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For his Cleveland Browns debut against the Tennessee Titans this past Sunday, Odell Beckham Jr. made a statement, per usual.
The NFL star wore a Richard Mille watch during the game, which his team lost, that he’s worn consistently during training camp.
According to a representative from Richard Mille, the Swiss luxury watch brand that was founded in 2001, Beckham was wearing the Richard Mille RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph McLaren limited edition watch, which he purchased for $189,500—many outlets are inflating the price as $350,000. The watch debuted earlier this year at the Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland and only 500 pieces were made.
“Since the brand began, Mr. Mille only forms partnerships with athletes who commit to wearing a Richard Mille watch while they perform their sport,” says Laura Hughes, director of communications at Richard Mille, Americas. “They provide the ultimate proving ground for the highly complicated timepieces that are created to be ultra comfortable and precise timekeepers in extremely challenging physical conditions.”
Unlike Rafael Nadal, who won the 2019 U.S. Open this past weekend wearing the Richard Mille RM 27-03 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal limited edition watch—it retails for $769,000—or golf player Bubba Watson, who also wears a Richard Mille watch while playing, Beckham is not an official brand partner.
“Richard Mille has had a genuine relationship with professional athletes for many years, and it only gets deeper. However, OBJ is not a brand partner and it is his decision to wear his watch on the field,” says Hughes.
It’s not certain whether or not that choice was allowed. According to NFL insider Ian Rappaport, the watch violated a league rule prohibiting hard objects, although there is no rule against jewelry, and the league will address it with OBJ and the team, but it probably won't go past that. If he is fined for something he's worn on the field, it wouldn’t be the first time. In 2016 the NFL fined OBJ $18,000 for wearing Craig Sager cleats that were set to be auctioned off for cancer research. Although the NFL let players wear tribute cleats for charity earlier that season, they weren’t allowed to wear them when Beckham did.
An NFL spokesperson said the following: "There’s a long-standing policy that prohibits projecting objects such as this from being worn in games. It is a player safety matter for both the player wearing the item and other players. The matter will be addressed with the team and the player."