Luxury meets Tech
Last month, luxury Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer announced Connected, its first smartwatch. The exquisite watch was made in collaboration with Intel, runs on an Android operating system and costs £1,100 ($1,500).
Tag Heuer isn’t the first high end brand to merge luxury with technology – Hermes launched a branded Apple Smart Watch this year and Apple offers a £8,000, ‘luxury’ gold Apple Watch – but it is the first to actually create its own high end smartwatch.
Tag Heuer is making inroads into a nascent market: luxury tech. It’s a market that’s forming from the union of two previously exclusive elements: slick, ever-evolving tech and elegant, long-lasting luxury.
Traditionally, tech and luxury have been viewed as at odds. On the one hand, technology has a tendency towards fast obsolescence, and on the other, luxury celebrates the owning of one well made product for a lifetime.
Tag Heuer are trying to bridge the divide with a beautiful, impeccably crafted timepiece – and by slapping an upgrade option on top (of sorts). After the two year warranty is up on Connected, owners can exchange the smartwatch for a classic mechanical Tag Heuer Carrera watch.
The exchange is not quite a technology upgrade – and it certainly doesn’t ‘futureproof’ the watch – but it represents Tag Heuer’s dedication to customer service and prolongs the longevity of the investment. In other words, it captures the essence of what people expect when they buy luxury.
While the gap between luxury and technology is still not fully bridged, Tag Heuer’s Connected smartwatch is emblematic of how wearable technology is maturing. Luxury buyers want the latest tech, but they want it elegant, well made and carefully designed.
How technology and luxury will intertwine is something only time will tell (excuse the pun), but Tag Heuer’s Connected tells us that something exciting is brewing in this new market, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.