IWC Auctions Off Unique Muhammad Ali Watch at Celebrity Fight Night Gala

Muhammad Ali w/ Lionel Richie A unique timepiece by IWC Schaffhausen went under the hammer at the 18th annual Celebrity Fight Night gala last Saturday, held in Phoenix, Arizona. The star-studded event was established to raise funds for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, founded by the legendary boxing champ. The watch, a special Big Pilot’s model in white gold made to commemorate Ali’s 70th birthday, fetched $60,000. Click below to see photos from the event and wallpaper images of the watch.

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.

IWC Big Pilots Watch Muhammad Ali Edition

IWC Big Pilots Watch Muhammad Ali Edition back

 

“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.

Muhammad Ali w/ Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie poses with Muhammad Ali

Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal does his best Ali impression

Evander Holyfield

Evander Holyfield models the watch

Tom Hanks, Muhammad Ali and Rita Wilson

Ali flanked by actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson

Lonnie Ali

Lonnie Ali on stage

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.”

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    About Mark Bernardo

    Mark Bernardo is the digital media editor of WatchTime magazine, responsible for developing and overseeing the editorial content on WatchTime.com as well as for WatchTime's tablet editions for the iPad, Nook, and Kindle. As WatchTime's managing editor, from 2006 through 2011, he has written about numerous watch companies from major brands like Omega, TAG Heuer and Piaget, to exclusive artisan lines such as Jean Dunand, De Bethune and DeWitt. Prior to joining WatchTime, he was the editor of Smoke, a lifestyle magazine for cigar enthusiasts, whose beats included cigars, watches, cars, wines and spirits, celebrities, men's fashion, and other subjects, and has written about luxury items for a variety of men's-interest publications, including Robb Report, Robb Report Motorcycling, Stratos, Worth, and Bloomberg Markets.

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