Another major TAG Heuer sports sponsorship announcement, another whirlwind press trip to attend said announcement, and — best of all — another opportunity to wrist-test one of the brand’s newest models — in this case, version 2.0 of the original TAG Heuer Connected Watch, dubbed the Connected Modular 45. And boy, is it modular.
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 watches ebay 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.
By far the most fun aspects of the Modular 45 are the almost infinitely customizable dials. As on the original Connected Watch, this one’s high-resolution OLED touchscreen face is based on the classical design of the TAG Heuer Carrera, but within that general aesthetic universe there exist many variations. Like its non-modular predecessor, the watch offers “interactive counters,” or the option to replace the digital chronograph subdials on the iconic tricompax Carrera dial with other useful displays based on the watch’s apps: if you’re a fitness freak, you can display calories burned at 3 o’clock, steps taken at 6 o’clock, and an alarm reminder at 9 o’clock, for example. However, while the 1.0 version of the Connected Watch had just three analog-style Carrera dial options — three-hand, three-register chronograph, and GMT — TAG Heuer has developed 30 styles for the Modular 45. The roster includes white, black, light gray, anthracite gray, chocolate brown, navy blue and gold colors, all with sunray finishes; and three-hand, skeleton, day-date, GMT, and one-, two- and three-register chrono designs. Vintage Carrera enthusiasts can even call up an electronic version of the classical Panda dial. Here again, you don’t need your phone to initiate the customization; just swipe your finger from right to left on the touchscreen crystal. With the watch in my possession only a few days, it was impossible to try them all out, but it was good to know that there was a look for just about any set of clothes you’d want to match.
Yet even these 30 styles are just scratching the surface of the customization capabilities. The Modular 45 comes equipped with the TAG Heuer Studio function, which allows the wearer to create what must be hundreds of different combinations of style, color and detail. With a simple step-by-step process that the watch guides you through, you can control such subtle aesthetic details as the type of metal used on the indices and hands, the types of Super-LumiNova highlights, even the placement of lacquered tips on the hands. Needless to say, I took great advantage of the TAG Heuer workshop options during my trip to La-La Land. I dialed up (sorry) a bright orange three-hand day-date look for afternoon swimming and pool lounging. Later, after getting decked out in a gray suit-and-tie combo for the evening festivities, I assembled a sunburst-finish anthracite gray three-register chronograph look. Said evening events included the cocktail party/sponsorship announcement and the dinner at Chateau Marmont, to which guest of honor Mr. Monopoly wore his own personally customized popular TAG Heuer replica watches — though in his case, the watch was the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02-T tourbillon watch, and the customization was a grafitti finish he’d applied with a spray paint can… but I digress.
The TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 sells for $1,650 and comes in a very handsome presentation case with three drawers and a desktop display stand. Once again, my brief experience with a TAG Heuer Connected Watch left me wanting more, i.e., more time to try the various dial configurations, more apps to install and try out, more opportunities to put its various functions to practical use. And it also left me very intrigued about what the brand could possibly have in store for us in the inevitable Version 3.0. A Monaco design, perchance?