In what’s sure to be one of the biggest launches of the year, Tag Heuer’s smartwatch is set to launch in earnest in less than a week’s time. Now, as we’ve seen with the Fossil Q announcement earlier this year, not much seems to be known about these Android Wear devices powered by Intel. The announcement concerning the Tag Heuer smartwatch is set for November 9th, and while there’s not much we know about it or what Intel and Google are planning for the Swiss Smartwatch, we can follow a breadcrumb trail to come up with some conclusions.
Tag Heuer have been known for making watches with a certain mix of classic and modern for some time now, and it’s likely an Android Wear powered smartwatch will continue that heritage. It’s already been said that the Tag Heuer smartwatch will be based around the common design of the Carrera line, the above is a picture of the Carrera Calibre 1887. In the simplest of terms, it’s likely that Tag Heuer is to design something similar to the G Watch R, with the numbers around the bezel but a form factor that will instantly remind fans of a classic Carrera form factor. Considering that Carreras are available in a number of different colors and with a number of different strap options, we have to think that Tag Heuer will be offering at least a number of different options.
A recent teaser site for the watch says that tradition will meet “innovation, craftsmanship [will meet] savoir-faire, and bold style [will meet] breakthrough technology.” Inspired by motor racing the Tag Heuer Carrera line of watches are distinctly “sporty” in their look, without being designed for fitness.
Considering that this is a joint venture between Tag Heuer, Intel and Google it wouldn’t surprise us if there was an Intel chip at the heart of this new smartwatch. Unlike generic ARM processors, such as the Snapdragon 400 which ended up in watches like the Huawei Watch, Intel’s run-of-the-mill processors would be too large and hungry for a watch form factor. It’s more likely than not that some sort of custom SoC (system-on-chip) will be put together using a mixture of Intel’s tiny Quark CPU and sensors found in the Curie platform, announced earlier this year. Intel’s Edison platform, an x86-based system that comes in close to the size of an SD card would be another excellent candidate for something like this.
Either way, anything that Intel have cooked up will be able to run Android Wear without a problem, and as processors from last year and this year across Intel’s lineups have all focused on battery life it stands to reason that the claimed 40-hour battery life is perfectly doable.
Considering that Android 6.0 Marshmallow just launched, it’s likely that Google and Tag Heuer will be using this new smartwatch to launch a Marshmallow-based Android Wear version. The Watch Urbane (pictured above) was launched earlier this year with Android Wear 5.1.1 and it seems like Google is to continue this trend of launching new versions of Android Wear with new hardware, and a Tag Heuer would be a high-profile launch, indeed.
Whether or not Google has worked in new features to Android Wear with the Marshmallow code is unknown, but more interesting is whether the Tag Heuer watch will feature any extras. You don’t land such a big customer without offering them sort of concessions, and a watch from a Swiss name like this could be the first time we see Google relax their control over Android Wear. Can we really expect Tag Heuer to use the same software for their smartwatch as a phone manufacturer like LG? Just how much fiddling around with Android Wear Tag Heuer are allowed to do could become a big talking point when it launches next week, and have a big effect on the rest of the ecosystem going forward.
The Watch Urbane Luxe might be the most expensive Android Wear smartwatch out there, but those stinging from the price of this Limited Edition watch will be happy to hear the Tag Heuer watch won’t be that expensive. It will however, range somewhere in the region of $1,400 and up, if Bloomberg are to be believe. Ouch.
We still don’t know much about this upcoming watch however, so it will be interesting to see just how much it’s announced for next week, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up being the priciest Android Wear smartwatch out there. Either way, keep November 9th pinned in your calendars, and we’ll have all the information for you as we get it.