How many handsome men do you know on this planet who wear bespoke tailored suits, walk with a confident swagger, flash expensive gadgets, liaise with dangerously attractive girls and sip Martinis with a nonchalant regard for their surroundings? When it comes to James Bond – the world’s most famous spy – we know all of these things (and more) are true and beyond the realm of many.
Since 1953, when James Bond was introduced for the first time, he has been wooing us with his suave looks and sophisticated dressing. Albeit, a part of the credit must go to the many brands that maketh the Man. For instance, only a die-hard fan of James Bond would know that the producers of Pierce Brosnan’s Die Another Day had partnered with 21 brands.
Though the brand partners have been drastically cut since then, the fact remains that James Bond is a spy who loves brands. With the lastest Bond release Spectre made at an estimated cost of $300 million, let us have a look at the brands that over the years, have made Bond, James Bond:
Bond’s love affair with vodka Martini (shaken, not stirred) is a long standing one. Though he prefers a Vesper Martini, it’s not to say he doesn’t consume or enjoy a wide variety of drinks including champagne, whiskey, beer and a variety of cocktails.
In Casino Royale, Bond does mention that Taittinger is probably the finest champagne in the world’. However, he soon passes it off as a fad. Understand that what he drinks in his books are quite different than on screen. In the books, he drinks Bollinger, Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot, Bourbon and many others. While it may be disconcerting for some to see Bond ordering a pint of Beer in a local pub (as he is described drinking beers in the books), it’s interesting to note that Bond goes local whenever he finds himself in a new place, such as drinking Raki in Turkey and Chianti in Rome.
Bond has always been defined by his crisp, tailored suits. Though the Bond franchise started with Anthony Sinclair’s suits by the British tailoring house, Pierce Brosnan made appearances in Brioni which suited him well. However, Quantum of Solace saw Bond outfitted in the contemporary Texan-born designer Tom Ford’s slim and form-flattering cut overcoats and dinner jackets.
The world’s finest Cashmere may find criticism with many labelling it as a little feminine. However, in Spectre’s official promo posters, when Daniel Craig sports the charcoal black mock turtle sweater made from Cashmere and silk, there is a hardly a doubt that he is the epitome of machoism. It’s no secret, but let us still make it known that the N. Peal black cashmere turtleneck sold out immediately as the film poster of Spectre came out.
As far as Cashmeres go, 007 has been dressed in this premium wool for years – from Timothy Dalton to Pierce Brosnan. However, it’s only as recent as 2012, when the current Bond, Daniel Craig, chose to dress up in N. Peal’s knitwear in Skyfall.
Crockett & Jones
For his secret and dangerous missions, Bond has been shod by British shoemakers Church’s and John Lobb for many years. Northampton-based ‘Crockett & Jones’ are the current shoemakers of choice for the shoe snob, James Bond. All the styles that Bond wears are comfortable and durable which stand him good for his hair-raising stunts as he sprints on top of train carriages and jumps between construction cranes, while defying gravity and (thankfully!) death.
James Bond’s character is as much about his clothing as it is about his gadgets. That Omega is the British spy’s favoured watch brand is common knowledge, but not many know that in his novel ‘His Majesty’s Service’, Ian Fleming made Bond wear a Rolex. However, since Golden Eye, Bond has always sported Swiss Luxury watch brand Omega’s carefully crafted Seamaster.
In Spectre, spot Daniel Craig wearing the Seamaster Aqua Terra James Bond and the Seamaster 300. Omega Seamaster 300 is a watch that for the first time in Bond history has been officially released to the general public as a limited edition purchase. The best bit?
It costs more than $6,000.
As far as accessories go, James Bond has always worn slick sunglasses. While earlier, Bond preferred Cartier, Bogner and Cutler and Gross, it’s Persol who has enjoyed the longest relationship with the bridge of Bond’s nose. Remember Pierce Brosnan’s effortlessly stylish Persol PE2672-S which were specially crafted for an uber cool and impeccably dressed Bond? Daniel Craig has loved wearing limited edition Persol eyewear as well in Casino Royale.
However, in Bond’s latest instalment Spectre, Daniel Craig has been seen wearing Tom Ford’s Snowden soft square sunglasses. If you think it’s a tad too similar to the classic Wayfarer shape, then you wouldn’t be wrong. But we must say, the final outcome is a stunning-looking Bond.
Part of Bond’s charming personality is expressed in the gold-ringed cigarettes(specially crafted for him) and the fleet of expensive, gadget-loaded cars he drives. Usually, Bond and his beloved Aston Martin are inseparable. We have seen enough James Bond movies to know that truth. Especially, Aston Martin DB5 – wins the title of being the most famous Bond car, hands down.
The many desirable (if outlandish) features that a Bond car is equipped with by Q Branch, such as a teleprinter disguised as a CD player, a champagne cooler, the popout gun barrels behind the front indicator, the self-destructing variety, a rocket propulsion and the ultra- cool cloaking device that can make the car disappear at the push of a button – all come in handy as Bond is chasing villains and saving the world from an international terror organization.
However, Daniel Craig driving a Ford Mondeo in the opening scene of Casino Royale, was a minor departure from the norm. Though it was the most exclusive hand built Mondeo model till date, Bond fans didn’t appreciate the master spy shifting his loyalty to another car brand. In Spectre, Daniel Craig is seen behind the wheels of a specially created DB10.
How is a spy expected to save the world if he is not comfortable both outside and inside? Bond looks as much after his outer wear as he looks into the small details when dressing down.
In Spectre, while Tom Ford has dressed James Bond in the most sophisticated tailored tuxedos, the onus was on Sunspel, the luxury basics brand to provide Bond with the most comfortable innerwear. It remains to be seen whether Bond will be seen in the navy and white stretch cotton trunks and briefs.
Though Bond creator, Ian Fleming, left this world more than 50 years ago, but his legacy lives on. Six different heroes have played the character of James Bond till date. Each of them has done justice to the character and helped in making the Bond brand bigger and better with each installment. The Bond story is far from over, and so are the brands’ story that associate themselves with the most famous fictitious secret agent. After all, The biggest truth is that audiences world wide love James and will continue to do so.