​Tag Heuer Connected 45 Modular Golf Edition first look

Tag's new smartwatch is all about the software

Tag Heuer announced a new Connected Modular 45 Golf Edition at Baselworld – a special golf watch version of its Swiss Made smartwatch.

Little has changed on the outside, but the Golf Edition maintains the design and materials of the top-of-the-range Connected Modular 45, with a lightweight black titanium case, ceramic bezel and removable straps – with black and white options in the box.

Tag Heuer Connected 45 Modular Golf Edition: Design

Tag Heuer Connected 45 Modular Golf Edition first look

Being a Swiss Made watch you’d always expect some subtle design variations, and the most obvious is that the numbers around the bezel read 1 to 18, rather than simple timekeeping. And it’s not just a design trick. When you’re playing a round of golf, the on-screen data will highlight these physical details to show you the current hole you’re playing.

But the real innovation here is the software. While we’ve seen Casio put a focus on the apps bundled with its ProTrek WSD-F30 smartwatch, all of those are actually freely available for any Wear OS device. The golf app won’t be available for any other Wear OS devices, although Tag has made an Apple Watch version. It's clear which user base Tag Heuer feels could one day become wearers of its timepieces – and those users are not buying Ticwatches.

Tag Heuer Connected 45 Modular Golf Edition: Golf

Tag Heuer Connected 45 Modular Golf Edition first look

We’ll freely admit that we weren’t expecting to be blown away by Tag Heuer’s own golf app – but we were wrong. What’s available on the Tag Heuer Connnected Modular 45 Golf Edition is a brilliant golf experience that will rival any Apple Watch or Garmin golf watch experience.

The partner iOS/Android smartphone app – which is free for anyone to download and use – is packed with features, offering 39,000 courses - 99% of the world total - with 3D fly-pasts, data tracking and even club recommendations. When you’re ready to head out on your round, you can download the data of any course and send it to the watch.

It’s a reminder of how crisp the display of the Tag Heuer smartwatch is – and the on screen data is large, bright and easy to read. The display also reverts to a black and white power-saving mode, with reduced detail to make sure it lasts a full round.

During a round you can use your finger to scroll through a 2D top-down map of every hole, which are so well drawn, crisp and full of detail.

Your position will be shown via your watch's GPS, and you can tap your finger on hazards to see how far away they are. A quick swipe, and you can see the distances to front, back and middle of the green.

Tag Heuer Connected 45 Modular Golf Edition first look

Swap to the main menu you can track the distance of shots using a measuring feature, which tracks your walk to the ball and offering a straight line distance on how far you hit.

Everything is sent to the partner app for a full tracking of your stats, rounds and scores. What’s more, you can score your round via the Tag Heuer device, and even that of up to four people including stroke play, match play and Stableford – which is often neglected, but useful when playing a competition between friends.

Tag Heuer Connected 45 Modular Golf Edition: Early verdict

Tag Heuer Connected 45 Modular Golf Edition first look

While there’s no new hardware on show here, we’re none-the-less impressed with what Tag Heuer has achieved. The company has created – what looks to be – one of the best golf app experiences, which it has democratised and made available for those that love golf, but can’t afford a Tag Heuer watch.

The Connected 45 Modular Golf Edition itself is no different: it’s big, classy, alluring – and outrageously expensive. But this is what Tag Heuer needs to be doing. It’s created a software experience that the rest of the Wear OS riff-raff can’t access, and done so brilliantly.

What do you think?

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