In Review

Connect Modular 45: TAG Heuer's 'beautiful' smartwatch

Customisable faces offer a library of Swiss watches in one device

Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer has an all-new smartwatch on the market called the Connected Modular 45. The device gives watch enthusiasts the chance to wear a luxury timepiece designed to keep them up-to-date with their home and work lives. 

This is TAG's second attempt at making its mark on the smartwatch market. Its first offering, the Connected, divided fans as it was beautifully designed but difficult to sync with an iPhone.  

We'll be reviewing the latest model to see how far the company has come from its first attempt. The version we're testing comes with a matte black ceramic bezel and brown calfskin strap. It retails at around £1,500. 

One of the main benefits of the Connect Modular 45 is that you can easily change the face, giving you a library of TAG watches to customise. 

Simply swipe right on the watch's face and you can choose from a host of designs ranging from sporty styles to intricately-detailed faces. You're essentially getting a collection of stunning TAG watches for the price of one.

Swapping the straps is easy, but you'll need to pay extra for those. TAG Heuer offer several types of strap, including leather and rubber. Lugs and buckles can be specced, making it exceptionally rare to see two watches with the same design. 

The Modular 45 is powered by an Intel Atom processor that runs the watch's Android Wear operating system. It's relatively responsive to both finger inputs and hand gestures, but it doesn't have the instantaneous feel that an Apple Watch has. 

It also gets the same menu design as every other Android-powered watch, which somewhat sours the experience of owning a TAG watch. 

Still, it's a great way to receive emails, texts and chat messages without getting your phone out of your pocket. Skipping through songs by tapping on the watch is very convenient, as is the GPS system that displays arrows on the device's face to show you where to go. 

Owners of iPhones will need to download the Android Wear app onto their device, where most of the phone's core functions will become available on the smartwatch. There's a growing number of apps on the Google Play Store as well, so Apple users should be able to use the watch just fine. 

Only the vibrate motor lets down the Modular 45's impeccable build quality, as it produces a high-pitched rattle when it sends you a notification. This makes it sound cheap, which is hardly what TAG Heuer owners will want. 

Its thick 0.54ins (13.75mm) body also makes it quite bulky, especially as it doesn't come equipped with a heart rate monitor – a feature that appears on devices that cost a fraction of the TAG's price. 

Nevertheless, the Connected Modular 45 is arguably the most beautiful Android-powered smartwatch on the market and it does feel like a luxurious timepiece on your wrist.

Its biggest advantage is the customisable TAG-designed faces, which may sway those tempted by an analogue timepiece towards the smartwatch instead.

Prices start at around £1,200 for a base-level watch that features steel bezels and rubber straps. Range-topping watches cost £5,700 and come with diamond-encrusted cases and calfskin straps. 

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