Homage to a Camden Hero

Camden Watch Co.

Thu 5 Jan



Watch makers Anneke Short and Jerome Robert of the Camden Watch Company have crafted a limited edition timepiece dedicated to one of the greatest bare-knuckle boxers of all time, Tom Sayers. Originally from Brighton, Sayers lived, fought and died in Camden Town, and is now buried in Highgate Cemetery.


Famous for his illegal bouts as well as recognised victories, Sayers’ biggest fight was on the morning of April 17th 1860 against American champ John C. Heenan. So many eager spectators flooded London’s stations that special trains had to be chartered and tickets sold that simply read ‘to nowhere’ so the fight couldn’t be found by police. The trains then stopped between two stations, allowing fans time to hop off and follow the crowds to the fight location – a field in Hampshire.

Sayers, eight years older, forty pounds lighter and five inches shorter, battled Heenan for two hours and 37 rounds. He had a broken arm, while Heenan was blinded in one eye, but still they fought on. When Heenan attempted to illegally strangle Sayers against the ropes, the crowd went mad and stormed the ring. Despite this, another five rounds were fought before the ref called a stop and declared a draw. The public raised £3,000 for Sayers on the condition that he’d never fight again. He took the money and retired in Camden.

When he died, aged 39, English bare-knuckle boxing died with him. 100,000 mourners set off for Highgate Cemetery. The cortege was so long that by the time it reached Highgate, the other end hadn’t left Camden.

This watch is a homage to a boxing and Camden legend. And with only 200 pieces made, you may need to fight for one.

For more info about the Camden Watch Co. and where to find them, click here.

SUBSCRIBE TO Our newsletter