At the outset of 2023, TAG Heuer is releasing three new versions of its popular Connected Calibre E4 smartwatches. Each of the versions comes in black DLC-coated titanium and focuses mainly on new software features, but with some updated hardware elements as well. With the upcoming release of a new Google Wear OS operating system, TAG Heuer may have wanted to wait a few months to release these new smartwatches, but with CES also happening in January (where other major smartwatches will be released), it makes sense for the Swiss brand to want its high-end smartwatches to get enough attention. More importantly, TAG Heuer has clarified that these new versions of the Connected E4 will be eligible to upgrade to the newest Wear OS 3 operating system when it becomes available soon.
The three new Connected E4 watches include two 42mm-wide models and one 45mm-wide model. Let’s start by talking about the new 42mm-wide models as they are very similar and have price points that are within $150 of each other. Both feature DLC-coated 42mm-wide grade 2 titanium cases and have slightly domed sapphire crystals over the OLED touchscreens. These are more or less the same as the 2022 TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 42mm-wide models but now with black-coated titanium cases. TAG Heuer also claims that these two 42mm-wide E4 watches are the lightest ever smartwatches produced by the company.
One of these two black models is just the standard TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 42mm (reference SBR8081.BT6299) with the stock software and a black rubber strap. The other version is the TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 42mm Golf Edition – which I believe is the first time the Golf Edition of the Connected has been offered in this size. The watch features the same black case but comes with a white rubber strap as well as a black leather strap (with golf green stitching) included in the box. More important is the new software that the Connected Golf Edition watches get. According to TAG Heuer the intelligent software is now able to automatically track your golf game. Meaning that without having to input information into the watch; it tracks your game including where you are in the course, your score, and even what clubs you are using.
TAG Heuer says that the software includes information about over 40,000 golf courses and is designed to also help users improve their game, know their strengths and weaknesses, and overall make playing golf more enjoyable through a data-rich and hassle-free wearing experience. The special packaging for the Golf Edition watch even includes some TAG Heuer-branded golf balls.
The final new TAG Heuer Connected model is a 45mm-wide E4 “Sport Edition” that adds some new software and hardware features to the existing TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 collection. The Sports Edition begins by adding an upgraded sports monitoring suite of software. This builds on TAG Heuer’s existing software (which was pretty to look at, but basic compared with some of the competition), and according to TAG Heuer includes not only more sport activity profiles, but also expanded data tracking and monitoring for many of them.
Of particular note is the new Trail & Hiking software which finally uses the hardware’s built-in barometer. This was apparently always in the hardware but TAG Heuer wasn’t making use of it until now with this latest software upgrade. Accordingly, the hiking software should be more robust and on par with what the competition is now offering. I think it is still a bit awkward for the watch industry to consider new software as being news akin to new hardware, but it is just as important in the smartwatch age. With that said, TAG Heuer could bolster its marketing materials to focus on the software experience and provide as many pictures of that as they do the wristwatch part of the Connected E4 Golf or Sport Edition product. In my experience, the software that TAG Heuer designs (in-house in Paris, as I understand it) is very pretty to look at and the company should be more proud of showing it off.
The TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 Sport Edition 45mm reference SBR8A80.EB0259 watch has more than just some new software and colors as there is a slight hardware change and some new straps. The crown apparently now has a rubber ring around it in order to provide a better grip during sports or when you might be sweating. Case water resistance is still 50 meters, and eventually, I think TAG Heuer needs to aim for 100 meters to be maximally competitive. More important are the new rubber sport straps (they come with either red, blue, or orange trim) which is exactly what I think the Connected smartwatch collection needed. Prior to this, all the rubber straps came on bulky fold-over deployant clasps which look cool but are hardly sporty. For the Sport Edition TAG Heuer developed a new rubber strap with a matching black-colored titanium pin buckle, along with a new architecture that is designed to allow it to easily stretch for comfort. This is really important so that the TAG Heuer Connected E4 hardware’s wearing experience can live up to the software’s measuring experience.
TAG Heuer has announced that retail availability for the new Connected E4 smartwatches will begin in late January 2023. Price for the TAG Heuer Connected Caliber E4 42mm Black Titanium is $2,350 USD, and the similar Connected Calibre E4 42mm Golf Edition has a price of $2,500 USD. The TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 45mm Sport Edition has a retail price of $2,600 USD. Learn more at the TAG Heuer website here.