It’s perhaps fitting that TAG Heuer would be the first Swiss watch brand to enter into the nascent smartwatch arena, currently populated almost solely by tech companies such as Samsung, Sony and (yet to come) Apple — though, admittedly, this device does not include many of those other devices’ smartphone-like functions, such as e-mail or music playback. The brand has a history of experimenting with different technologies and, in recent years, even branching out into other, non-wristwatch accessories.
In fact, some of the tech used in the Aquaracer 72 smartwatch comes from some of those other TAG Heuer products. The watch’s exterior use a patented “splashproof” treatment first used in TAG Heuer eyewear, the data processing equipment aboard the boat is protected from water damage by a technology first used on a TAG Heuer Monaco chronograph watch; and the dials on certain versions of the Aquaracer 72 feature a “heads-up display” with polarizing lenses based on a “photochromic” technology developed for the eyewear. The Oracle skipper used a special waterproof phone outfitted with the same technology as a TAG Heuer mobile phone, the TAG Heuer Meridiist.
The unfortunate news for smartwatch fans? You can’t buy one of these specially-made models. Only 72 were produced, none available commercially. However, TAG Heuer has announced it will be releasing a limited-edition version called the Aquaracer 500M Calibre 72 Countdown Automatic Chronograph 43 mm. (The 72 is reference to the length of Oracle Team USA’s 72-foot catamaran.) It has the official “Team USA” logo on the dial and an image of the boat engraved on the caseback. And while it doesn’t include all the digital bells and whistles of the smartwatch, it does include a regatta countdown function for sailing.