Wednesday, May 24, 2017

James Bond Died

James Bond Died

Yesterday was a sad day as I reported Roger Moore passed away. I must admit, I am really surprised at how many different people are taking it. I just had a close friend send me a text a few minutes ago that simply read, "James Bond Died".

Then two minutes later, they texted again, and simply said, "Roger Moore." I texted them back and sent them a link to my coverage of Roger Moore's passing, which can be in yesterday's story seen below this post.

I spoke with another friend yesterday who said, "I can't believe Roger Moore died? He was such an icon of our childhood." I never really thought about it that way before, but I agree, and I think for everybody who grew up watching Roger Moore play James Bond, this is so true. I kind of feel like when Roger Moore died yesterday, a small part of all of us died along with him.

I remember thinking to myself yesterday, "Wow, that's weird Roger Moore passed away before Sean Connery, since he was obviously the younger of the James Bond actors. He must be younger since he played Bond after Connery. I wonder how much younger he is?" A quick Google search revealed Roger Moore was four years older than Sean Connery!?!?!?!?!? WHAT!?!?? If you look at the photo above of Sir Roger Moore with Sir Sean Connery, Roger looks at least 10 years younger, yet in reality, he was 4 years older than Connery!?!! 

Roger Was The Best Bond 

I have also been noticing since Roger Moore passed away, many people suggest Roger Moore was the best Bond Actor, which I have heard some people say before. It is a fact both Sean Connery and Roger Moore both played James Bond 7 times each. If I recall correctly, Sean Connery played him 8 times, if you include "Never Say Never". In the past I have written extensively about the link between James Bond and Rolex, which you can explore in my 13 part series titled, "The James Bond Rolex Story: The Complete History Of James Bond Watches."

I think some of the reasons people say Roger Moore was the best Bond, is they grew up watching him on the big screen, thus he is their archetype for a real-life 'super man'. From an informal consensus perspective, I think most peoples favorite Bond actor is probably the first one they watched in a movie. Personally, I enjoyed all the James Bond actors, but I was never really crazy about Timothy Dalton.

Another interesting point Roger Moore pointed out, when discussing the success of the James Bond franchise, is that peoples enjoyment of Bond, is similar to children watching their favorite same cartoons over and over again. Same with repetitive James Bond movies. The Star Wars franchise has become the same the end of the day, deep down inside, these franchises likely appeal to our inner child...

Bonding Over Bond

I remember a story my uncle Chris once told me about how his father took him to the movies to see the first James Bond movie, Dr. No in 1962, when my uncle was 12 years old. I remember seeing Star Wars when I was 10 years old, and I remember how strong of a impact it had on my imagination, as I was old enough to understand what was going on, but young enough to suspend any disbelief. This combination was amazing, and had a very strong positive impact on my imagination. 

I also remember the first James Bond movie, I saw in the movie theater, which was The Spy Who Loved Me, when I was 13. I also remember seeing Moonraker in theaters in 1979. I remember wanting to be like Jame Bond...I am pretty sure I also remember seeing Live & Let Die in movie theaters, because I distinctively remember the highly iconic Rolex Submariner with the spinning sharp bezel that helped Bond escape.

Back to the story about my uncle Chris and his father. They watched Dr. No as part of a double feature at the Grenada Theater on a Wednesday evening in 1962, and Chris' father said: "Son, this movie you are about to watch is about how an ideal man should be!" Essentially, my uncle bonded with his father over watching Dr. No and discussing the details after the movie, about how cool Sean Connery's James Bond character was. 

If you think about the James Bond characters over the years, they really are kind of like a real life archetypical Superman in the sense they are hyper-competent. In other words, they are always extremely super-smart, successful, handsome, cultured, well groomed, and dressed, and bad guys always try to kill them, but instead James Bond ends up killing the bad guys. James Bond also always ends up getting all the beautiful women around him. James Bond is the ultimate Alpha male.

In the final analysis though, it really all boils down to competence. In other words, James Bond really is the ideal man, in the sense he is simple a model for the ideal hyper-competent man that all men are hardwired to appreciate, respect and aspire to deep down inside. The thing about Superman, is he is not supposed to die, is he? Methinks that is why there has been such a strong emotional response to James Bond Roger Moore dying. It turns out, he was a super man, who was real, and was not immortal. 

I don't think I ever watched the entire cult-classic movie named "Trainspotting", but I think I remember a scene where two of the characters are high, and they are watching Sean Connery in a James Bond film, and one turns to the other and one says with a really thick Scottish accent, "That Sean Connery—he's a masculine actor!!!!" I could't find the clip, but this one featuring Ewan McGregor also references Sean Connery in a funny way. I think that part of the storyline in Trainspotting was that they were obsessed with Sean Connery, thus the reference to the movie "Untouchables", which Sean Connery starred in. My curiosity is getting the best of me, so I am going to have to watch Trainspotting in the future:

It's kinda funny (as T. Walker Lloyd would say), they mention Georgie Best in the beginning of the Trainspotting movie clip above, who once famously said:

"I spend a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I squandered." 

George Best, incase you are not familiar, was a professional footballer (soccer) who played as winger for Manchester United. Georgie was a really funny dude, known for his witty quips. He also famously once said, 

"In 1969 I have up women and alcohol—it was the worst 20 minutes of my life." 

He also said:

"I've stopped drinking, but only while I am asleep.', as well as: "I used to go missing a lot...Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World."

Back to Bond: My point is Roger Moore, was really kind of the opposite of Sean Connery in many ways. Sean was a masculine actor, and Roger was a beautiful man, as we see in the photo below from the 1974 James Bond  movie, The Man With The Golden Gun, which showcases Swedish beauty, Britt Ekland. Britt Ekland Tweeted the following on Roger Moore's passing yesterday:

"I Will Miss Him"

-Sir Sean Connery 

Sir Sean Connery paid tribute to fellow James Bond actor, Roger Moore and said:

"I was very sad to hear of Roger's passing. We had a an unusually long relationship by Hollywood standards, that was filled with jokes and laughter. I will miss him."

Pierce Brosnan, who also played 007 paid tribute to the Roger Moore on Facebook when he wrote:

Fellow James Bond actor, Timothy Dalton tweeted the following:

Daniel Craig, posted the following tweet on twitter, in which he simply and elegantly said, "Nobody Does It Better — Daniel"

Last but not least, fellow James Bond Actor, George Lazenby said:

"I liked Roger, he was an genuine fellow, a really good guy."

On a side note, I have an interesting Rolex history corollary to share with you. The James Bond Movie Franchise began in London in 1962, when Sean Connery starred as Bond in Dr. No. Since then, there have only been 6 men in total to play James Bond. Rolex was founded in London in 1905, and since then, there have only been 6 men in total who ran Rolex.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sir Roger Moore 1927-2007

...Time and Tide Wait For No Man...

Sir Roger Moore 

Belongs To The Ages


This is really sad, but I just learned that James Bond actor, Sir Roger Moore passed away just minutes ago in Switzerland. On a positive note, Sir Roger Moore obviously lived an amazing life, and made it to 89 years of age, which is an excellent run for anybody...Roger Moore played James Bond from 1973 to 1985 in a total of 7 movies, which include Live & Let Die, The Man With The Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopus and View to A Kill.

I was just talking to my good pal, Stan Barrett, this morning and he was telling me how sad he felt about Roger Moore's passing. Stan Barrett knew Roger Moore and worked with him in the 1981 movie named Cannonball Run. Stan said:

"When Paul (Newman) was dying, I was by his side and he said to me, 'Stan, you are the last of the good guys'. To my way of thinking, Roger Moore was truly the last of the good guys, in the sense that he was such a great human being. Roger was so personable, and outgoing. He made everybody feel like a star. He was so genuine and always smiling, and upbeat. He would brighten-up any room he walked into. Roger was also an amazing philanthropist, and not just with all the great work he did for UNICEF. So was Audrey Hepburn—by the way—and she introduced Roger to UNICEF. The world lost a great gentleman today with Roger Moore's passing."

My first memories of Roger Moore, were from him playing James Bond on the big screen, while I watched him on the small screen at home, in his role as Beau Maverick, beside Jack Kelley in the epic TV Western named Maverick which ran on TV from 1957-1962 in the Untied States. We see Jack Kelley in the photo below with Roger Moore. James Garner was also one of the Maverick stars.

If you grew up watching Maverick, and you play the video below, it will seriously Deja Vu you out when you hear the Maverick theme song.

If highly recommend watching the Roger Moore documentary below, which does a superb job of telling Roger Moore's story of lifetime achievement. 

Sir Roger Moore is pictured below in his later years, after he was done playing James Bond, and we see him wearing his Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Chapter 7: Roger Moore–A Saint To Play James Bond

...The James Bond Rolex Story...

The Complete History Of James Bond Watches
Including ALL Watches Worn In All James Bond Movies
The Definitive Guide

Chapter 7: Roger Moore–A Saint To Play James Bond

Sean Connery had grown weary of playing James Bond, so he was replaced by Roger Moore who had been playing a spy on the very successful TV show named The Saint. Roger Moore brought a completely different vibe to the role of James Bond in his first James Bond Movie in 1973 named Live & Let Die. It turns out, that in real life, through his philanthropy with UNICEF, he would become a true life Saint.

Roger Moore was tall dark and handsome, but this new James Bond also had piercing blue eyes and a fascinating style all his own. The Saint aired in the United Kingdom on ITV from 1962 to 1969 and was based upon Leslie Charteris' literary character, Simon Templar. The Simon Templar character who was an undercover detective who specialized in elaborate disguises was played flawlessly by Roger Moore who completed 118 episodes that ended-up playing on TV in over 60 countries internationally. It should be noted that Ian Fleming once said, that when he envisioned James Bond, he envisioned Roger Moore being the perfect actor to portray him!

Movie #9. Live and Let Die [Roger Moore, 1st] 1973
• Rolex Submariner [Reference 5513]
• Hamilton Pulsar [P2 Digital LED]

In the photos above and below you see Roger Moore as James Bond wearing his Rolex Submariner Reference 5513 with his costar, Jane Seymour who played Solitaire.

Rogers Moore is pictured above and below with the gorgeous Jane Seymour, who co-stared with him in Live and Let Die. This watch that sold at auction is NO ordinary Rolex Submariner, even though it appears to be in these photos. The watch was highly customized for the movie, as you can see lower in this story.

As previously mentioned, Rogers Moore's Rolex Submariner was highly customized, and it included a spinning bezel with sharp teeth that could cut through rope, as seen in the screen shots from Live and Let die—pictured above and below.

Sys Cain's artists rendering below is from the prop/art department and shows the original conceptual art for James Bond's Rolex Submariner Reference 5513, which featured a Buzz Saw Bezel that could cut through rope, as well as a Hyper Intensified Magnetic Field Generator that could stop bullets. 

In the movie Bond used the Magnetic Field Generator to unzip Madeline Smith's dress. Roger Moore said, "Sheer magnetism, darling." The prop watch had special hole in it that held the very fine wire that was used to "invisibly" unzip Miss Smith's dress as seen below:

The photo below shows the inside of the watch. The fan blades inside the case were added so that when compressed air was blown inside the watch, as a special effect, it caused the Submariner bezel to rotate and simulate the spinning saw blade.

James Bond Rolex Sold for $198,000
from Live & Let Die
Reference 5513

In November of 2011, The Rolex "Sawtooth Submariner" [Modified Reference 5513] that Roger Moore wore in Live and Let die sold for $198,00 at Christies Auction House. Notice the saw teeth on the bezel edge in the photo below...

James Bond

Iconic Rolex Submariner 

Sells For $363,000!!!!

Specialized Unique Reference 5513

On October 29, 2015, the James Bond "Sawtooth Submariner" was auctioned again, this time by Phillips Auction House, and this time it sold for $363,000.

Official Trailer
Live And Let Die

It's kind of funny watching old James Bond trailers today, because they almost seem like you are watching an Austin Powers trailer ;-) But back in the 1970s, there was not a whole lot going on in the world. No Internet, or even MTV, and at the time this movie came out, most American households still had black and white TVs...

A Beatle Sings For Bond
Paul McCartney & Wings
Reference 5513

The first James Bond Movie that Roger Moore starred in had its them song composed and performed by non other than former Beatle, Paul McCartney, which he recored with his band Wings in 1973.

The song Live And Let Die was presented during the opening credits in the movie, as seen below in the intro.

Hamilton Pulsar [P2 Digital LED Watch]

When Roger Moore became James Bond in 1973, the times were changing, literally and figuratively (pun intended). In Live & Let die Roger Moore–beside his Rolex Submariner which is pictured above–also wore a Pulsar digital LED watch.

In 1973 the Digital LED watches were all the rage, and very expensive. They were considered a status symbol at the time because they were so expensive and rare. They ran on battery power and required you to push a button to see the time. I remember when I was a kid back in the early to mid 1970s, digital watches were the coolest. Now they seem passé like a AMC Gremlin.

Roger More is pictured above and below with the gorgeous Madeline Smith from Live and Let die.

So Paul McCartney leaves the Beatles and starts a new band called "Wings", and writes a little song which is equally iconic to any Beatles song. 

You know the super-iconic words by McCartney:

When you were young and your heart was an open book
You used to say live and let live!
(you know you did, you know you did you know you did!)
But if this ever changing world in which we're living
Makes you give in and cry

Say live and let die
Live and let die
Live and let die
Live and let die

What does it matter to ya
When you got a job to do
You gotta do it well
You gotta give the other fellow hell

When you were young and your heart was an open book
You used to say live and let live
(you know you did, you know you did you know you did)
But if this ever changing world in which we're living
Makes you give in and cry

Say live and let die
Live and let die
Live and let die
Live and let die

On August 15, 2016, the Rolex Instagram page featured this very special Rolex Submariner on the Official Rolex Instagram page, which it titled:

"This is a pretty sharp watch. A Submariner with a special spin. Customized in 1973, it features a unique rope-cutting, villain-escape function."

Movie #10. The Man with the Golden Gun [Roger Moore, 2nd] 1974
• Rolex Submariner [Reference 5512]

Roger Moore is pictured below with Britt Ekland, who is also pictured above as well.

Here is a wrist shot of Roger Moore's Rolex Submariner 5513 from The Man With The Golden Gun.

Christopher Lee
The Man With The Golden Gun

Christopher Lee played the villain named Scaramanga in The Man With The Golden Gun. For years I heard many people say he wore a yellow gold King Midas Rolex Cellini, as seen in the photos below. On Jake's Rolex World I have always specialized in separating fact from fiction, and busting false myths. So the obvious question, is Christopher Lee wearing a Rolex King Midas?

The video scene below shows Christopher Lee's character with his Golden Gun, which he is able to build on-deman from his cigaret lighter, cigarette case and his pen. 

To date I have never been able to make a positive ID match by finding an exact Rolex model that matches Christopher Lee's watch. The reality is that Rolex made a zillion variations of the yellow gold Rolex Cellini King Midas, with brown wood dials, which look similar to the watch Christopher Lee is wearing.

My best guess is that Christopher Lee is NOT wearing a Rolex, but a Piaget model similar to the one pictured below. In the future, I will continue to explore this issue until I can make a positive ID.

Movie #11. The Spy Who Loved Me [Roger Moore, 3rd] 1977
• Seiko [Model 0674 LC]
• Rolex GMT Master

One of the really cool features in the movie was James Bond's Lotus Esprit, which was also a submarine, as seen below. By the way, Elon Musk owns this actual car today ;-)

Roger Moore As James Bond
From The Spy Who Loved Me
Coke Rolex GMT Master

The first image one of the publicity stills associated with the James Bond film, "The Spy Who Loved Me." If I understand it correctly, it was used in as a publicity still but not shown completely in the film. 

Ironically, Roger Moore is wearing a Rolex GMT-Master, as apposed to a Rolex Submariner, which we usually see him wear when he played James Bond.

Roger Moore is pictured below receiving the portrait of himself as Commander Bond from The Spy Who Love Me.

On a side note, in the image below Roger Moore is wearing a GMT Coke from a movie he shot in 1976 named Street People. From all the research I have done on Roger Moore, I think it would be fair to say he is a dedicated Rolex fan!!!

Movie #12. Moonraker [Roger Moore, 4th] 1979
• Seiko [M354 Memory Bank Calender]

Movie #13. For Your Eyes Only [Roger Moore, 5th] 1981
• Seiko [H357 Duo Display]
• Seiko [7549-7009]

Movie #14. Octopussy [Roger Moore, 6th] 1983
• Seiko TV Watch / G757 Sports 100

Everybody always talks about how Sean Connery was the best Bond, but as time goes by, the more I appreciate Roger Moore. By the way, Sean Connery began playing the James Bond character when he was 32 (Debuted in Dr. No in 1962), and Roger Moore began playing Bond at age 46 in Live & Let Die in 1973. In many ways Roger Moore was the exact opposite of Sean Connery, in the sense Sean would just take the ladies, and with Roger, the ladies wanted to take him. It is also interesting to note that Roger Moore wears Rolex watches in his private life, as see below in this photo of him pouring coffee.

Sir Roger Moore is pictured below with his wife and son, and notice he is wearing his Rolex Submariner.

Sir Roger Moore and Sir Sean Connery have remained friends for many decades, and we see them together in the photo below.

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