When Tesla and Tag-Heuer unveiled a special edition version of the electric Roadster at the Geneva Motor Show a couple of weeks ago, they promised a further announcement this week when the car appeared at the Baselworld watch show.
As part of Tag-Heuer's 150th anniversary celebration and Tesla's efforts to promote the Roadster, the special car is going on 24,000-mile round-the-world road trip called the Odyssey of Pioneers that will last eight months.
Leonardo DiCaprio, who was one of the early buyers of the Roadster
The trip will tracked along the way with a special website http://odyssey.tagheuer.com/ although it doesn't appear to actually be live yet.
Update: Tesla spokeswoman Rachel Konrad let us know that DiCaprio is not actually driving the special Roadster. The driver in the photos is Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen. We've replaced the initial note from Tesla with official press release after the jump.
TAG Heuer Celebrates 150th Anniversary With Event in Basel Honoring Environmental Activist, Actor Leonardo DiCaprio
TAG Heuer and Tesla Motors embark on "Odyssey of Pioneers" World Tour
Basel, 19 March 2010 /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.
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, March 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.
For further information concerning the products, please consult our press corner http://presscorner.tagheuer.com/
To chart the Odyssey in real time and read about the drivers and events, please visit
http://www.odyssey.tagheuer.com and http://www.teslamotors.com/odyssey