Rose gold Tag Heuer Connected
The Tag Heuer Connected runs Google's ageing Android Wear operating system Tag Heuer

Brazenly going where Apple failed, Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer has begun selling a £7,500 smartwatch. The new Connected has the same design and Android Wear software as its cheaper predecessor, but is now finished in solid rose gold.

In all, the watch includes almost 40g of gold, contributing to half of the weight of the 46mm case, which houses an Intel processor running Android Wear. The watch comes a year after the original Tag Heuer Connected and replaces the original's black rubber strap with a light brown leather one.

The regular Tag Connected currently sells for £1,100, or £1,300 with a metal or leather strap, while the new rose gold version is £7,500.

This isn't much less than what Apple charged for its own gold smartwatch, the ill-fated Watch Edition, which ran from £8,000 to £13,500, before being cancelled earlier in 2016 after just one year on sale.

Rose gold is also used on the watch's button, while the grey bezel is sandblasted titanium. The screen is protected by sapphire crystal and the software includes a range of Tag Heuer watch faces similar to its Carrera range of traditional watches.

Google is expected to announce a major new version of Android Wear soon, possible at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in late February. Smartwatch sales have fallen steeply in recent months partly, analysts claim, because manufacturers are waiting on Google to announce the new software before they launch and begin to sell new hardware.

Tag Heuer is the only premium Swiss watchmaker to enter the smartwatch market, and it has done so gingerly. Customers who buy the Connected will, in two years' time, be offered the opportunity to either upgrade to a new Connected, or pay another a discounted price of £1,100 and switch to a mechanical watch of the same design.