Cheap champagne and ill-fitting suits do not a superspy make. As such, when Ian Fleming created his most famous character, the suave and sophisticated James Bond 007, he inserted real-world luxury brands into his books to show the average reader that this was a man not to be messed with in lifestyle and hand-to-hand combat.
But what are the brands that have made Bond? Over the years, different tailors and wine labels have cropped up in the tales of the superspy, be they for product placement deals or dragging the series into the present, while others have taken a backseat in the Aston Martin of the franchise. But which have made the biggest impressions, whether they’ve been there since the 1950s or drifted in later in the canon?
Despite Bond not initially favouring the British car manufacturer – in fact, his first care was a 4.5 litre Bentley with a supercharger by Amherst Villiers – but, over the years, the iconic DB series have become the superspy’s wheels of choice.
From the classic DB5 from Goldfinger, to Spectre’s latest DB10, there’s rarely been a film where an Aston doesn’t roll onto screen for at least a cameo appearance: even if you couldn’t see it at the time (we’re looking at you, Die Another Day).
He may have got a little sloppy with his drinks orders on screen of late, not giving ‘a damn’ whether his martini is shaken or stirred, but Bond’s initial order of this particular cocktail found its foundation on Gordon’s gin.
‘Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?’ Bond orders his first martini as such, and that’s the recipe 007 aficionados the world over have followed ever since.
In Moonraker, Diamonds are Forever and Dr. No, Bond uses products from the iconic British perfumiers. A personal favourite of Ian Fleming himself – the author great up in St James’s near the brand’s London-based shop – it made sense that he would imbue his own creation with his preferred scent.
Floris Lime Bath Essence and various soaps and lotions created by the brand make their appearances throughout the canon, with a 2016 special edition being created in partnership with Bond’s shirtmaker of choice…
Turnbull & Asser
From Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, this British institution – based on the centre of shirt making, Jermyn Street – have created the dress shirts for the iconic superspy, the bases of tuxedos that he inevitably ends up bloodying in climactic and closely-fought battles.
Even when the white shirts of 007 were provided by others, Turnbull & Asser still threw their hats into the sartorial ring – or should that be ties, as Pierce Brosnan wore some silk creations from the tailors.
Despite Omega taking the reigns of late, Rolex was the superspy’s first watch of choice. The following movies, in fact, all saw Bond strap a Rolex on his wrist: Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, Licence to Kill, The Living Daylights.
And it makes sense. Well-known around the world as one of the finest watchmakers in the world, Rolex was an obvious choice for the filmmakers, and a believable accessory of the agent who loves the finer things in life.
Rolex Submariner Date
Crockett & Jones
Skyfall and SPECTRE got around. Bond flits from London to Tangiers to the Alps to Macau to Mexico and more in the latest two films in the franchise, and British shoemakers Crockett & Jones are with him – quite literally – every step of the way. Styles ranging from Camberley to Norwich, Tetbury to Alex are slipped on by the superspy, ensuring his comfort and sartorial soundness with every kick, dash or daring move.
The most notable are possibly the Islay boots, which Bond wears in the climate battle sequence of Skyfall in Scotland. Paired with his Barbour jacket, it makes for one of the most casual – but most memorable – Bond looks of modern times.
Now you know how the superspy shops, why not discover some more little-known facts about 007?