Breitling for Bentley Motors T Speed watch on Carte Blanche book

Readers and collectors clearly benefit from a definitive Carte Blanche James Bond Breitling watch identification; so who really has an interest in keeping it a mystery?

“What difference would it have made if Jeffery Deaver had not gone on to specify an exact model number for the James Bond Breitling watch in Carte Blanche?”

It’s an important question to discuss. Anyone who values a wristwatch for more than merely telling the time has a vested interest in this answer, of course.

And let’s not kid ourselves: James Bond watch affiliations are proven to make a substantial difference in retail and residual prices.

For example, an October 2008 special report by WatchTime magazine noted that “in 1996 Omega sold 10 times more Seamaster Professional Divers” than the year prior. Omega directly attributed this to product placement that had put that model on the wrist of actor Pierce Brosnan in the 1995 Eon Productions 007 film, GoldenEye.

Vintage-wise, disciplined research, such as my own original-source interviews that were first to definitively identify correct model numbers for historic James Bond Rolex and Seiko watches, has helped collectors target acquisitions with true “Double O” standing in terms of rationalizing price premiums.

Admittedly, I’ve lost a few followers by breaking this news. Or, rather should I say, gained a couple of stalkers.

They’re angry because I’ve laid out information proving that the On Her Majesty’s Secret Service watch couldn’t be “any” Rolex Explorer other than the 1016 reference. Thus I’ve accountably substantiated the value of the latter, and — you guessed it — made the alternative they advocate, and just happen to own, listing for sale under the guise of “friendly offering,” that much less a hot commodity.

Or they blame me for drying up revenue streams to their grey market watch sites. They’re stuck with huge inventories of quartz watches they’d hoped to sell as “just like James Bond wore in the movies,” because educated prospects are now asking for model and case numbers before they buy.

These sellers are the people who spam the internet with invariably emotional arguments against clearly resolved identifications on key wristwatches of James Bond. Why?

Ex post facto IDs

More pointedly to this discussion, in the absence of absolute James Bond Breitling watch identification by Jeffery Deaver, who else would be left to say, “Well, this model ‘is consistent with’ the Breitling watch that Jeffery Deaver had in mind for Agent 007 in Carte Blanche“?

Yup, you guessed it: The loudest voices on the web, looking to unload the biggest inventories and one-ups of watches they personally own, “for a price,” don’cha know.

They’ll go on to argue that Carte Blanche, the book as it was when actually published in 2011, didn’t say that James Bond wears a Breitling for Bentley model A2536513 / C781 Bentley Motors T Speed chronograph wristwatch.

True. And neither did Doctor No, the book as it was actually published in 1958, say that James Bond wears a “cheap, expendable” wristwatch on an expanding metal bracelet.

But we know that he did.

Shortly after Doctor No was published that year, a fan by the name of B.W. Goodden wrote to Ian Fleming about the James Bond watch in that novel. The Fleming estate has allowed me to see that original letter, which I do not believe has been published; Ian Fleming’s response, however, can be found on page 68 of Henry Chancellor’s excellent work, James Bond: The Man and His World.

That’s where Ian Fleming wrote, on June 5, 1958, that it had up until that point been the practice of James Bond “to use fairly cheap, expendable wrist watches on expanding metal bracelets….”

There’s the best precedent anyone could ask for in Jeffery Deaver’s June 29, 2011, designation in response to my inquiry, of the Breitling for Bentley model A2536513 / C781 Bentley Motors T Speed as James Bond’s second watch in Carte Blanche.

It’s your best precedent, too.

Breitling watch courtesy Lewis Jewelers