Muhammed Ali —Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.— passed away last night June 3 , 2016 after a 32-year long battle with Parkinson's disease. Today, let's remember the 'Greatest of All Time' and the 'Sportsman of the Century' with a special watch that was presented by IWC more than four years ago at the end of March of 2012. The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Muhammad Ali in white gold is a unique timepiece that was created and auctioned by IWC to benefit Muhammad Ali's charity. Selling for an impressive winning bid of $60,000 USD, this special watch also marked Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday.
The unique piece was auctioned off at the annual Celebrity Fight Night in Phoenix, Arizona, with the proceeds going entirely to the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The Center’s mission is to preserve and communicate the legacy and ideals of Muhammad Ali, to promote respect, hope, and understanding, and to inspire adults and children everywhere to be as great as they can be. Along with this watch, IWC also donated a monumental tome: “GOAT – Greatest of All Time.” The book, weighing 75 pounds with over 3,000 illustrations by more than 150 photographers and artists, is a celebration of Ali’s life and a literary event in its own right.
The Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Muhammad Ali in 18K white gold was a fitting tribute to the great man’s achievements in sports and in society as a whole. The dial design of the Edition Muhammad Ali is modeled unmistakably on the historic Big Pilot’s Watch of 1940. However, the iconic and easily identifiable matte black dial, features an unusual combination highlighted with signal-red superluminova. The red is mirrored on the inside of the black alligator leather strap and its selection was no coincidence as it references Muhammad Ali's favorite color who often wore red boxing gloves for his fights. The case back shows his signature and the engravings reading: “Edition Muhammad Ali, ONE OUT OF ONE.”
Along with this unique piece in 18K white gold, a 250-piece limited edition in stainless steel was released a month later during the opening of the IWC flagship boutique in New York City. Dedicated to legendary Muhammad Ali, who gained global acclaim for his amazing career and lifetime achievements both in and outside the ring. Ali lived his life in accordance with a set of six core values that include respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, and spirituality. The case back of the limited edition available to the public bears the official logo of Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday. Just like on the unique piece, the 250-piece limited edition watch was sold along the "GOAT - Greatest of All Time" tome.
Luckily for us, we were able to peruse this amazing watch back then. Honoring one of the greatest athletes and the greatest boxer of all time, here's our mandatory wristshot. Because legends never die, long live Muhammad Ali's legacy and may he rest in peace.