In 2016, The Camden Watch Company, an independent British design brand based in the heart of Camden founded by wife and husband team Anneke Short and Jerome Robert, launched their first limited edition timepiece. Limited to 200 pieces, the watch was a tribute to Tom Sayers, a champion 1800s bare-knuckle boxer from Camden, arguably the best England has ever known,
Over the first lockdown in 2020, Anneke and Jerome began working on a new design based on their original Tom Sayers piece based on the fact customers were contacting them to bring back the watch as they had missed out on the original run.
The result – The Camden Watch Company No.88 Tom Sayers Type II – a “punchier” watch with a polished black case, a two-tone printed dual layer dial and available in either an oxblood or black leather strap.
Anneke Short says: “We produced the original in four batches of 50, each batch sold out fast, and ever since we have received emails and messages asking if by chance we’d held any back, which we had not, or even if it was possible to buy our very own edition which we hold in a collection, which of course it is not.”
About the new No.88 Tom Sayers Type II, Jerome Robert says: “Our original edition featured a stainless steel case while the new edition features a polished black-ion plated case. Along with the timepiece, consumers will also receive in their package a newspaper which explains the history of Tom Sayers.”
Limited to 250 pieces
Case size: ø 39 mm
Case depth: 8.4 mm
Case Material: Polished Black Ion Plated Stainless Steel
Strap type: Black or Oxblood Leather Strap (Genuine Leather, Nylon)
Water resistance: 50 metres
Movement: Japanese Quartz (battery)
About Tom Sayers
NOTE: We do not have the rights to distribute this photo outside of this press release
First clashing fists with the clandestine activity of bare-knuckle boxing in the mid 1800’s, Sayers only ever lost one fight in his entire career.
Back in 1859, boxing had fallen out of favour with the British public and was generally disregarded by anyone outside the ranks of the fancy (the nickname given to the loyal fans of boxing). However, when Sayers beat leading heavyweight, Harry Paulson, in the same year, subsequently launching a string of fights that elevated Sayers to legend status, the curiosity of the British public was piqued.
Opponents travelled from across the Atlantic to challenge the British title-holder, further enthusing the public interest, with spectators often boarding trains at London’s King’s Cross to destinations going ‘nowhere’, to watch the underground fights take place in remote fields all over the country.
Sayers passed away at 257 Camden High Street on November 8th 1865, at the age of 39 and so it was that English bare-knuckle boxing died with him.
A week later, Sayers funeral was held. Shopkeepers in Camden Town closed, crowds gathered and by 2pm 100,000 mourners had assembled. The cortege set off towards Highgate cemetery, led by the chief mourner Lion (Sayers’ dog) and followed by a train of coaches, carts and carriages. In fact, the cortege was so long that by the time it reached Highgate, the other end still hadn’t left Camden Town.
Well over 100 years later, on a guided tour around Highgate Cemetery, Jerome and I happened upon his grave, and the seed of an idea was planted.
About The Camden Watch Company
Founded in 2014 by the Anglo-Swiss duo Anneke Short and Jerome Robert, The Camden Watch Company timepieces are designed in Camden, inspired by British heritage and the rich industrial past and vibrant present of the local area.
With prices from £69, they use all their high-end expertise to create beautiful yet affordable timepieces, which can be purchased on their website or at one of their three bricks and mortar stores in Camden and Greenwich.
The Camden Watch Company – Camden (Flagship)
31 Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8AH
The Camden Watch Company – Greenwich
2 Greenwich Market, London, SE10 9HZ
TUE – FRI 11am-6pm
SAT – SUN 10.30am-6.30pm