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The Swiss watch industry fired its first significant shot across the Apple Watch's bow with the Monday revelation of TAG Heuer's Connected smartwatch, sporting a classic design, a titanium case, and a $1,500 price tag.
The "Connected" is modeled after TAG's famous Carrera watch, swapping the standard face out for a 1.5-inch circular LTPS LCD touchscreen display. It's sheathed in a nearly identical titanium case to its mechanical dopplegÃ¤nger, and ships with a choice of colorful rubber straps.
The watchmaker has chosen to outfit the Connected with only a basic suite of sensors, including a gyroscope, tilt detection — likely in the form of an accelerometer — and microphone. Absent are advanced biological sensors, like a heart rate monitor, commonly found in other Android Wear smartwatches.
Bluetooth 4.1 and 802.11 b/g/n/ WiFi make up the connectivity suite. TAG Heuer has partnered with Intel for the device's processor, which the company describes as a 1.6-gigahertz dual-core unit with 500 megahertz "normal operation speed."
1 gigabyte of RAM and 4 gigabytes of flash storage round out the technical specifications.
The most interesting feature is not a feature at all, however. After two years, TAG will allow Connected buyers to swap their old watch — plus another $1,500 — and receive a mechanical TAG Heuer watch in return.
The TAG Heuer Connected is available now for $1,500 from TAG Heuer retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada. An international rollout is scheduled soon.