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TAG Heuer Celebrates 150th Anniversary With Event in Basel Honoring Environmental Activist, Actor Leonardo DiCaprio
Basel, Switzerland, March 19, 2010 (ots/PRNewswire) - TAG Heuer today kicked off a celebration if its 150th anniversary at an invitation-only event for more than 600 guests, honoring actor and climate change activist Leonardo DiCaprio for his dedication to saving the environment. DiCaprio has an ongoing partnership with the company that benefits the NRDC and Green Cross International.
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The evening - dedicated to the pioneering spirit of innovation - also served as the launch for the Odyssey of Pioneers - a unique travelling roadshow that will showcase TAG Heuer's finest timepieces of past, present and future in 15 cities, between March and October 2010.
As an Olympic flame, the tour will be lead by the new TAG Heuer Tesla Roadster, an exclusive model introduced by electric carmaker Tesla Motors at the Geneva Motor Show in early March 2010. This one-of-a-kind collector's car incorporates the defining TAG Heuer avant-garde design elements, and celebrates the core values of both brands: innovation, precision, prestige and performance.
Starting in Basel, "The Odyssey of Pioneers" will be the first round-the-world tour by a zero-emission GT car: 37,000 km/24,000 miles; six-months; 15 stops; 18 watches on show, one record to be scored.
Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, was at the wheel of the new vehicle when it made its grand entry on stage. "The engineers of both brands have worked hand-in-hand, convinced that performance-driven technology - whether on the wrist or on the road - must be part of any sustainable development," Musk said.
The night also served as the premiere of the Grand Carrera Pendulum, a 2010 concept watch that turns an immutable principle of mechanical watchmaking on its head - it is the first movement without a hairspring. Jean-Christophe Babin, president and CEO of TAG Heuer, explained how it works : "In the regulation system, we simply replaced the traditional hairspring with magnetic fields. TAG Heuer invented the oscillating pinion in 1887; the Mikrograph, the first counter that was accurate to a 100th of a second; and the V4, with its belt-driven transmission system. Now, we are introducing another major innovation, and another example of the pioneering spirit that has imbued us for a century and a half."
"Mastering time, this has been our challenge since 1860," said TAG Heuer Honorary Chairman Jack Heuer as he opened the celebration.
In his remarks, Leonardo DiCaprio - wearing the new Carrera 1887 - discussed his pride in being an ambassador for the company : "I am excited to be here to celebrate TAG's 150th birthday," said DiCaprio. "I am proud to be associated with a company that not only has a rich and storied history, but also understand the importance of doing good in the world. Our partnership, which enables people to buy a quality timepiece and help save the planet at the same time, is a model I hope other brands will follow."
At dawn on Friday, April 19, the TAG Heuer Tesla Roadster left Basel to carry out its task of taking 150 years of heritage around the world and write a new page in this wonderful story.
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In 2010, TAG Heuer proudly celebrates 150 years of pioneering Swiss watchmaking. Founded in Saint-Imier in 1860 by Edouard Heuer, TAG Heuer has set many major milestones of high-end watchmaking, especially in the field of chronographs and ultimate precision. Today, one of the largest and most desired brands in the luxury watch industry, the Swiss legend draws upon its active engagement in the world of sports to create the most accurate timing instruments and watches in the world. TAG Heuer is the first watchmaker to master luxury chronographs with an unsurpassed precision of 1/10th, 1/100th and 1/1,000th of a second. From the Olympic Games in the 1920s to its role as official timekeeper to within 1/10,000th of a second for the legendary Indy 500, TAG Heuer, in a constant quest for innovation, excellence, performance and prestige, continues to aim ever higher. This is reflected in its quarter-century partnership with F1 team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, its 7-year partnership with 2008 Formula 1 World Champion, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, and his new teammate , 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button. TAG Heuer, more than ever, epitomizes prestige and performance through active partnerships with Hollywood icon Leonardo DiCaprio and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, LPGA star Suzann Pettersen and WTA tennis champion Maria Sharapova. TAG Heuer is a privileged member of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), the most exclusive club in the Swiss watchmaking industry. The newest addition to the TAG Heuer legacy is the Calibre 1887, an in-house, Swiss manufactured, integrated column-wheel chronograph movement that pays tribute to the original Heuer oscillating pinion of 1887, one of the brand's first patents and a major benchmark in modern watchmaking. From March through October 2010, TAG Heuer's revolutionary and ecologically conscious "Odyssey of Pioneers" exhibit, the first-ever round-the-world trip in a 100% electric car designed specifically by Tesla Motors for TAG Heuer, will showcase in Olympic flame fashion the brand's past, present and future collections across 15 key cities of the world.
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