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Men's Health (UK) - - Mh Quiz - 014

Of all the apps avail­able to Con­nected Mod­u­lar 45 own­ers, we find the Hole19 golf app par­tic­u­larly handy, given its range-find­ing, Gps-dis­tanc­ing and dig­i­tal score­card ca­pa­bil­i­ties. And it looks a lot more chic on the fair­way than re­sort­ing to your smart­phone. Again. TAG Heuer Con­nected Mod­u­lar 45 from £1950

a stylishly en­gi­neered ‘swap-out’ sys­tem, mean­ing the Con­nected smart mod­ule ( An­droid Wear-in­ter­faced, but with be­spoke In­tel in­nards) pops out of the case and a me­chan­i­cal watch mod­ule clicks in for cock­tail hour. A bit like a horo­log­i­cal Trans­former, then.

Mean­while, Mon­tblanc’s own take on this tech-luxe idea, the Sum­mit, was un­veiled ear­lier this spring. De­spite glid­ing in be­low the £ 1000 mark, it’s styled even more de­lib­er­ately in the clas­si­cal fash­ion. In fact, from Michael Kors to Ar­mani, and even en­try-level US brand Fos­sil, the smart­watch has be­come “smarter” in the el­e­gant sense – a move that, iron­i­cally, could end up forc­ing Ap­ple to read­dress the Watch’s util­i­tar­ian de­sign.

“I’d say that smart­watches have earned their place in the lux­ury watch mar­ket, though it’s still a fairly small place,” says Mark Toul­son, head buyer at Watches of Switzer­land. “I don’t think Patek Philippe will ever pro­duce one, for in­stance. Per­son­ally, I think that smart­watches still come into their own in the area of fit­ness or well­ness. Mon­i­tor­ing your sleep, the number of steps you’ve taken or your heart rate are all use­ful func­tions, but try­ing to read a text on some­thing as small as a watch seems like a waste of time to me.”

De­spite Toul­son’s scep­ti­cism, it’s worth not­ing that the Con­nected re­mains TAG’S big­gest seller. So, whether as an ac­com­plished all-rounder or sim­ply as a com­ple­men­tary model to the more tra­di­tional, me­chan­i­cal pieces in your col­lec­tion, the lux­ury smart­watch is here to stay. These are the clever­est of the bunch, along with our rec­om­men­da­tions of the best apps for each.

MH: You’re about to down tools and head out­side. Tell us more. I was orig­i­nally plan­ning to walk across Bri­tain at its nar­row­est point. The of­fi­cial dis­tance is 84 miles, start­ing in South Shields and roughly fol­low­ing the route of Hadrian’s Wall, but we’ve just changed the plans to some­thing closer to home. In­stead, we’ll be do­ing the Cap­i­tal Ring Walk, right around Lon­don in 24 hours. It’s about 78 miles. MH: This is not your ar­che­typal fash­ion de­signer ac­tiv­ity. What was the think­ing be­hind it? CR: The idea was three­fold, re­ally. First, I wanted to do some­thing with my friends for my birth­day that wouldn’t just be a party. I also wanted to raise money for Cancer Re­search be­cause my fa­ther passed away when I was 18. The third thing comes back to my teenage years, when I was part of the Air Train­ing Corps. We would do var­i­ous walks and train­ing ex­er­cises, and I’m con­vinced this gave me a sense of dis­ci­pline that has helped me through my adult and cre­ative life. It’s also very good fun, of course. MH: Is this the first time you’ve taken on a phys­i­cal chal­lenge like this? CR: No. I took on my first chal­lenge around my 30th birth­day, com­ing up to five years ago. We started things rel­a­tively sim­ply by do­ing the Three Peaks Chal­lenge, where you climb the high­est moun­tains in Scot­land, Eng­land and Wales within 24 hours. Since then we’ve done an­other one called the Welsh 3000, which is the high­est 15 moun­tains in Wales in 24 hours, and most re­cently we trav­elled from Lon­don to Brighton on foot, with no real route planned. I have to say the Welsh 3000 is one of the hard­est things I’ve ever done. It’s def­i­nitely the clos­est I’ve been to com­ing a crop­per. MH: Care to elab­o­rate? CR: Well, my friend Lee broke his an­kle on the way down, so we had to have him air­lifted out. We’d been do­ing all the right things but this set­back meant we lost a lot of the day. Con­se­quently, we ended up at the top of the high­est and most dan­ger­ous peak at ex­actly the wrong time. Fog came in, which meant go­ing a lit­tle off track, which in turn led to some fairly se­ri­ous climbing – all of which you don’t re­ally want to be do­ing at 2am. MH: Where do you think this need to ex­plore the na­tion comes from? CR: I grew up in the coun­try­side – it was four miles to the near­est shop – so you had to make your own fun. I spent my child­hood do­ing this sort of thing on a smaller scale. It’s a case of re­al­is­ing there are so many places on this is­land that most Brits haven’t been to, de­spite be­ing able to get to them within six or so hours. That’s why I think it’s im­por­tant to do this in the UK, in a short time­frame. MH: Your col­lec­tions often draw on sto­ries of ad­ven­ture. Do your own trips in­spire them? CR: While we’re al­ways care­ful to say that the gar­ments we make at CR aren’t ‘high per­for­mance’ per se, it’s good to bridge the gap be­tween ad­ven­ture and fash­ion. Hav­ing come from the Air Cadets and al­ways be­ing ac­tive, I en­joy bring­ing that into the clothes. The lat­est col­lec­tion was in­flu­enced by the story of Pol­ish sol­dier Sła­womir Raw­icz. Dur­ing the ’40s he es­caped from a Siberian gu­lag and walked 4000 miles to In­dia via the Gobi desert and Hi­malayas. It’s those ex­treme el­e­ments that fas­ci­nate me. MH: So, do fig­ures like that in­flu­ence your per­sonal am­bi­tions, as well as your col­lec­tions? CR: Well, I cer­tainly wouldn’t want to com­pare my­self to him! But I find the fact that you can go from the com­fort of your car to a very raw state in as lit­tle as 45 min­utes re­ally in­ter­est­ing. We spend the vast ma­jor­ity of our lives in a rel­a­tively com­fort­able state. The more you test your­self, the more it shows in your cre­ative out­put. MH: Do you do much train­ing in prepa­ra­tion? CR: It’s just an un­for­tu­nate re­al­ity that I don’t get as much time as I’d like for train­ing, but for this one I’ll have to. It makes a big dif­fer­ence to your chances and it means you en­joy it more. More im­por­tant, though, is to be pre­pared for any like­li­hood. When Lee was air­lifted out, we were praised for hav­ing been well equipped to deal with the sit­u­a­tion. MH: What do you think will be the hard­est part of this chal­lenge? CR: Nor­mally it comes down to proper plan­ning and pac­ing. Then there’s the in­evitabil­ity of get­ting older and know­ing you aren’t as fit as you were at 21. But I find there’s an ex­cite­ment that comes with these things. That said, it’s very easy to over­look the im­por­tance of plan­ning your route out as well. Once we’d fi­nally fin­ished the Welsh 3000 and found our­selves at the top of one of the high­est peaks, the ex­hil­a­ra­tion faded some­what when we re­alised it was still an­other five miles back to the car. That was a new chal­lenge in it­self.

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