Tool Time: The Goods, November–December 2016



WHO, WHAT, WEARABLE

TAG Heuer Connected

A direct (and formidable) competitor to the Apple Watch, the titanium-bezeled Connected, made in collaboration with Intel and Google, boasts 4G of memory—so users can download dozens of apps to tailor their watch-wearing experience.

What we liked: Once you learn to toggle between apps (which takes some patience and time), the sheer number of things you can do with the Connected is astounding. Track your steps, set a stopwatch/alarm, check the weather, get flight updates, follow a Google map, send and receive texts, track your health stats—heck, even tell the time, on one of the device’s handsome digital watch faces.

What we didn’t like: Its 1.5-inch display, encased in a sizable bezel, feels bulky. It’s not built for women, or men with small wrists, though two big-wristed men who tried it on raved about its comfort. 

Best features: The Connected retains the look and feel of a Swiss-made watch, justifying its high price tag. And after two years, when its tech-y guts essentially expire, wearers can trade it in, pay another $1,500, and nab a special-edition analog TAG Heuer Carrera. Score. ($1,500 at tagheuer.com

 

SUPPLY IN DEMAND

Leica A60 Microscope Kit

jck1216_tool_leica_hrvrtcc_1.jpg

Imagine adjusting your microscope less and seeing the details of your work more clearly. Rio Grande makes those guarantees about its Leica A60, which comes in a kit with the Acrobat Versa microscope stand. The scope boasts a magnification range of 5X–30X and features FusionOptics technology, which gives the left beam a greater depth of field (nearly twice that of conventional stereo microscopes) while giving the right beam particularly high resolution. And its 38-degree viewing angle reflects natural head posture, so you’ll cramp up less. ($2,295 at riogrande.com

The kit includes an LED ring illuminator and a removable diffuser. 

 

APP CHAT

Virtual Diamond Boutique 

jck1216_tool_diamondboutique_hrvrtcc.jpg

Now you can find that perfect diamond while standing in line at the bank. Virtual Diamond Boutique (VDB) is a high-tech digital marketplace for gems for buyers and sellers. Buyers—who can search for diamonds by price and any or all of the 4Cs—can customize views, save searches, and find matches directly on the interface. Wholesalers access VDB via special login credentials and pay small fees to list their stones, but the app is free for industry professionals. (iTunes and Google Play stores; request a login at vdbapp.com