Earlier this week Roger Moore passed away and with him the legendary characters that he played: Ivanhoe, Simon Templar (The Saint) and Brett Sinclair. He is also the first Bond to pass on to the afterlife. Credited with bringing a great deal of humor into the franchise, which he expertly combined with his good looks, ruffled shirts and raised eyebrow. He was the only Bond never to drive an Aston Martin (even Lazenby was given that pleasure), but he did get to wear a Rolex, a very tricked out one!
Moore joined the James Bond franchise in 1973 with “Live and Let Die.” Paul McCartney and Wings sang the explosive title song, Yaphet Kotto played the larger-than-life villain, and a very young Jane Seymour starred as the seductive Solitaire. Bond’s tricked out watch, diligently provided by Q, started its life at Rolex Geneva in 1972 as a Submariner ref. 5513.
The Submariner would get ample screen time in the movie, but mainly so because Bond was sleeveless most of the time as a large portion of the movie played on a Caribean island. It is, however, the action scenes that are most captivating. For this, the Submariner was modified by Syd Cain, the time art director for the franchise and the real, behind the scenes “Q.” The Rolex was fitted with two new “complications” which you are hard pressed to find in any other Submariner: it could create a hyper intensified magnetic field, strong enough to deflect bullets or unzip dresses without the use of one’s hand (yes, Bond was very politically incorrect). To show this in the movie a separate ref.5513 was prepared with red hour markers, as this indicated that the magnetic function was active.
This particular Submariner was, however, the star of the show with its reworked diving bezel, now showing real teeth and able to spin at high speed, allowing to cut through ropes. It is the watch that saved the day and initiated Moore as one of the longest serving 007’s in history.
The ref.5513 Submariner was sold initially in 2001 by Phillips to sell the watch once more, who achieved an impressive CHF 365.000,- for it.
While Roger Moore is no longer with us, he leaves behind an impressive career as an actor, writer and humanitarian, as well as a legacy of favorite action hero’s, not to mention fond childhood memories to many of us.