bad guys good watches …

Ian Fleming was familiar with a number of high-end watches and on occasion used them to flesh out the characters that crossed 007’s path. There’s Jed Midnight, a member of a crime syndicate in Goldfinger: “The complicated gold watch on his wrist must have weighed nearly half a pound.”. Hugo Drax, known for precision in every detail, wears “a plain gold Patek Philippe watch” in Moonraker.A “bulky gold wristwatch on a well-used brown crocodile strap” is the choice of Donovan “Red” Grant, chief executioner for the Cold War USSR in From Russia, with Love. “It was a Girard-Perregaux model designed for people who like gadgets, and it had a sweep second-hand and two little windows in the face to tell the day of the month, and the month, and the phase of the moon.”

Giuseppe Petacchi in Thunderball, a pilot for the underworld consortium known as SPECTRE (“Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion”) has “a passion for owning things — flashy, exciting, expensive things.” His watch is “a solid gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Chronometer on a flexible gold bracelet.” Curiously, the watch worn by Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever stands out uniquely as a women’s timepiece identified by name. It’s a “small square Cartier” on a black strap. Some years after this novel, Ian Fleming himself actually gave a Cartier wristwatch to his Jamaican confidante Blanche Blackwell, as thanks for her sharing with him the real-life events on which he later based his short story, “Quantum of Solace.”

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