The Greatest’s Watch
TAG Heuer produced two models of the Ali Carrera—a stainless steel edition of 750 pieces and the solid gold model that was auctioned recently.
Both draw inspiration from the 1957 Heuer Ring Master, a stop watch that featured seven interchangeable rings to allow different sports to be timed.
Essentially, the Ali Carrera combines the timing functionality of the Ring Master with the design of the popular Carrera Driver Timer Calibre 5 that was launched at Baselworld 2014.
The watch shares much of its design with the Carrera Driver Timer, meaning a 43mm case and a movement powered by the Calibre 5 (Sellita).
There’s a circular base of the seconds hand, which is the same design at the 1957 Ring Master. The watch has two crowns—at 3 o’clock there’s the usual crown for setting the time and at 10 o’clock there’s a crown that rotates an internal bezel.
The caseback is engraved with an image of Muhammad Ali and his signature. Also, you’ll note the patterned colours on the dial, which are there to pay homage to the sport of boxing. Heavyweight boxing bouts used to be made up of 15 rounds of three minutes, with a one-minute break at the end of every round.
That neatly translates to 50 minutes in all. While bouts are now 12 rounds, TAG Heuer has kept the dial with the traditional layout.
The Calibre 5 Drive Timer (which this watch is based on) works by using the crown at 10 o’clock. You move the internal bezel until the red triangle is lined up with the minute hand. This tells you the time that you depart, allowing you to work out how long your journey has taken—you just read the time indicated by the internal bezel that lines up to the minute hand.
But on the new Ali Edition we have two sets of markings—one set in cream and a second in red. The reason behind this is because some forms of boxing are made up of two-minute rounds instead of three, and TAG wanted this watch to be able to cater to those sports too.
The markings in cream feature two-minute segments with a one-minute break in black, while the red markings denote three-minute rounds with a one-minute break also in black.