Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Original James Bond Watch: Coming To America

The Original James Bond Watch
Coming To America

Ian Fleming’s character James Bond has always been associated with the finest of everything; cars, clothes and, of course, watches. The National Watch & Clock Museum in Columbia, Pennsylvania will be presenting an exhibit opening in the summer of 2010 that will explore the subject of the watches of James Bond. The exhibit, Watches, James Bond Watches, will feature the watch that provided the inspiration for James Bond’s wristwatch: Ian Fleming’s own Rolex Explorer.

In the photo above we see Ian Flemming (left) on the set of "Goldfinger," next to James Bond film producers, Harry Salztman (center) and Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli (right). Photo Credit: Imperial War Museum and Getty Images

This wristwatch was recently identified by Dell Deaton of www.jamesbondwatches.com, as the original, literary James Bond watch in his recent article for WatchTime magazine. Mr. Deaton is serving as the National Watch & Clock Museum’s Guest Curator for the exhibit; it was through his direct work with Fleming heirs that the display of this important and historical timepiece is possible.

This is the first time that Ian Fleming’s watch has been exhibited in the United States. The watch was recently on display at the Imperial War Museum in London, featured in an exhibit on the life and work of Ian Fleming. Fionn Morgan, Ian Fleming’s stepdaughter, states “Ian would have enjoyed the idea of displaying his own Oyster Perpetual as part of an exhibition of James Bond watches…It is wonderful to see the James Bond legacy presented through the watches that this character has worn. It is further most gratifying to see Ian’s Explorer number 1016 displayed as the origin of this long and continuous chronology. Collectors and the public will learn a lot through this exhibition.”

Ian Fleming's personal Rolex 1016 Explorer, which served as his basis for the personal James Bond wristwatch he described in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1963) Photo Credit: Imperial War Museum

“The National Watch & Clock Museum is honored to be able to display Mr. Fleming’s watch” Museum Director Noel Poirier comments, “and we are thankful to the Fleming family for allowing this one of a kind object to be a part of the Bond watch exhibit.” The exhibit will also include examples of the watches worn throughout the James Bond novels and motion pictures. Additionally, memorabilia from fans of the character will also be included in the exhibit.

Dell Deaton, the National Watch & Clock Museum's guest curator for the exhibit, Watches, James Bond Watches.

The National Watch and Clock Museum is operated by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) association with close to 21,000 members, representing 52 countries.

April through November the Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. December through March hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Discounts are available to seniors, students, AAA members, and groups of 10 or more. Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to call ahead. For more program information, directions, or general Museum information, call 717-684-8261 or visit our website at www.nawcc.org.

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