Traditional, yet unpredictable and unconventional, with precision timing at the heart of their success. American fencer Miles Chamley-Watson is in many ways the ideal partner for Richard Mille, both athlete and Swiss watchmaker sharing many common traits.
London-born Chamley-Watson stands out in a sport that is normally seen as niche and upmarket. His 6ft 4in frame is covered in tattoos and he sports a dyed blond hairstyle. He is a fencer with a very distinctive, unique style producing fluid and quick movements in unimagined, seemingly off-the-cuff sequences. He’s most definitely an innovator in his sport, known for between-the-legs strikes and an undefendable behind-the-back flick to his opponent's opposite side, christened 'The Chamley-Watson'.
His fencing journey began at Manhattan's Dwight School as a means of channeling his hyperactivity. Indeed, it’s part of his mystique that fencing has helped him master his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) without medication. He went on to have a terrific career, competing at two Olympic Games, winning bronze as part of the American team in Rio 2016. He’s also the first U.S. male fencer to win an individual Senior World Championship title.
His flamboyant personality has transcended his sport, gaining him a host of top-shelf sponsorships, a burgeoning career as a fashion model, a sizeable social media presence and a wide circle of celebrity friends. This includes 212k followers on Instagram.
He’s on a mission to make fencing mainstream, and to lose its stuffy outlook, with new outfits and scoring system on the cards. Far removed from the current, traditional white outfits! Perhaps it’s no surprise to know that Richard Mille was at the top of his list of dream partners from a self-confessed ‘watch person. He quoted:
“We’re both unconventional. It’s a brand that’s all about taking risks. I have ‘Risk’ tattooed on my hand and I look at it for inspiration each time I compete.”
His risks have seen him turn fencing into a career, earning sponsorship and income not normally associated with niche sports such as his. He hopes to use his story to help and inspire children like himself, bullied or misunderstood. He succeeded in an arena where the odds were stacked against him. Chamley-Watson once described himself as a:
“Half white, half black kid from London with Jamaican, Irish, British and Malawian, who moved to New York City at 10 and competes for the US flag.”
Fencing is a sport where timing is vital, the merest millisecond meaning the difference between Gold and nothing. Chamley-Watson wears the RM67-01 Automatic White Gold Diamond Set.
The timepiece features an extra flat automatic watch design, a lifestyle model, based on the brand’s famous tonneau-shape casing. This was mechanically challenging, especially pairing the movement design with a sense of visual depth within the movement. They achieved this through the extreme skeletonisation used.
The RM67-01 is one of the sleekest tonneau-shaped Richard Mille timepieces created. Its refined dimensions require more time to create than other similar cases in the collection, adding almost six hours of pure machining time and the 68 different stamping operations required for the bezel, caseband and back bezel.
It upholds some of the finest traditions of the luxury watchmaker’s collections yet, it’s different from the others. Very much like Miles Chamley-Watson, who stated:
“I love seeing the movement, the dials. It’s so much what fencing is all about – precision, timing and style. Above all, it’s a brand that refuses to do things like everyone else. You dare to be different, like me. We should join forces and change the world ! Touché!”
Fancy standing out from the crowd like Chamley-Watson? Check out this choice selection of Richard Mille watches currently available at Global Watches: