shortage of celebrities in attendance, including TAG Heuer Brand Ambassadors and Women’s World Cup Champion team members Ali Kreiger and Ashlyn Harris. The recently married couple mingled among the crowd while sipping champagne, jamming to tunes being spun by Atlanta deCadenet Taylor (daughter of Duran Duran bassist John Taylor) and posting to their own social media accounts about the newest TAG Heuer release. Both women were not only incredibly friendly and approachable, but thanks to the extraordinary PR and marketing team at TAG Heuer, they also agreed to meet with my daughter the following day for a more intimate interview during a brand photo shoot as a surprise for her 10th birthday. TAG Heuer was really the first major, recognizable Swiss watch brand to embrace the smartwatch movement nearly five years ago. The brand understands that connected watches are not here to replace mechanical timepieces any more than phones replace them, but that the two can live together in harmony. The TAG Heuer Connected watch takes that harmonious idea one step further by recreating the look of a mechanical timepiece – at least, from afar – while offering all of the beneficial attributes that a smartwatch provides. The brand is thinking outside of its own box right now, and by employing young masterminds like Arnault, it’s showing the rest of the watch world that they don’t have to fully give up on their own brand DNA in order to embrace technological advances and a mindset that is younger, fresher and more forward thinking.

Barbara Palumbo is a watch and jewelry industry writer, journalist and speaker. She manages the blogging websites Adornmentality.com and Whatsonherwrist.com.

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