Buying anything technological is pretty much the opposite of buying a posh watch. In replica watches shop, white-gloved assistants scurry to your side to make you feel important.
In your average High Street phone shop, even catching someone’s eye is a major achievement, and asking about the phones is about as rewarding as asking supermarket staff in-depth questions about the carrots.
Smartphones and smartwatches are disposable: proper, ticking watches aren’t. So Tag Heuer walks a tightrope with its Connected smart replica watches – which are both painfully expensive (like watches), and also liable to be outdated in two years’ time (like anything ‘smart’).
It’s a tribute to Tag’s prowess at selling posh baubles that it’s sold tens of thousands, regardless. Tag is a dab hand at this stuff, having previously sold a handmade metal phone with a 24-hour concierge on call, with the alarming motto, ‘Just ask, and it is yours.’
This year’s Connected Modular 45 is still (of course) ludicrously opulent, but it’s more sensible – the watch part is modular, so you can replace the screen with a ‘proper’ ticking watch when it’s out-dated… or indeed when it runs out of batteries.
You press buttons and unclip bits to pop the faces in and out. It’s all satisfyingly James Bond-esque – although even Q Branch might blanch at the price, as you pay £1400-plus for each fake watch face.
If you’re feeling extra flush, you can swap in a completely over-the-top tourbillon gadget for £15,000 (a thrumming clockwork device used by oligarchs to signal to each other just how much cash they have).
The Android Wear watch is much improved from Tag’s previous effort. The screen’s brighter, the processor is faster (so you can flip between your messages and other apps quicker), and it now has Google’s latest voice assistant built in, so you can wow dinner guests by asking your wrist, ‘How old is Prince Charles?’ and actually getting an answer from your cuff. Truly, we live in exciting times.
Like any smartwatch, the Modular 45 is not going to make you more efficient, or more ‘connected’, nor is it going to make beautiful women look at one another and whisper, ‘Who is he?’ But it’s ‘smart’ and actually rather desirable, all at once – and that’s a step up from almost everything else in this market.