I hated every minute of training, but I said: Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. Could this be the silver-tongued boxing champion’s own version of “Don’t crack under pressure”? Muhammad Ali was not just one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time, he was also a vocal civil right activist with a legendary never-back-down attitude. Last month, at a charity boxing event hosted at Gleason’s Gym, Brooklyn’s legendary boxing club and Ali’s old stomping ground, TAG Heuer unveiled a collection of special edition steel watches to pay tribute to Muhammad Ali. Inspired by the brand’s 1950s Ring-Master watch – a stopwatch featuring interchangeable rings for timing different sports including boxing – we take a hands on look at the TAG Heuer Carrera Caliber 5 Ring Master Muhammad Ali.
Meet the latest addition to the Carrera collection; a tribute watch that stands out for its distinctive look and unique boxing match timer function. The model draws its inspiration from the Heuer Ring Master from 1957. This stopwatch featured interchangeable rings of scale for timing various sports including boxing. For decades, the heavy weight championship “distance” was scheduled for 15 rounds of 3 minutes with a break of one minute between them1. The crown at 10 o’clock is used to rotate the internal red/black rotating bezel. You need to move the number #1 sector in front of the minute hand at the start of a fight to then keep track of elapsed time. The inner black/white fixed scale allows you to keep track of fights with a shorter duration (2 minutes, 15-rounds) just like in the original model.
The original Heuer Ring-Master from 1957
The TAG Heuer Carrera Caliber 5 Ring Master Muhammad Ali takes much of its case design from a special edition of the Drive Timer, a Carrera edition with an automotive background that features the same inner rotating bezel to measure elapsed times of less than one hour. Like the Drive Timer the case is 43mm in diameter. It retains the classic Carrera shape with it thin bezel and straight faceted lugs. It is crafted in polished steel and features a ‘Tribute to Muhammad Ali’ engraving on the case back.
The dial is one of the main attractions of the TAG Heuer Carrera Caliber 5 Ring Master Muhammad Ali, with its contrasting colors and round-tracking function. It is lacquered in black with white Arabic numerals to indicate 5 minute intervals. The date is shown at 6 o’clock below a transferred Ali signature. The hands are faceted with a luminescent inlay for hours and minutes. The thin sweep second hand is white and features a round counter weight.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Ring Master Muhammad Ali is powered by the reliable Calibre 5, based on a Sellita SW200 movement (a work-horse, with 38h power reserve and beating at 4Hz).. It is worn on a cool perforated leather strap with red lining and safety buckle.
Even if celebrity endorsement watches are not to everyone’s liking, the TAG Heuer Carrera Caliber 5 Ring Master Muhammad Ali is still a cool tribute watch. A worthy choice if you are a fan of ‘The Greatest’, boxing or simply ready for a timekeeper with bold, distinctive personality. True to TAG Heuer’s philosophy of “accessible luxury” it offers good value at this competitive price point ($3,000 USD).
Specifications of the TAG Heuer Carrera Caliber 5 Ring Master Muhammad Ali
- Case: 43 mm diameter – stainless steel – sapphire crystal with antireflective coating – “Tribute to Muhammad Ali” engraving on the back – Rotating ring with scale showing 1-15 rounds of boxing – Water resistant to 100m.
- Movement: calibre 5 with automatic winding (Sellita SW200 base) – 38h power reserve – 28,800 vibrations/h – hours, minutes, seconds, date.
- Strap: perforated black leather on safety folding buckle
- Limited edition of 750 pieces in steel (plus one unique piece in gold auctioned during the event to benefit the Muhammad Ali center).
- Price: $3,000 USD
1 More recently, boxing authorities changed the rule, with now 12 rounds. Women championship are ten rounds or fewer, each lasting 2 minutes.