• Important Watches auction at Christies

    Sale 1383

    Important Watches

    14 November 2011, Geneva

  • Lot 182

    James Bond's specially adapted Rolex wristwatch converted from a stainless steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner wristwatch

    SIGNED ROLEX, OYSTER PERPETUAL, 660FT=200M, SUBMARINER, REF. 5513, CASE NO. 2'683'776, MANUFACTURED IN 1972 AND THEN CONVERTED

    Price Realised  

    James Bond's specially adapted Rolex wristwatch converted from a stainless steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner wristwatch
    Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, 660ft=200m, Submariner, Ref. 5513, case no. 2'683'776, manufactured in 1972 and then converted
    Movement removed to allow customisation, black dial, luminous baton and dot numerals, luminous mercedes-style hands, tonneau-shaped case with calibrated rotating black bezel with saw-tooth edge, modified screw back, the inside case back signed Roger Moore 007, screw down crown, stainless steel Rolex Oyster expandable bracelet with deployant clasp stamped 7-72, a small hole in the end links used to attach an invisible wire to unzip Miss Caruso's dress, case and dial signed
    39 mm. diam.


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    With two framed black and white prints showing James Bond, wearing the present Rolex, and Solitaire tied to a hoist in Kananga's lair and James Bond unzipping Miss Caruso's dress by using the hyper intensified magnetic field of the watch. Furthermore delivered with Syd Cain's original production drawing showing the functioning of the different features, "Live and Let Die" video tape and Christie's South Kensington 14 February 2001 "James Bond" auction catalogue.

    The present Rolex wristwatch, equipped by the famous "Q" for James Bond with the most remarkable features, was the principal gadget in "Live and Let Die". The two most notable tools were doubtlessly the hyper intensified magnetic field powerful enough to deflect the path of a bullet even at a long range and the buzz saw, both used by Bond with positive results at climatic instants in the movie.

    Designed by art director Syd Cain, the watch is one of the exceedingly rare timepieces modified to be used in a film. It has been specifically adapted for the buzz saw feature by cutting the bezel's edges into sharp teeth and modified in order for it to rise to maximum height before spinning (see Cain's production drawing). In Syd Cain's original design, the buzz saw is activated by compressed air blown through a tube onto specially constructed vanes, causing the bezel to rise and rotate. James Bond used the saw feature with dramatic results in one of the movie's most exciting sequences when cutting through the rope and escaping with Solitaire (Jane Seymour) from the hoist in Kananga's lair just before the villain's plans to feed them to the sharks could be carried out.

    The magnetic feature was similarly used to full effect by Bond in his final confrontation with Dr. Kananga. It also provided some of the movies' more humorous moments when Bond, at the beginning of the film, uses it to unzip Miss Caruso's (Madeline Smith) dress. Her remark about the delicacy of his touch gave rise to 007's typically sardonic response "Sheer Magnetism, Darling".

    The present Rolex ref. 5513, modified by the famous Q Branch, is certainly the most memorable Submariner to appear in movies and must be considered a veritable trophy not only for the watch aficionado but also for the amateurs of cinematography, of James Band in general and most particularly of Sir Roger Moore who after all wore it in "Live and Let Die's" most exciting scenes.

    Syd Cain
    Syd Cain (born Sidney B. Cain on 16 April 1918 in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England) is a British production designer and art director who has worked on more than 30 films, including four in the James Bond series in the 1960s and 1970s. He gained international fame for being the set and gadget designer for the these early James Bond movies, notably the present Rolex Submariner but also the lethal spiked shoe wielded by Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) in "From Russia with Love" and Bond's briefcase which concealed an AR-7 sniper's rifle, 40 rounds of ammunition, a tear gas canister disguised as talcum powder, 50 Gold Sovereigns and a throwing knife for the same movie.

    Syd Cain's early live included some spectacular action as well, particularly following his service as a pilot in World War II: in 1945, freshly released from hospital in England after treatment of his injuries from a crash landing causing a broken neck and damages to the spine, both legs and some ribs, he was sent to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) as an instructor. During a storm on a hot afternoon his living quarters were struck by lighting and he was saved in extremis by his "boy" who dragged him free from a burning thatched roof.

    Since his retirement, Syd Cain is concentrating on his hobby, writing and illustrating children's and other stories often based around events in his life.

    Special Notice

    Prospective buyers should be aware that the importation of Rolex watches into the United States is highly restricted. Rolex watches may not be shipped into the USA and can only be imported personally. Generally a buyer may import only one watch into the USA. For further information please contact our specialists in charge of the sale. Please note other countries may have comparable import restrictions for luxury watches.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that EON Productions Ltd owns the copyright in the following items that form part of this lot: two stills photos, the production drawings, and the film "Live and Let Die" appearing on the videotape. These works may not be reproduced for publication in any format, printed or digital, without first seeking permission in writing from EON Productions Ltd or MGM Clip and Stills.


    Pre-Lot Text

    LIVE AND LET DIE


    Post Lot Text

    END OF MORNING SESSION