TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 Muhammad Ali Limited Edition
Angus Davies gets hands-on with the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 Muhammad Ali Limited Edition
This detailed review of the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 Muhammad Ali Limited Edition includes live images, specification and pricing.
Muhammad Ali needs little introduction, his sporting achievements, contribution to human rights and his endearing personality have ensured his name will live forever. TAG Heuer has masterfully designed a watch which pays tribute to this legendary sporting figure.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 Muhammad Ali Limited Edition celebrates the boxing prowess of ‘The Greatest’. This watch was inspired by the 1957 Heuer Ring Master, a stopwatch featuring interchangeable rings for different sports. The Ring Master allowed the wearer to see, with just a glance, the elapsed time of a ‘round’ or the time remaining of an intervening one-minute ‘break’.
Recently, TAG Heuer unveiled a new Ring Master for today’s wearer. The former Ring Master of 1957 featured a stopwatch, was hand-held and included several interchangeable rings for different sports. However, the modern-day Ring Master is notably different. It is wrist-worn, eschews a stopwatch and features a rotatable bezel operated by a crown, positioned at 10 o’clock. Another difference between the former Ring Master and its contemporary counterpart is the reference to Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer of all time, on its dial and case-back.
The unusual bluish-purple dial distinguishes this watch as special. The time is proclaimed with luminescent, silver-toned, hour and minute hands. The central sweep seconds hand features a lollipop-style counterweight, a detail sympathetic to the original 1957 Ring Master.
In order to time bouts, the wearer rotates the inner bezel using the crown at 10 o’clock, aligning the start of the first round with the minute hand. Each of the 15 rounds can be read off the dial. These include the one-minute rest periods in between each bout of frenetic fighting. The red and black pattern on the inner rotational bezel are calibrated for ‘traditional heavyweight boxing bouts – 15 rounds of 3 minutes’. The cream and black pattern is used for amateur boxing rounds which are shorter in length. This latter patterned scale is fixed.
Positioned above 6 o’clock is a date display. Above the date indication is a stylish depiction of Muhammed Ali’s signature.
Minute markers supplant hour markers on the dial. This may seem counterintuitive at first, I can attest that with greater familiarity the scale proves simple to use.
The highly polished 43mm stainless steel case exhibits a sumptuous feel, surpassing the mere functional requirements of a tool-type watch. The lugs protrude from the case, making it appear larger when worn.
The black perforated leather strap brims with luxury and looks sublime. The lining of the strap is delivered in an ebullient shade of red and the strap is paired with a polished steel folding clasp. Everything has a very qualitative feel.
Both the winding crown at 3 o’clock and the second crown at 10 o’clock feature a TAG Heuer logo on their vertical flank, albeit on the latter crown, the emblem is delivered in relief. The crown for adjusting the inner bezel, positioned at 10 o’clock, resembles the winding crown found on the brand’s Formula One models. In my opinion, this is an attractive attribute, especially the sliver of red tone dissecting the knurled grip.
Gracing the rear of the case is a magnificent depiction of Muhammed Ali in sparring pose with his signature, once again, replicated. While I normally prefer exhibition casebacks, in this instance, I have to concede the engraving of Ali proves bewitching.
The solid case-back hides the movement from prying eyes, hence it is not possible to appraise the finissage first hand.
The frequency of the balance is 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the spring barrel harnesses sufficient energy to confer a power reserve of 38 hours.
TAG Heuer has produced a knock-out performance with the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 Muhammad Ali Limited Edition. It incorporates an interesting complication coupled with amazing styling. Indeed, it is this styling which makes this watch suitable for life away from the ringside.
The combination of the bluish-purple dial and red-black inner rotating bezel collaborate tastefully, granting an exceedingly handsome ensemble.
Where this watch excels is with the quality of the materials employed. The highly polished steel case looks luxurious, the perforated leather strap yields a splendid tactility and the two crowns rotate with a pleasing user-interface.
The cocktail of attributes conferred with this watch has led to the model selling out in my native UK, however, a few remaining models may still be in the possession of some attentive retailers around the globe.
• Model: TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 Muhammad Ali Limited Edition
• Case: Stainless steel; diameter 43mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and case-back.
• Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; date; Ring Master.
• Movement: Calibre 5; Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); power reserve = 38 hours.
• Strap: Black, perforated leather strap supplied on steel deployant buckle
• Price: £2,350 (RRP as at 13.12.2017)