TAG Heuer’s MERIDIIST mobile communication instrument
By Jack Martin
September 6, 2008
September 6, 2008 TAG Heuer is best known for its exclusive watches and involvement in time-keeping and sponsorship of elite sporting events, so it’s a logical step for the company to move into the mobile telephone area now that a lot of people are dispensing with their wristwatch and monitoring the hour of day with their phone. The result is the MERIDIIST, a communication instrument that is the culmination of all the company’s experience and “the complete modern expression of everything for which TAG Heuer stands”. Apart from top-shelf everything, a stunning visual impact, master craftsmanship, remarkable battery life and superb acoustics, it’s just like any other mobile phone. Oh, except for the dual display screens and the TAG Heuer switch, which allow for discreet checking of the time and call management in meetings, and then there’s the …
While the MERIDIIST isn’t likely to compete with the iPhone for features, it is a remarkably high-quality telephone in every respect and just as a TAG Heuer watch doesn’t keep time any more accurately than your Swatch, that’s not what the MERIDIIST is about.
It’s about quality and craftsmanship and like all mobile phones, largely a reflection of who you are, your values, your status ad infinitum. Accordingly, the MERIDIIST puts you the uber-exclusive bracket.
The press release for the MERIDIIST follows:
TIME IN YOUR HAND Time is something that can never be possessed. Yet it is something that can be mastered, as the history of TAG Heuer shows. Step by step, always at the very limits of the possible, we have split time into ever more precise increments, and expressed our technical breakthroughs in chronographs of the highest prestige and quality.
Now the challenge has extended from the mastery of time to the mastery of communication. The result is the MERIDIIST, the communication instrument that is the culmination of all our experience, gained with unwavering commitment to the principles of perfection since 1860, when Edouard Heuer opened his first workshop high in the Swiss mountains. The MERIDIIST is the complete modern expression of everything for which TAG Heuer stands. As the first instrument of its kind ever made by a Swiss watchmaker, it is a true piece of avant-garde engineering, one that will give its owner a unique quality – the ability to put the same faith and pride into communication that they do into timekeeping.
But the MERIDIIST goes even further than this. Through the use of two unique design features – the dual display screens and the TAG Heuer switch, which allow for discreet checking of the time and call management – it endows its owner with the ability, for the first time, to use their communication instrument in the elegant and refined manner befitting of their true personality.
TIME FOR QUALITY In an era when technology is advancing at such a rate that new products are forced into obsolescence at astonishing speed, one key question presents itself: How can a communication instrument attain classic status?
The MERIDIIST provides the answer, by adhering to a belief that is intrinsic to the DNA of TAG Heuer. Put simply: there is no substitute for quality.
Each material used in the MERIDIIST brings a distinct and irreplaceable value to the finished product, while their provenance creates echoes with TAG Heuer’s legacy. Its 316L steel allows for perfect polished mirror surfaces, as well as being corrosion-resistant and hypoallergenic. The display front is made from unscratchable 60.5 carat sapphire glass, combining exceptional light transmissivity with great stability in all thermodynamic conditions. Both the steel and the glass present examples of how the MERIDIIST embodies the most prestigious materials used in horology.
Our designers have invested all of their flair and expertise ?into envisioning a communication instrument that bears the classic, unmistakeable hallmarks of TAG Heuer. The MERIDIIST refers visually to the Monaco series of chronographs, which attained iconic status on the wrist of Steve McQueen in the film Le Mans, adding subtle yet dynamic curvature to the angularity and bold sharpness of the wristwatch to create a new design classic.
In total, 430 avant-garde components go together to create the MERIDIIST, resulting in a heightened level of technological sophistication that exceeds even that of our chronographs. As a result, each individual instrument must be assembled by a skilled artisan. This level of craftsmanship shines through the finished product, so that the MERIDIIST gives the unmistakeable satisfaction that can only be derived from ?the most premium of products. The excellence of the finished product is guaranteed through the partnership of TAG Heuer, throughout the development of the MERIDIIST, with Modelabs, a mobile communication development company comprised, like TAG Heuer, of a small and dedicated team of experts in their field.
TIME FOR INNOVATION To have time in your hand is to have the freedom to stand apart from the crowd, and that freedom is the reserve of individuals who are bold enough to take chances. These are the individuals for whom the MERIDIIST is designed: personalities who understand and empathise with TAG Heuer’s commitment to setting the agenda.
The MERIDIIST is the first item of its kind to be engineered by Swiss watchmakers, making it the instigator of a new tradition, bringing craftsmanship and heritage to a field characterised by the transient and ephemeral. Indeed the MERIDIIST opens up the possibility – for the first time – of a communication instrument that could be thought of as timeless.
And as well as embodying the spirit of innovation, the MERIDIIST incorporates a multitude of technical features that break new ground. Unique to the MERIDIIST is the secondary screen that displays the time, illuminated by a specially developed OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode). Indeed, a host of new production processes have been inaugurated to create components of the required dimensions and quality of finish.
At the level of screen layout and user interface, the MERIDIIST expresses something strikingly different: the confidence, so often notable by its absence, to privilege simplicity and legibility above flashy displays that defy intuition. Yet even behind this apparent simplicity lies another innovation – the use of the largest single piece of glass ever used for such a display.
It is perhaps in this last point that the MERIDIIST reveals its ambition most clearly: to be the ideal cosmopolitan travelling companion. It unites formal purity with functional perfection to create something impeccably stylish, with unimpeachable, understated confidence in its own ability.
TIME FOR EXPERIENCE Without the necessary experience, the perfect communication instrument would only ever remain a concept. This is why TAG Heuer is the only company that could have brought the idea of the MERIDIIST to realisation. It is the latest addition to a lineage that includes the Formula 1, Monaco, Grand Carrera and SLR Chronograph, each one a masterpiece of design and manufacturing.
This remarkable history of achievement is built, more than anything else, on the understanding of and respect for the DNA that runs through each successive member of the TAG Heuer family. Its strands include:
- The pursuit of unprecedented precision, as witnessed by the TAG Heuer instruments which were the first to record time in increments of 1/10th, 1/100th, 1/1,000th of a second in wristwatches, and 1/10,000th of a second in timekeeping
- An innovative approach that has redefined the fields in which TAG Heuer has operated, from the oscillating pinion, patented in 1886 and now at the heart of virtually every contemporary mechanical chronograph, to the Monaco V4, with its movement comprised of driving-belts and ball-bearings, which astonished the watchmaking world upon its presentation in 2004
Now, in the MERIDIIST, these strands have come together to create a product that remains true to the spirit and heritage of TAG Heuer, as we widen our scope from horology to take in communication, ensuring in the process that the bar for the standard of instruments in this new field is emphatically and irrevocably raised.
TIME FOR WOMEN An instrument that boasts consummate craftsmanship and perfect functionality should leave a spectacular visual and tactile impression. This comes as standard with the MERIDIIST, due to its classically influenced yet utterly modern design, and the sheer quality of its materials. But for the woman who appreciates and demands the highest levels of glamour and beauty, the MERIDIIST also comes in a model graced with 2,256 diamonds totalling 6.54 carats, becoming in this incarnation an object of breathtaking rarity and desirability. The timelessness of diamonds makes this model a sign not only of beauty and joy but also of elegance and integrity. As a result, this MERIDIIST is the most appropriate instrument yet to be conceived as a medium for communications of great importance, from the passionate text message to the call that seals the big business deal. Before and after the time when that call is made, it is equally at home in the handbag or the briefcase, an eternal object that transcends passing trends, representing the unique and exceptional character of its user.
TIME FOR COMMUNICATION The ideals of purity and permanence that inform the design of the MERIDIIST are intrinsically linked to its functionality as a communication instrument, which has been honed to provide unsurpassable service, and streamlined in response to the specific needs of its owner. For example, using the MERIDIIST ensures the best reception possible, as its antenna is twice as sensitive as other radio standard-compliant products; exceptional battery life allows for 28 days of stand-by power or 7 hours of continuous talk time.
As a distinctive touch, the MERIDIIST features the aforementioned dual-function TAG Heuer switch, designed for the needs of the executive in important business meetings: with a touch of this switch a polite call rejection message is issued; it also illuminates the unique time display mounted at the top of the MERIDIIST, and switches the direction from which the time can be viewed. This dual display offers the user a new level of refinement in their manner of viewing the time and addressing incoming calls.
The MERIDIIST provides nothing less than the most ?accurate acoustics possible, giving a crystal clarity created by our engineers’ fine tuning of sound processes and chamber design. Technical advancements include an earpiece located beneath the sapphire crystal glass display for pristine sound reproduction, and a loudspeaker with the capacity to produce 100dB at a distance of 5cm, ensuring remarkable clarity in hands-free mode, as well as exceptional quality for ring tones and music playback.
TIME FOR TRAVEL As the name suggests, the MERIDIIST has been conceived to ride the meridians, the imaginary lines that connect disparate points in the celestial and global spheres. In this regard, it addresses one of the most critical needs of the globally-minded resident of the modern world: for a communication instrument that can not only be relied on for performance, but also, bearing in mind that it is one of the few things that such an individual will have on their person at all times, for ?an item that is a natural extension of personal style.
For the MERIDIIST understands that you are defined by the way you choose to travel, and that the power to make those choices is granted by ambition. And to take the MERIDIIST with you is to take more than a mobile phone, it is to take the only communication instrument that is equipped with the legacy and reputation of TAG Heuer.
The only instrument that puts time in your hand. ENDS
Meridiist Technical Specifications
Design and finishing 316L steel case with hand brushed and polished finishings Backlit mechanical stainless steel keypad TAG Heuer selection key on key ring 60.5 carats of sapphire crystal glass on dual display screens High quality rubber, leather and alligator back plates Dimensions: 112mm x 46mm x 15.5mm Weight: 155g
Performance Autonomy: 28 days stand-by, 7 hours talk time Imaging: 2 megapixel high-quality camera sensor ?(CMOS low noise) digital camera: 1,200 x 1,600 pixels Image quality-maximising and colour rendering software Mechanical, automatic preview-triggering sliding ?camera shutter Image formats supported: JPEG, GIF, BMP Audio: Music playback (MP3, AAC, AAC+) Video: Video recording and playback (H263-AMR, MPEG4-AMR, MPEG4-AAC) End-user memory: 2GB USB 1.0 with mass storage for easy multimedia objects exchange with PC
Network Worldwide GSM network-compatible for best performance GPRS class 10 Quad-band: covers all GSM countries
Hardware 2 LCD screens: Front screen: LCD, 240 x 320 pixels, 260k colours, TFT – 1.9’’ Top screen: OLED, 96 x 16 pixels Acoustics: separate earpiece for call mode; loudspeaker for handsfree, ringtones and music playback Long duration battery: Li-lon 950mAh
Applications Phonebook: up to 1,000 contacts ?(multi-entries and Outlook synchronisation) Messaging: SMS, MMS Browsing: WAP 2.0 Application: JAVA 2.0 PC synchronisation: contacts, messaging, multimedia Apps: World clock, alarm, agenda, calendar, currency converter, chronometer, calculator Voice recorder Client e-mail Connectivity Bluetooth: headset, car kit and data exchange profiles Single I/O connector for charging, data exchange and wired stereo headset via standard mini-USB Stereo Bluetooth for audio with compatible devices USB connection Built-in modem Compatible with any operator/SIM card
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