TAG Heuers next smartwatch gets swappable timepiece

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver said the company wanted to release a successor to the $1,500 TAG Connected in May 2017 during an interview with Swiss paper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Android Central has l...

    TAG Heuers next smartwatch gets swappable timepiece
     
  2. Craigpd

    Craigpd Member

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    Oh boy. Smart watches. Here we go.

    TAG Heuer lost their mechanical soul a very long time ago, and were one of the first Swiss brands to jump on the Quartz bandwagon. So it's not shocking that they're one of the fist to make the jump to the smartwatch bandwagon.

    Now, I've scrapped around a few articles, and I've some problems with the press releases so far.

    Now, let's just compare Digital and Analogue time here.

    [​IMG]

    We have Digital on the left, and analogue on the right.
    Ok then, so we can swap faces. Something a number of smartwatches have already let us do, if not encourage it.

    But there's a kicker. An interesting one.
    So, what, we pop the top and have a traditional mechanical watch hidden beneath? Or do they simply mean to say that there are 2 quick swap face styles, and are simply misuing the term automatic?
    Or, just thinking out loud here. the watch itself is nothing more than a master key that the digital module attaches to, upon these fixing we may be able to fit a slimline automatic watch on top? Automatic watches that are less than 3 mm thick are nothing new, we've had them for a while, so it could be the case.



    From here on in, I'm going to rant and rave just a little in regards to smart watches in general. So it's not completely off topic, and will be tied back to the TAG. I hope.
    I will spoiler it to avoid taking up an entire page with this part.
    Ok, I've 2 major problems with "smart" watches. General durability/water resistance, and then battery life and charging.
    Let's start with general durability and water resistance shall we?
    I have a $200 Orient, it's a Mako II for reference. Orient rate the watch for a depth of 200m. Give or take 10% to allow for varying quality in mass production. Not everything can be perfect after all. So, what that means, is this watch is water proof. And will continue to be so until enough pressure is exerted upon it that the seals burst, or the crystal shatters. And that's what I'm going to touch upon first here. Water resistance.

    Now, many a watch is rated for some degree of water resistance, even smartwatches are rated for 50m right? This does not mean that it is waterproof however, as this image shall now demonstrate.
    [​IMG]

    What watch manufacturers do is infact print upon the dial, the pressure resistance. The point at which the seals fail, or water just simply enters the watch due to the laws of physics. Sneaky right?
    Now, assuming watch is waterproof by way of a screw-down crown, and caseback, then what is printed on the dial is what you can expect from your watch.
    But what if your watch isn't waterproof? Well in that case, it's water RESISTANT (WR, for future use), and that's where this chart gets really fun.
    You see, a watch can be rated for 30m WR is resistant really only to accidental splashes and the odd bit of rain. Sure it'll land ON the watch and do nothing, but should any of it get near the crown, it's basically guaranteed to enter the watch and kill the thing.

    So how does this matter to smart watches? Well, electronics and water have never really got along now have they? You drop your phone in a small puddle in the street and you best leave it in a tub of rice for several days and pray in the meantime to whichever god you chose. If you're lucky, it'll live. Otherwise? Down to your nearest wallmart for a replacement.
    I'm going to be quite specific here and target the apple smartwatch, not only because apple make it especially easy to rip apart their marketting with facts, but because the everyday person knows that apple make a watch, because marketting.
    The Applewatch (Original now) was indeed only rated for accidental splashes, this is even in Apple's speel, but, Apple claim that their new watch is resistant down to 100m right? Well let's just examine the applewatch for a moment.

    [​IMG]

    so, what do we have? A crown, which doubles as a button, and a button. Neither of which are particularly waterproof features on a watch. A button provides a direct path of contact to a circuit, something water looks for. And there we have 2 of them.
    Now I've no doubt that they're protected, but only by a rubber seal.
    If you're not getting the importance of that, then next time the Applewatch commercial runs, take note of how all the scenes of it near water, are of light contact, and at the bottom of the screen "Applewatch is resistant to up to 50m of water for 30 minutes" Which in turn implies that after 30 minutes, the water will fathom it out, and find it's way into the watch. "Resistant" also makes a play there. Which is a problem, because watches and water are forever in contact, be this when you're caught out in the rain, washing your hands in the bathroom, or you get splashed by a car driving through a puddle, water and watches go hand in hand. Always have, always will. So why suddenly want to make the watch out of the most sensitive thing known to man - Electricity? Doesn't make any sense.

    Next, I'm going to move onto battery life, and charging.
    Now, charging our phones is something we're all accustomed to, because it's something we all have to do right? I know that if I use my iPhone 4s for more than replying to maybe a dozen messages, I'll have to charge the thing because it's down to 30% battery. Assuming I use the thing sparingly, I'll charge it once a day.

    My Orient Mako II that I wear hasn't stopped running since the day I bought the thing some year and a half ago thanks to it's automatic movement which winds the watch with normal wrist movement by way of a weighted rotor and a clutch system.

    However a colleague from work charges their Applewatch daily, granted they do have all the features enabled, notifications for everything, they even reply to texts using the thing. I took it upon my self to ask them "why?" One day, and they replied to the effect of "Why turn everything off? I bought it for those things" Well not having to charge a wrist watch every day may be why you should.
    Assuming you do turn off everything but the watch face, you're looking at maybe 2 days at a push before it needs to be charged. Not exactly ideal I'd say.

    We as a people are so protective of our electronics, we want to keep them always pristine, replacing them at the slightest scratch if we have the ability to, and yet we demand to use them constantly in all environments, something they're intentionally not built for. I know that if I ride through that puddle of water, that my watch will survive, that I don't have to worry about damaging it, that at the end of the day it'll out live me. You take a look around, machines from 150 years ago still function today, but electronics made 15 years ago are on their last legs, and we beg them to work in the morning.

    I do believe that TAG have struck a nail with this, the idea of in some way implementing a mechanical movement with an electronic display is something that should be worked towards, but not quickly enough to where it outpaces the available technology and just falls flat on it's face. When it reaches a point to where a smartwatch by default has bare basic function of a normal wrist watch and has a mechanical movement along side to help extend it's wear time, then they may be viable.

    Just to end this rant, I'm going to tell you all something I heard when passing someone in the street
    Let that one sink in.
     
  3. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    I do not have smartwatch, and I will consider it once battery life is solved and it delivers something greater than pulse/blood pressure measurement.

    But there are already some projects, like recharging by movement. That's in state in which no external charging is needed if they are used every day.
    If one day there is this charging mechanism + stand-by time at least a week then it is point where I'll like the idea.

    And even at that point I would want OLED like screen over mechanical = more space for battery. Ability to actually display any type of clock.
    (Not that I care about that visually, even on phone, I have clock as small as possible
     

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