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Friday, January 25, 2013

Yohan Blake Gets US$500,000 Watch

London Olympics 100 and 200m silver medallist and 4x100m gold medal winner, Yohan 'The Beast' Blake, speaking at a press conference at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston last September. On his right hand is a Richard Mille watch valued at more than US$500,000 (approx. J$46.5m). - file Usain Bolt might be winning all the awards these days, but his training partner Yohan Blake is getting his fair share of love too. That love includes making the cover of a two-year-old lifestyle magazine and having a watch dubbed the RM 59-01, and which is valued at more than J$57 million, made for him. Blake, who returned from last year's London Olympics with two individual silver medals in the 100 and 200 metres and a gold medal in the sprint relay, flirted with being sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, the IOC, for wearing a Richard Mille watch valued at more than US$500,000 (approx J$46.5m) during the 100-metres final. Well, Hodinkee, one of the most widely read wristwatch publications in the world, is reporting that the watch manufacturer has constructed a new timepiece for The Beast. Richard Mille, Hodinkee reports, is known for its sports-specific watches but this latest creation "takes that to an extreme". "It's not only designed for a sprinter but for a sprinter who wears his watch on his right wrist," it said. "The RM 59-01 has an asymmetrical case (50mm x 43mm x 16mm), shaped to be aerodynamic for a sprinter like Blake. The case is, as you would expect, a lightweight composite and the hand-wound tourbillon movement is built to take the enormous shocks and G-forces that result from being sliced through the air on the arm of an Olympic sprinter". The wristwatch, coloured in yellow and green to reflect those of the Jamaican flag, was also designed to reflect Blake's moniker 'The Beast'. The movement has so-called beast bridges, splayed to resemble a claw, which Hodinkee says, was a "nod to Blake's trademark running style, with his fingers ripping through the air". Only 50 RM 59-01 watches will be made and each will be priced at US$620,000 (approx J$57.6m). While not wearing the expensive timepiece he inspired, Blake is featured on the cover of Inspire LS magazine's January/February issue. The magazine, founded in September 2010 by Sasha Shantel Bennett, a writer, model, blogger and Syianne Raymond, a qualified life coach, was created as a response to what had been seen as the nostalgic and repetitive content of women's magazines that have been on the market for many years.