The Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Muhammad Ali is modeled on IWC’s historic Big Pilot’s Watch of 1940, with a matte-black dial, an arrowhead index at 12 o’clock, a large crown, power-reserve display at 3 o’clock, and bold, luminescent numerals and hands. On this model, the Super-LumiNova coating on the appliques and hands is in signal red, a favorite color of Ali’s. The red color is echoed on the inside of the black, alligator leather strap. The caseback is engraved with Ali’s signature and the inscription, “Edition Muhammad Ali, ONE OUT OF ONE.” The watch contains Caliber 51111, the largest automatic movement made in-house by IWC.
“The man is an icon: simply one of the world’s greatest sporting personalities of our time,” said IWC CEO Georges Kern. “That was the reason we decided to mark Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday in January with a special watch in white gold in honor of the man who was once voted Sportsman of the Century.”
Along with the watch, the winning bidder received a copy of the tribute book, GOAT — Greatest of All Time, a massive tome (20″ x 20″, weighing 75 pounds) that celebrates Ali’s life and career with more than 3,000 pictures by more than 150 photographers and illustrators, also donated by IWC.
Ali’s wife, Lonnie Ali, expressed her appreciation for the Swiss watch brand’s contribution: “IWC created more than a beautiful watch,” she said. “They honored my husband, his dedication to charity, and at the same time helped support the Muhammad Ali Center.”
Guests at the 18th annual celebrity fight night included soul legend Lionel Richie, actor and comedian Billy Crystal, five-time heavyweight world champion Evander Holyfield, and Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry and tenor Andrea Bocelli, both of whom auctioned a personal dinner in their company to support the cause.
IWC’s participation in Celebrity Fight Night and the Muhammad Ali parkinson Center continues the brand’s charitable initiatives, which include an active commitment to climate protection and to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which funds sustainable sports projects for disadvantaged children. “Muhammad Ali’s greatness wasn’t restricted to his career as a boxer,” says Kern. “He’s done an enormous amount outside the ring for his fellow men… We are absolutely delighted that this exclusive and unique timepiece has been able to make such a significant contribution to Muhammad Ali’s charitable causes.”