TAG Heuer's Director of strategy and digital development, Frederic Arnault, talks about Connected, the new smartwatch in the luxury segment.
Frédéric Arnault is the fourth son of the head of LVMH, one of the world's wealthiest men Bernard Arnault. Already at the age of 23, Frederick started working at TAG Heuer, the youngest brand of the group's watch division. Two years later, he and his team released the new TAG Heuer Connected, a smartwatch designed to change the gadget market. Frederick Arnault, TAG Heuer
You are very young, but you have become a leader in the most avant-garde brand of the LVMH group. Does this mean that you understand TAG Heuer's target audience best?
I have always felt a special connection with TAG Heuer --- my first watch was the Aquaracer Chronograph. My father gave them to me when I was 11 years old. So I sank into a very interesting time in the world. TAG Heuer today is about innovation, modern technology combined with tradition, a close connection with sports, and a growing audience. Importantly, TAG Heuer watches remain affordable, so young people can afford them. All this is to my liking, and we will continue to change to meet the expectations of new generations. This also sets TAG Heuer apart from others --- as long as the leading brands hold on to their history, we do not abuse it and want to be modern, drawing inspiration from other areas, including the fashion world.
You've been wearing the new Connected for longer than anyone else. Are you happy with the new product?
When I joined TAG Heuer, I became responsible for digital technology, so working with smartwatches was also my task. At that time, two models were already available in the Connected collection-46mm and Modular 45mm. They showed excellent sales, above expectations. At the same time, the market was growing rapidly, so it was a good idea to invest in further development to become the leader of the luxury segment of the smart watch market. TAG Heuer Connected
What do you think is more important for a smart watch-appearance or software?
At the very beginning, we believed that the main thing is the design, because Connected is a smart watch that looks like a mechanical watch. Among the tasks that we set for ourselves was a very ambitious one-to create the most beautiful smart watches. Therefore, we worked hard on the appearance and selected materials. It is important that the watch has become completely round. We also paid special attention to accessories and interchangeable straps. But in the process, we realized that we need to pay more attention to the digital component: working on a user-friendly application, frequent software updates.
How many people work on the software?
The new generation of Connected is the result of a well --- coordinated work of a large team-several dozen people, no one has such a large team. An important advantage of Connected over mechanical watches is the digital dial, so your watch screens can be changed more often than your watch straps. At the same time, we tried to make both interpretations of our most popular TAG Heuer Carrera watches for those who would like their smartwatches to look both mechanical and fully digital versions of the dials. They focus on sports functionality --- yet Connected is often used for sports. The watch has special modes for walking, running, Cycling and, uniquely, for Golf. Our developers have already planned an increase in sports. For golfers, at the end of April, we will release a special version of Connected.
What brands will the new product compete with?
I don't think we have any direct competitors, because there aren't many players in the luxury smartwatch market. Therefore, we rather look at the leaders-Apple and Samsung, as well as Garmin and Polar-to understand which features of their products are more popular with users.
TAG Heuer Connected
The new Connected is the third generation of TAG Heuer smartwatches. The main achievement of their creators is that they managed to find a reasonable balance between the classic chronograph and the functions of smart watches, including tracking Golf, running, Cycling and fitness. When your morning jog is over and you have a business meeting, the Connected screen is replaced with the famous TAG Heuer Carrera dial with a single tap, and the bright rubber strap is replaced with a strict steel bracelet.
Diameter: 45 mm
Thickness: 13.5 mm
Watertightness: 50 m
Display: on organic LEDs, 1.39 inches, 454×454 pixels
Rechargeable battery: 430 mAh battery, a full charge in 1.5 hours
Usage time: 20 hours, including 1 hour of sports activities, or 6 hours during sports activities (\
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100
Operating system: Wear OS by Google TAG Heuer Connected
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