After an offseason during which the Cleveland Browns were predicted to be the most exciting team in football, the most exhilarating thing they put on the field Sunday was...a watch. The Tennessee Titans beat the Browns, 43-13, and new Brown Odell Beckham Jr. made seven catches for 71 yards—all while wearing a $190,000 Richard Mille watch (although to actually buy one you’d probably need to spend about $300,000 on the secondary market). When we start judging NFL contests the way God intended—that is, by crowning the team wearing the best and most expensive watches while on the field of play—the Browns’ fortunes will finally turn.
On Sunday, Beckham wore the same watch he’d been seen with all throughout training camp: the RM 11-03 McLaren, one of Richard Mille’s many racing-inspired watches. This is important to note in a roundabout way. See, for half a century race car drivers have been wearing watches while competing:. When we talk about “sport watches,” some of the most famous models, like the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph, Omega Speedmaster, and Tag Heuer Monaco, were built for racing. Richard Mille, too, started within racing when he collaborated with Brazilian driver Felipe Massa in 2007.
That original partnership with Massa blossomed into something much more serious, and across more sports: suddenly athletes around the world were wearing Richard Mille watches. After Massa came Roberto Mancini, the Italian soccer manager, and then the golfer Bubba Watson and tennis champ Rafael Nadal started wearing them while playing in their respective sports. (No one had a better Sunday than Richard Mille: Nadal’s collaborative RM was visible on his wrist while he lofted the US Open trophy over the weekend.) This is all a brilliant bit of marketing on Mille’s part—a boast that his watches are so light that athletes can wear them on the court or the links.
But tennis and golf, both non-contact sports, are one thing; wearing an almost-$200,000 watch during a football game is something else entirely. On a tennis court, there isn’t a risk of being crushed by a 350-pound defensive lineman. Beckham’s flex adds an entirely new distinct layer to Richard Mille’s brag: not only are his watches light enough to be worn on the football field, but they can also take a hit. The watch on Beckham’s wrist generated $2.18 million worth of brand exposure for Richard Mille, too, according to Apex Marketing Group.
But let’s be real: the biggest brag belongs to Beckham, who doesn’t seem worried at all about what might happen to his $200k watch in 60 minutes of hard-nosed play. The Brown has already helped put a spotlight on NFL tunnel style, but bringing Beckham-level swag onto the field doesn’t come without its risks. As The Atlantic writer Jemele Hill wrote on Twitter, the watch has a way of putting Beckham in a different stratosphere than the rest of us. “Imagine having so much money you can wear a $200K watch while playing football,” she tweeted. “Holy shit, I’m poor.”
Lakers everywhere and Justin Theroux got himself a new watch!
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Originally Appeared on GQ