Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Real James Bond Watchstrap Comes To Life


James Bond WatchStrap
Back With A Vengance

Jake's Rolex World is the place to be if you are into exploring the old-school James Bond Rolex History. I published what is considered to be the ultimate James Bond Watch History Series named The James Bond Rolex Story...The Complete History of James Bond Watches.

I am so excited to be able to finally share this updated story with you. A few years ago, Corvus Watch Company introduced a watch strap that was really fascinating. It was based upon the nylon strap that Sean Connery wore in Goldfinger.

The only challenge was that it was offered in a NATO style and an RAF style. Why was this a challenge? Because Sean Connery never wore a NATO or a RAF. Instead, Sean Connery wore a standard buckle strap. Corvus FINALLY figured out how to create a model that is identical to the original in ever way!!!

In this first image we see Sean Connery sporting his tri-strip strap while relaxing on the set of Goldfinger.


Here is a photo of the all-new "Original Movie-Style Real James Bond Watchband" made by Corvus. If you examine it closely it is identical in every way to Sean Connery's, including the self-fabric keeper and the buckle. Click here to check out the strap on the Corvus site.


In this next photo, I am wearing the all-new Corvus "Original Movie-Style Real James Bond Watchband", on a vintage Rolex Submariner Reference 5512 from 1967, and it looks amazing in person!!!

I wrote the article below several years ago when Corvus came out with the NATO and Corvus versions which were commonly referred to as The Real Bond NATO. This following article will give you a keen insight into the history of this strap.




The Real James Bond Watchstrap
Comes To Life

Jake's Rolex Watch Blog has often been referred to by its readers as The Bible Of Rolex. I have never referred to it this way, but I believe readers do because I specialize in separating the fact from the fiction in Rolex folklore and I am happy to once again do so.


Let's go back to the origin of this story. In the first two James Bond Movies, Sean Connery played James Bond and he wore a Rolex Submariner as Ian Flemming intended him to. In 1964 Sean Connery once again played James Bond in Goldfinger as seen in the screenshot below.

In Goldfinger there are several scenes where there are close-ups of his Submariner Big Crown Rolex Submariner [Reference 6538]. This Submariner had a big crown and no crown guards. Sean Connery also wears this watch on a nylon diving strap as you can see in the next two photos. For some reason the strap is 16mm and does not properly fit between the 20mm lugs on his Rolex.

There has been much speculation about why the strap is only 16mm and I believe it is because Rolex watches were unusually large at the time and the producers of the movie could not find a 20mm nylon strap, so they used a 16mm which was as close as they could get. Ironically Golfinger was filmed before NATO straps were developed.

Why a Nylon strap? In the opening scene in Goldfinger, James has to wear his Rolex Submariner over his diving suit as seen in the photo below. When I first started writing about this watch, I pointed out in previous articles that the strap consisted of three colors, Dark Navy Blue; Dark Olive and fine Burgundy stripes as seen in the photos above and below.


The Fake James Bond Watchstrap

For many years people have been selling the strap seen below as the James Bond NATO. The supreme irony is NO James Bond ever wore a NATO strap in a James Bond movie and the strap below is the wrong colors and wrong pattern. The strap below is grey and black with 5 total stripes. The Real Bond Strap is 9 stripes and is Navy Blue, Olive and Burgundy.


The Most Supreme Irony

The most supreme irony is Daniel Craig, who currently plays James Bond wears a Rolex Big Crown 6538 that was given to him by the current producer of the James Bond movies, Barbara Broccoli–who is the daughter of the original James Bond producer, Albert "Cubby" Broccoli.

As you can see Daniel Craig is wearing the 6538 Submariner "Big Crown" on his wrist below on a grey and black NATO strap. What makes this so ironic is the myth became the truth and even Daniel Craig fell for it. In other words, NO James Bond actor in history ever wore a NATO strap and Sean Connery never wore a grey and black nylon strap.

The Real Deal

Many months ago I recieved an email from two brothers, Tom and Cam, who own The Corvus Watch Company. Cam mentioned he noticed, as had I, the fake straps that had been selling had nothing to do with James Bond and he decided to bring the real one to life!!!

I was very excited because there were many of us who wanted the real deal. Cam is an amazing guy and his Corvus Watch Company is also very impressive. We will take a look at Corvus and Cam in more detail later in this article.

Withouth further ado, lets take a look at the Real James Bond NATO. Actually, Cam pointed out that since no James Bond ever wore a NATO strap he was perplexed about what to do, so he decided to make a real NATO version of the strap along with a RAF version that is more similar to the one Sean Connery wore. Cam even has them made in Wales by Phoenix Straps which is the official maker of NATO straps for the British Ministry Of Defense.

I must begin by thanking my Pal Eric Ku for allowing me to use some of his amazing vintage Rolex watches for this photo shoot. Eric Ku is California's Premier Vintage Rolex Dealer and you can see his great watches vintage Rolex watches at 10PastTen.com or by clicking here.

The watch in the photo above and bellow is very similar to the Big Crown Submariner Sean Connery wore in Goldfinger.

When I was at Eric Ku's office, I could not resist putting the RAF version on this very rare and collectable "Milsub" [Reference 5517]. It just goes to show this strap looks great on any Rolex.

The Pussy

In the James Bond movie, Goldfinger, James Bond decides he is going to seduce a lesbian named Pussy Galore and in the end he does. Pussy is Goldfinger's private pilot and her character was the first I know of in a movie where a woman wore a mans Rolex Sport Watch.

The Coke Rolex GMT Master [Reference 6542] that Pussy Galore wore in Goldfinger is pictured below on her wrist, so of course when I noticed Eric Ku had one, I had to put in on the strap as seen above.


You can learn more about the Real James Bond NATO Watchstrap and order them for yourself by clicking here.

The Corvus Watch Company

As I previously mentioned, brothers, Cam and Tom own the Corvus Watch Company and they recently came out with his first American Military wristwatch homage called The Bradley Dive Watch and it is based on a U.S. Navy specification from the late 1950s. Of course they all come standard with a Real Bond NATO Watchstrap.


Although The Bradley Dive Watch is based upon a Blancpain Tornek-Rayville TR-900 prototype, Cam and Tom have gone far, far beyond by incorporating some really innovative technology into the watch.


The Bradley Dive Watch has an amazing lume pattern as you can see below which includes a lumed bezel insert that glows in two different colors. For whatever it is worth, I think Cam and Tome charge way too little for their Bradley Diver, but that is their choice. You can learn more about the Corvus Bradley Dive Watch by clicking here.

2 comments:

intitials AO said...

I LOVE it. I am waiting for mine to get along my Dior Chiffre Rouge watch and my Omega Speedmaster Professional.
Top 6 accessories to twist your outfit, including NATO watch straps here: http://initialsao.tumblr.com/post/19746486609/twisting-accessories

Leigh Fermor said...

Cheers Jake,

As ever, you have produced a very well informed and interesting piece.

I would like to add a nice 'twist'.

Having warm the Corvus strap for a while one thing has become clear. When soaking wet - and under light - it looks (wait for it) Black - grey - black - grey black.

Now that might explain everything!

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