Regular readers of my “Borrowed Time” series of experiential watch reviews may recall last year’s trip to the MLS All-Star Game in San Jose (for which TAG Heuer was official timekeeper), during which I put the original TAG Heuer replica Connected Watch through its paces. In April, TAG Heuer invited a small group of journalists to Los Angeles for another major event: the celebration of its partnership with the Amgen Tour of California and professional cycling’s BMC racing team, which featured the unveiling of the tournament’s official Best Young Rider jersey, designed by graffiti artist and TAG Heuer “ambassador” Alec Monopoly. For this experience — which included a cocktail reception (and Alec Monopoly art exhibition) at Galerie Montaigne and a dinner at West Hollywood’s legendary Chateau Marmont — I was hooked up with the Modular 45 and free to discover the numerous upgrades from its predecessor and additional functionalities, of which there are many.
A few notable facts about the new Connected Watch and its upgrades:
It proudly bears the “Swiss made” designation. Despite the Silicon Valley technology at its core (you may recall that the watch was the product of a partnership between TAG Heuer replica, Google, and Intel), the watch is designed, developed, assembled, and final-tested in in the same factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds that produces TAG Heuer’s mechanical chronographs. Even the motherboard is produced in Switzerland.
It’s available in 56 different versions — 11 standard models plus 45 other “on-request” versions. Options for the 45-mm diameter case include satin-finished or polished grade 5 titanium, 18k rose-gold-plated, black ceramic, and with or without diamonds. Furthermore, there are 18 different strap variations available — from rubber to natural leather to anthracite gray leather to bracelets in titanium or ceramic. As seen in the graphic at the top, even the lugs and buckles can be independently changed. You’re beginning to get the picture, right? This is a watch that the wearer can truly make one’s own, and we haven’t even gotten to the dial display options yet.
You can use many of the watch’s features even if you’re away from your phone. In a significant upgrade from the original TAG Heuer Connected, the Modular 45 continues to compute, display, and exchange information as long as you are have a Wi-Fi connection and are in contact with the Cloud. Several applications — music, timers, alarms, and the pedometer for counting steps, for example — are installed directly in the watch and require neither Wi-Fi nor a connection to a smartphone to operate. The luxury replica watches also has built-in GPS and an NFC chip to make contactless payments via the Android Pay app — both of which are also non-dependent on a smartphone connections. Of course, when you are in contact with your phone and its apps, the watch will alert you with a soft but noticeable vibration when you have a new text, Facebook message, sports score, et cetera.
Speaking of the Heuer 02-T, that brings us to the final level of versatility and personalization that the Modular 45 offers. As TAG Heuer replica watches CEO and Connected Watch mastermind Jean-Claude Biver had promised when I interviewed him at the initial launch event in 2015, the owner of a Connected Watch Modular 45 can “upgrade” to a more traditional Swiss-made mechanical watch simply by purchasing the “mechanical module” of either the three-hand Carrera Calibre 5 or — depending on your bank account — the Carrera Heuer 02-T, which incorporates both a tourbillon and a chronograph. This was always the concept Biver had in mind when he created the watch’s “Connected to Eternity” tagline. After the L.A. trip, I had a few days back in New York to go back and forth with both the Connected Module and the Carrera Calibre 5 module, and found that it was in many ways advantageous to have both options. Sometimes you simply don’t want to have to drag a big charger along on a trip when you have so many other gadgets and wires to tote around these days. And I especially enjoyed the ability to wear the Mechanical while recharging the Connected. After all, for many of us, going even a short while without a wristwatch must seem like an “Eternity,” right?