From Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal to DJ Muggs and GZA's Grandmasters album, or that time Arcade Fire randomly name-checked Garry Kasparov on The Suburbs, chess never strays too far from the pop culture conversation. But now, thanks to a new TV show, it's officially popping off.

After the comically-bad-but-weirdly-watchable sensation that was Emily in Paris, Netflix has come through with the ideal palate cleanser in The Queen's Gambit. Not a cellphone for selfies in sight, just people playing wholesome board games.

The mini-drama, which currently boasts a 100 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, follows orphaned chess prodigy Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) throughout the fifties and sixties as she battles all kinds of smart alecks, many of them misogynistic dweebs, during her ascension to the game's summit. The storyline is good, but the period costumes and styling is even better. Think of the Mad Men era, but with added Librium and cool kids who look like they've time-traveled from a Noah lookbook.

While Taylor-Joy's character has been stealing the fashion headlines with her Pierre Cardin-homages and impeccable coats, when it comes to the guys, there is one wildcard who shuns the geeky, prep de rigueur of the times in favor of something else entirely. His name is Benny Watts (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and you might call him the Omar Little of chess.

Appearing as Harmon's first real rival, Watts is a brilliant mind, a US chess champion, and the type of fellow who is always strapped with a hunting knife because, well, he's from New York, baby! With his fedora, numerous chains, signet ring, and black leather trench coat, Watts is like a cross between Crocodile Dundee, The Undertaker, and a Queens of the Stone Age guitar tech. He is what Anthony Vaccarello sees when he goes to sleep at night. Yes, he can be obnoxious on occasion, but wouldn't you be if you were the nation's champion and dressed like that?

Of Watts, Gabriele Binder, the costume designer behind the show’s looks, told Vogue: “I imagined Benny Watts be connected to Andy Warhol's Factory, and part of the era’s art and music scenes. He's so different from everybody else; he is not the ‘chess geek’ like the other guys—as with Beth, he is an outsider.” In that case, maybe The Velvet Underground and CBGB's is more his bag.

Now 30 (!), it's crazy to think was over 10 years ago when Brodie-Sangster first appeared as an adorable Paul McCartney in Sam Taylor Wood's Nowhere Boy. Now in his prime as the bold hustler that is Watts, the British actor has given us one of Netflix's most stylish characters yet. (Fit) check and mate.

We Recommend
  • Clarks x Martine Rose collab 2024.
    Martine Rose's Clarks Prove She's Still the Queen of Mules
    • Sneakers
  • Free Youtube Documentaries
    Exhausted Your Netflix’s Docuseries Supply? Here Are The 18 Best Documentaries on Youtube
    • Culture
  • Love is Blind season 5 JP Taylor
    Dating Advice: Get Makeup All Over His Jacket
    • Beauty
  • Kevin James as seen in a promotional photo for CBS comedy 'The King of Queens'
    Kevin James, Meme King (of Queens)
    • Culture
  • BLACKPINK member Rosé wears an outfit with a YSL leather jacket & bag, faded denim jeans & flip-flop sandals in New York on September 11
    Flip-Flops as Fashion? Rosé Is the Queen of the High-Low Mix
    • Style
What To Read Next
  • adidas basketball shoes 2024
    adidas' Basketball Shoes Are Killing the Game Right Now
    • Sneakers
  • Olivia Rodrigo wears a white vintage Versace dress at the 2024 Grammy awards
    Olivia Rodrigo's Sublime Outfits Are Always Older Than Her
    • Style
  • New Balance's 550 sneaker in a black colorway with a leopard print pattern
    Leopard Print Is So Back: Even New Balance's Biggest Shoe Is Wearing it
    • Sneakers
  • A$AP Rocky poses in Paris wearing sunglasses and a Prada denim jacket
    Dressed Like a King, A$AP Rocky Is Conquering Paris
    • Style
  • Heaven By Marc Jacobs x ASICS sneaker
    These Dad Shoe Mary Janes Are Maybe the Most Stylish ASICS Ever
    • Sneakers
  • lionel messi adidas samba
    adidas' Samba Sneaker Just Got Messi
    • Sneakers
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titel Media GmbH (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titel Media GmbH strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titel Media GmbH tests, remediates and maintains the Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.