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Tag Heuer’s new Meridiist phone: Hmmm.

17082008042

So you’re in the business of making watches that people buy to make themselves look good, yes?

Your business has had it’s lunch eaten by the mobile phone industry — to the point that almost everyone uses their mobile to tell the time. I don’t bother with a watch for this reason.

What do you do?

Design a Vertu-wannabe….

And here we go. Deep breath.

I was in London department store, Selfridges, yesterday checking out Tag Heuer’s Vertu-copycat range, Meridiist.

I think Tag have made a severe error mimicking the Vertu range. The Vertu salesman can give you a whole load of gumph about the phone being hand-stitched and whatnot. But the Meridiist salesman? Well, he’s..er… well he’s left hoping that you don’t recognise that the Tag Heuer brand is severely, severely overreaching itself when it’s asking for 2,500 pounds for it’s handsets.

Oh no. Not when your average Tag Heuer watch — if it’s not a knock-off — will set you back maybe 400 pounds?

No. It’s simply not working for me.

I could see myself dropping 3 or 4k on a Vertu if I didn’t have so many issues about their rather limited choice of operating system. The craftsmanship on the Vertu is outstanding. Whilst the Tag Heuer looks nice and, although I’ve not held one, the craftsmanship looks equally good… I’m not sold at all on the brand.

They’re calling them ‘the first swiss engineered communication instrument’ — I kid yet not:

17082008039

That isn’t setting my heart alight.

Helpfully, the introductory video to the Meridiist explains that, “this product is not a watch,” just in case anyone is confused.

And now we have to get to the ridiculous, ridiculous inclusion of the ‘chronograph’ watch. The introductory video explains that one of the top 10 functions of a mobile phone is to tell the time.

Picture 36

Yes.

And?

Well the designers have put the clock on the top slanted bit of the phone. So if you’ve got your handset next to you at a meeting, the person FACING you will be able to see the time in the phone’s digital display.

Almost useful.

I’ll say that again. The CLOCK bit — the time is actually RIGHT on the top of the phone. It’s got a slanted edge, that, unless you point the handset more or less horizontally AT yourself, doesn’t actually show you the time.

But it does show other people. If you’re in a meeting.

I’ll need to take a closer look. Right now, from a glance, it looks like a me-too challenge that Vertu should easily withstand. Happy to have my mind changed though. What’s your viewpoint?

Oh … And if you’d like one free on a Vodafone contract, you’ll need a 15 year contract I reckon…

More at http://meridiist-phone.com/.

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