WatchTime, "Discovered: James Bond's Rolex" (page 90)Everything changes with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, written in 1962.

Thirteen percent of all James Bond watch references are in this one novel, more than in any other Fleming thriller. He cited the Rolex brand in seven places. As Bond expert and author Kingsley Amis generally observed, Fleming wrote ‘with an energy that shows [when] he’s dealing with something personally important to him.’

What was that?

I’m convinced that it was the deal struck with Eon Productions in 1961 to make five James Bond movies. The first, Dr. No, began filming in Jamaica during the early months of 1962 — the same time Ian Fleming was there, writing On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. We know that cross-pollination resulted, because the virtually unknown actress who played the female lead in Dr. No is referred to as ‘Ursula Andress, the film star‘ in the novel On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Sean Connery, as Bond in Dr. No, wore a Submariner. Whoever made that happen, the only Fleming book then existing to specify a Rolex was Live and Let Die. It’s hard to imagine that Ian Fleming would have let the last detail of Bond’s Rolex model be determined by someone else. Neither would he have forgotten the 1958 letter that first recommended Rolex to him. As 007 followers know, it was another reader’s letter, from gun expert Geoffrey Boothroyd, which persuaded Fleming to have James Bond give up his signature Beretta pistol in favor of a Walther PPK.

Image:

A first edition of Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which contains seven references to James Bond’s Rolex Oyster Perpetual.

Pull quote:

‘[Bond] would get another watch as soon as the shops opened after Boxing Day. Another Rolex? Probably. They were on the heavy side, but they worked… You could see the time in the dark with those big phosphorus numerals.’ Ian Fleming, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Go to “Discovered: James Bond’s Rolex” (WatchTime feature article), Part 7 of 9

Discovered: James Bond’s Rolex,” Part 1 of 9
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“Discovered: James Bond’s Rolex,” Part 3 of 9
“Discovered: James Bond’s Rolex,” Part 4 of 9
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“Discovered: James Bond’s Rolex,” Part 6 of 9
“Discovered: James Bond’s Rolex,” Part 7 of 9
“Discovered: James Bond’s Rolex,” Part 8 of 9
“Discovered: James Bond’s Rolex,” Part 9 of 9

How I Found the Original James Bond Watch,” Part 1 of 3
“How I Found the Original James Bond Watch,” Part 2 of 3
“How I Found the Original James Bond Watch,” Part 3 of 3