Following the Fancy*
Inspired the one of the Victorian era’s legendary bareknuckle fighters, the Camden Watch Company is bringing out a limited edition version of its No88 model
Article by Rupert Watkins
Camden Watch Company founders and Camden aficionados Jerome Robert and Anneke Short have long taken inspiration for their watch brand from their vibrant and historical part of London. On one of their regular visits to Highgate cemetery they found out about the legendary bareknuckle fighter Tom Sayers who is buried there, “we loved the story so much we had to do something about him” remarks Jerome.
Tom Sayers made his name in the seedy and illicit world of early Victorian bareknuckle fighting. From 1849 a professional, he was rapidly elevated to folk hero off the back of a string of victories and bloodily fought draws. In 1860 he took on the reigning US boxing champion John C Heenan is an epic 42 round contest that lasted over two hours. Following this fight a public subscription raised £3,000 for him on the proviso he never fought again.
Becoming a well-known sight around Camden with his pet mastiff, Lion, Sayers died aged 39 in 1865 and the borough of Camden came to a standstill to say good bye to its boxing son. Crowds estimated at 100,000 turned up.
Jerome and Anneke’s tribute to this Victorian fighter is based on their No88 model. The watch is already inspired by steam train gauges – harking back to Camden’s past as a transportation and mercantile hub. The limited run of 200 pieces has the boxer etched in the centre of the black watch face. Available with brown or black leather straps this is a fun and quirky piece for those who love London’s incredible and jostling social history.
*The nick name given to the aristocratic aficionados of boxing in the early to mid 19th Century.
Enquiries: The Camden Watch Company, 88B Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, Camden. NW1 8AH / www.camdenwatchcompany.com/