In the week leading up to tomorrows Groovers and Mobsters Present: James Bond we have given you the best of Bond Girls, Gadgets, Cars, Villains and Henchmen. Now for something a little different. Like no other character from movies or literature James Bond can be identified by his possessions, it isn’t the gadgets, it’s the “stuff”.
James Bonds cloths changed over time to keep up with (or not too far behind) the fashions of the day. His everyday attire was normally a tailored suit (in Ian Fleming’s novels he favoured a lightweight serge in Navy Blue). The identity of his tailor is never mentioned in the novels but someone on Savile Row is hinted at. The movies are a little more overt with Bond telling Felix Leiter that his suits are tailored on Savile Row. In reality the suits worn by Connery came from director Terence Young’s tailor, Anthony Sinclair (located on Conduit Street near Savile Row and not on “the row” itself). Roger Moore favoured his own tailors Cyril Castle (of Mayfair) and later Douglas Hayward but his contemporary and stylish suits are often forgotten because of the dated safari jackets he also wore. Partly because of the plots of the movies he appeared in Timothy Dalton introduced some more casual cloths but insisted the character remained true to his origins and not move more towards the Miami Vice inspired pastels that were creeping into fashion in the 80‘s. When Bond returned in the 90’s the game had changed and bespoke tailors (who spend about 80 hours on each suit) could not produce enough garments for a movie. For the Pierce Brosnan era they moved to the Italian company Brioni who have been associated with Hollywood since the 50’s. The current Bond, Daniel Craig has worn Tom Ford in his two movies so far.
When Ian Fleming wrote the first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, he issued his secret agent with a Beretta 418. Fleming freely admitted to knowing little about the type of weapon an agent like Bond would use, therefore it came as no surprise when Geoffrey Boothroyd, a gun collector and Bond fan wrote to Fleming explaining the Beretta 418 was “a lady’s gun”. The two men entered into correspondence until eventually Bonds new gun the Walther PPK 7.65 mm was decided upon. As Fleming set to work on his next novel Dr. No, not only did he start using the Walther but he is actually assigned it by a character called Major Boothroyd. As Dr. No became the first Bond novel to be filmed we see Bonds move from the Beretta to the Walther at the start of the film series. The Walther PP was designed by Carl Walther Waffenfabrik in 1929 (and the slightly smaller version the PPK two years later) for police use, they have been in continues use ever since and the PPK/S has been manufactured in the USA by Smith & Wesson under license. After first using one in Tomorrow Never Dies, from The World Is Not Enough onwards Bond’s issued sidearm became the more modern Walther P99 but the PPK will always be associated with Bond.
In the novels Bond originally drove a Bentley, it is described as a 4½ Litre with an Amherst Villiers supercharger in battleship grey. He did however drive an Aston Martin in the novel Goldfinger, in the film version he drives the Aston Martin DB5 for the first time. The most iconic and recognisable Bond car, Bond and the BD5 will always be synonymous with each other. It reappeared with Sean Connery in Thunderball but its finest hour comes in GoldenEye when driven by Pierce Brosnan’s Bond as he races femme fatale, Xenia Onatopp driving a Ferrari F355 through the French Alpes towards Monte Carlo. In the real world the old Aston wouldn’t’t be able to keep up with the modern Ferrari but in Bonds world this is easily forgotten. After a few dalliances with Lotus’ and BMW’s Bond is now back in an Aston with a classic DB5 making its most recent appearance in Casino Royale.
Ian Fleming’s Bond always wore a Rolex, the exact model was never mentioned. In the films Sean Connery wore a Rolex Submariner, as did Roger Moore initially. Then as we move into the digital age in The Spy Who Loved Me Moore updated to a digital Seiko. Timothy Dalton went back to the classic Rolex Submariner only to be replaced by Pierce Brosnan and The Omega Seamaster. Daniel Craig, also wears the Omega. Part of Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual range the Submariner was first produced in 1954 and designed for diving, the style is iconic and has been copied by other watch manufactures ever since. Although he was ultimately the Bond who moved away from the Rolex it was Roger Moore who made best use of it in Live and Let Die. His Submariner featured highly intense electro-magnet powerful enough to deflect the path of a bullet as well as rotating saw-edged bezel.
Thanks to the movies James Bond is always associated with Vodka Martinis, in fact the Bond of Ian Fleming’s novels drank many different drinks. In Casino Royale he did however drink a Vodka Martini that he eventually named “Vesper” after the character Vesper Lynd. The Vesper recipe is:
Three measures of Gordon’s Gin
One of vodka
Half a measure of Kina Lillet
Shake over ice until it’s ice-cold and strain into a martini glass.
Then add a large thin slice of lemon peel
Check back tomorrow for the main event, Groovers And Mobsters Present James Bond