Striking out on finding the Carrera Connected Smartwatch from Tag Heuer? The company feels your pain and is ramping production from 1,200 units per week to 2,000.
Tag Heuer’s chairman Jean-Claude Biver made the announcement after the stronger-than-expected demand for the watch. He also wants to shift the buying experience from the web and into brick and mortar stores.
The announcement comes off as almost pleasantly surprised by the development than the company throwing all its chips into the digital age. Most high-end watches are traditionally bought in brick and mortar stores. Watch manufacturers think people still want the high-end experience to go with the sticker shock.
With the Tag Heuer Connected, it isn’t so much the sticker shock. $1500 for a watch is nothing in the luxury watch world. People damn near pay that for the box to store the watch. Instead, Tag Heuer wants to pull in rich clientele who might want to give the latest technology a test drive.
The company has fans who will buy anything related to the brand, and Biver is smart to temporarily ramp production to introduce scarcity into the market. That sounds backwards, but the watch has been a hit but remains a limited edition.
Having production set at 2,000 for a couple months allows the company to hit retail stores with the watch and drive up foot traffic. Buy an Android smartwatch for $1500 and hopefully they walk out with something four times as much.
Tag Heuer Carrera Connected
What are you getting for the $1500? Besides the name, the watch is powered by a Z34XX processor, the Android Wear platform and 1GB of RAM. Nice, it has the same amount of RAM as the iPhone 6.
It has 4GB of storage, the usual run of fitness sensors and GPS. The battery life clocks in at 25 hours and includes a gyroscope, Wi-Fi, tilt detection, a mic and haptic feedback. All in all, not bad in the smartwatch spec sheet considering Tag Heuer is luxury first, technology second.
The smartwatch is a win-win for the company. Did they launch the Connected with an eye towards making waves in the smartwatch arena? Absolutely not. It was an ‘also-ran’ that turned into a minor success story.
Reports are retailers have ordered 100,000 units. No word on if those are preorders or just retail forecasts. A bit of both is the probable answer.
Should Tag Heuer be surprised? No, the company is a stalwart in the niche. The bigger surprise would have been if the watch fell flat considering the price point.