Muhammed Ali was the sportsman of the century and a boxing legend. In his honour, Tag Heuer is launching the limited CAREERA special edition in London – an unexpectedly strenuous affair in the exclusive BXR boxing club.
So is this what boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s life felt like? Your body is depleted of all energy, you feel jaded, there are beads of sweat all over your body, the muscles in your arms and legs are on fire and both fists hurt from repeated bashing on a heavyweight punching bag. Dark-skinned Gary Logan, Head of Boxing at the exclusive BXR boxing club in London and a professional boxer for 20 years, wore us out for two hours solid.
Now, at the end of the training session, he is standing by with a radiant smile and encouraging words for us exhausted boxers, who have drudged through the training under his supervision: «Don’t crack under pressure!» His words are pure verbal encouragement. And simultaneously TAG Heuer‘s imperative slogan, when it refers to their commitment to the sports sector. Because none other than the boxing legend Muhammad Ali is the famous brand ambassador for the Swiss watchmaking brand.
As one of the best-known personalities in sporting history, Ali was both a boxer and a showman throughout his life. From his Olympic victory in 1960 in Rome until his death on 3rd June 2016 he was regarded as an exceptional talent and role model for a number of boxer generations after him. Honorary titles such as sportsman of the century made Ali immortal for posterity. Even when standing in the boxing ring in London today, completing a hard sparring round, it’s hard not to think again and again of probably one of the most legendary Ali sayings: «Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee». Easier said than done! Later that evening we meet with former boxing champion Larry Holmes, who gives us a vibrant insight into Muhammad Ali’s skills. «Ali taught me how to spar, how to get hit as little as possible during a fight», explained the heavyweight world champion in 1978 and Ali’s long-term training partner.
Holmes finds it difficult to look back at the historic boxing match in October 1980 in Las Vegas, when he, as reigning world champion, beat his friend Muhammad Ali: «I really did not want to fight against him», declares Holmes, «but there was a lot of money at stake and Ali was determined to fight ». Rather than dwelling on that fight, Holmes much prefers to think back today on Ali’s agility and smoothness in the boxing ring, which made him a legend.
So Muhammad Ali lives on today in many hearts through stories and as a brand ambassador for TAG Heuer – and will be honoured on this evening in London with the TAG Heuer Carrera Muhammad Ali Limited Edition. Muhammad Ali’s distinctive signature is resplendent at six o’clock on the dial of the presented watch.
And the sporty-elegant timepiece alludes in a number of other details to boxing events. The most striking feature of the watch design, which is based on the legendary stopwatch Heuer Ringmaster from 1957, is two rings around the blue dial in contrasting colours that indicate on different scales the times of boxing rounds for amateurs and professional boxing matches. The timepiece is a calibre 5 self-winding with 38-hour power reserve and is operated using a special winder at ten o‘clock, which attracts attention with its glossy red varnished line. However, the real highlight is located at the back of the watch casing.
TAG Heuer’s watchmakers have engraved a portrait of Muhammad Ali in sparring pose, including the legend’s signature. The list price of 2800 francs for the limited edition piece seems to be absolutely justified in light of the fine design of this masterpiece. Unfortunately, the unique piece is sold out worldwide. Nevertheless, those who walk in Ali’s famous footsteps – or come close to his aura as we did in the boxing ring – know that: no sweat, no gain. The TAG Heuer Carrera Muhammad Ali Limited Edition can definitely be acquired from a distinguished watchmaker. We will certainly think about it, but only when our muscles have stopped aching.
Photos Copyrights: TAGHeuer, Thomas Borowski