Hands-On With The New TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4
No stranger to the world of luxury smartwatches, TAG Heuer launched its first line of Connected watches back in 2015. In the seven years since then, we have seen a number of improvements take place. Currently, we find ourselves in the fourth generation of Connected watches, which debuted last month in the form of the TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4. Just last week, I had the opportunity to experience these watches in person. The specs sheet looked rather promising, and the 42mm model seemed like a perfect match for my wrist. As such, I was very excited to get up close and personal with these watches. Today, I’ll do my best to explain what makes this latest generation so special and express how these watches look and feel on the wrist.
As a watch enthusiast and avid runner (who still straps an old, broken Google Nexus 5 to his arm three times per week in order to track the runs using a popular app), I feel that I am more than open to the concept of enjoying this functionality in watch form. So driving up to Amsterdam last Friday with my TAG Heuer Formula 1 on my wrist, I was ready to be pleasantly surprised. Perhaps I even wanted to find something that would make sense in my life. After all, the target audience is clear — active people who enjoy watches. But would I be impressed? Or would the watches fall a little short of my expectations? I’ll answer that in the latter part of my article. First, let’s jump into specs, tech, and pricing of the new 45mm and 42mm TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 watches.
The TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4
Before jumping into the technical talk, it’s worth commenting on the new shape of the Connected Calibre E4 watches. First, the 45mm version has been re-designed. It features sleeker lines and a sporty look that would suit any of TAG Heuer’s mechanical or quartz watches. Unlike other smartwatches out there, the Calibre E4 looks like a luxury watch first. The steel case is beautifully finished, with brushed and polished facets, wonderfully integrated pushers, and a brilliant crown. The new 42mm version has a sleeker, more elegant look that does away with the external ceramic bezel. Both are available on an overwhelming variety of straps. First, there’s leather for a more office-friendly look, as well as a steel bracelet, which is available for both models. However, as much as I love the bracelet, I think the colorful rubber straps are too fun to resist.
Speaking of customizing the watch, TAG Heuer has made a wide selection of different watch faces available. As such, you can change the look of your watch as often as you like. There are watch faces inspired by some of TAG Heuer’s classic models, as well as modern digital faces including animations and displaying all kinds of wellness and activity information. Both new models will include some exclusive watch faces, as well as incorporate reinterpreted classic Connected faces. The brand also promises to deliver a number of new faces throughout the year. If you like, you can stick with your all-around favorite, or even use different faces for different occasions and strap pairings. The potential to mix and match, though not endless, is vast, which makes interacting with the watch that much more fun.
Sports, fitness, and technology
Whether you want to track your steps and average heart rate for a healthier lifestyle, or you want to use the sports app to track your runs, swims, cycling, or golf, this watch has you covered. Each activity has a dedicated watch face displaying the key information, as well as a specific setting on the partner app. This means that the data is processed with a suitable algorithm for the best possible accuracy. One new feature is the inclusion of guided workouts. These can be accessed directly on the watch, where on-screen prompts show you the exercise to do as well as the duration. Three workout modes are available, including upper-body, lower-body, and full-body workouts. There is also a custom mode that allows users to enter a pre-existing workout routine on the app, which is then displayed on the watch itself.
The new TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 watches don’t merely look great and offer tons of functionality and options for customization. If that’s not enough, they also pack a lot of new tech into a relatively small package. First, there’s the screen, which offers the best possible quality in terms of contrast and color in the most adverse conditions. In addition, the sapphire glass has a special coating that makes it virtually impervious to smudges and fingerprints. The 45mm model has also seen a 30% increase in battery life. Both models should last the whole day, though, with intensive use, the 42mm model might need a quick charge while you hit the shower. That said, we’ve been told that a software patch coming later this year will potentially double the current battery life! Other than that, Bluetooth 5.0 makes it easy to sync the watch to your smartphone.
TAG Heuer Connected Caliber E4 — On The Wrist
Other tech features of the watch include an altimeter, heart-rate monitor, GPS, and compass. Thanks to these, the watch can be used on its own for all activity tracking, without the need for the partner app. This latest generation of Connected Calibre E4 watches runs on Google’s Wear OS 2 for now. It will also be upgradable to the latest version when it becomes available. The question is, how do these watches feel on the wrist? Well, luckily, Sofia (our Marketing Manager) and I had a chance to head up to Amsterdam to find out. Greeted at the A’DAM tower, we were able to test both the 42mm and 45mm versions in steel, as well as the 45mm black DLC-coated titanium model. After being introduced to some of the features, we were allowed to play with the watches, and I have to say, we were both pleasantly surprised.
Having a bias for the 42mm version, I couldn’t believe how wearable the 45mm watch was. It actually suits my seven-inch wrist perfectly. My first impression was that these watches didn’t feel like gadgets or traditional smartwatches. Thanks to the wonderful case shapes and beautiful finishing, they felt like watches first, and gadgets second. The color and contrast on the screen were extremely impressive. Even when I tried, it was almost impossible to see a fingerprint on the glass. And despite the sunny and bright conditions, the display remained legible, bright, and clear. The rubber straps were comfortable and easy to size thanks to the well-executed steel clasps. As for the bracelet and leather straps, we didn’t get a chance to see them, but going on the rubber alone, I don’t think they will disappoint.
Is the TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 a watch for me? I think it could be! It would certainly help out in my day-to-day life, thanks to its calendar, messaging, and activity-tracking features. And though I went into the meeting fully convinced that the 42mm version would be the one for me, I left knowing that the 45mm version in black DLC-coated, sandblasted grade 2 titanium is the one I would want to call my own. These watches are perfectly executed, putting watch enthusiasts first and tech lovers a close second. I feel that their existence doesn’t threaten TAG Heuer’s other offerings. If anything, it complements them and makes the future of Swiss luxury watchmaking a little bit more future-forward and exciting.
Pricing starts at €1,700 for the 42mm version on rubber, followed by the 45mm steel watch on rubber at €1,950, and the titanium watch at €2,400.
But don’t let me have all the fun! What are your thoughts on the TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 watches? What do you think of smartwatch offerings from luxury brands in general? Let’s discuss this in the comments below.
As a final note, you’ll notice I didn’t cover a lot of the more tech-heavy specs (processors, pixels, etc.) Should you wish to know more, you can find all of this information directly on the TAG Heuer website.
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