Sunday, November 1, 2020

Pussy Galore Rolex "Goldfinger" Movie Poster GMT-Master


Pussy Galore

Rolex "Goldfinger" Movie Poster


Every time I think I've seen it all in the world of Rolex, I seem to stumble across something that seems otherworldly—in the sense it contributes new insight that results in a paradigm shift—and that is the case with this 1964 Rolex Pussy Galore Goldfinger movie poster Jose from shared with me yesterday that features Honor Blackman rocking her Rolex GMT-Master. At first glance when I saw this image in lower-resolution I was a little bit skeptical in that it seemed perhaps to be too good to be true, but after careful research Jose got ahold of this higher resolution image (pictured below) and discovered that indeed it is a legitimate Rolex | James Bond | Pussy Galore movie poster!!! 

Ironically, the poster came from a retired Rolex watchmaker who lives in the Canary Islands in Spain (closer to Africa) who was cleaning out his basement and stumbled into this magnificent buried Rolex history treasure!!! Reality—it turns out, is stranger than fiction!!!

When Jose and Nick and I first saw the image we agreed the poster looked legitimate and Jose mentioned he was amazed we had never seen it before, to which I responded "Makes you wonder what else is floating around out there that we still have not discovered!?!!"

The relationship between the early James Bond franchise and Rolex has always been unclear and mysterious. When I started Jake's Rolex World 13 years ago, there was no real consensus on the nexus between Bond and Rolex. In other words, there was no apparent evidence that Rolex was at all involved with the James Bond franchise. In 2008 I interviewed T. Walker Lloyd who was a former Rolex U.S.A. executive who recollected being on the set of Thunderball and interacting with Sean Connery, but that discovery really didn't shine that much light on resolving the issue. The discovery of this new poster really sheds amazing new insight on Rolex's participation in the early James Bond franchise relationship.

So what is so impressive and game-changing about this James Bond Rolex movie poster in relation to Rolex history? A few things:

1. It represents the earliest documented formal link between the James Bond Franchise and Rolex.

2. It offers great insight (think: missing puzzle piece) into how apparently Rolex showcased a mans Rolex being worn by a woman


Nick Gould pointed out:

    "The photo in the Goldfinger Rolex poster is taken from the scene where Bond is traveling on Goldfinger's jet to the U.S.A. The discovery of this Goldfinger Rolex poster may explain why they included the cigarette lighter scene (pictured below) of the Submariner at the Start of the movie. My take-away is that despite the fact that Sean Connery wore a Rolex Submariner in the first two James Bond movies (Dr. No in 1962, and From Russia with Love in 1963, Rolex was not involved in any way with the James Franchise since if you watch the first to films you don't get to see the dial or watch in close-up detail. Then all of a sudden in Goldfinger (1964) and Thunderball (1965) we see Rolex watches up-front-and-center on the wrist of James Bond (Sean Connery) and Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman".

Nick Gould also pointed out:

    "This would also explain the GMT-Master on the wrist of Felix Leiter who was played by Rick Van Nutter in Thunderball."

The photo below shows Sean Connery and Rik Van Nutter on the set of Thunderball which was shot in the Bahamas, and we see Rik rocking a GMT-Master.

Another Rolex Model on Sean Connery

I discovered this image years ago but had never published it. I was waiting for the right moment, but since Sir Sean Connery just passed away I realized now is probably the perfect time. This photo shows Sean Connery in Thunderball at 1:10:54 wear a Rolex that appears to be a stainless steel Datejust with a white dial. This is a previously undocumented discovery, but I think it ads valuable context to Nicks historically significant comments.

I would add additional historical context with the fact that in 1963-1963, André Heiniger had just taken over as the Managing Director of Rolex in Geneva, and as a result he began taking Rolex in a whole new direction, which led largely to where Rolex is positioned in the world today. In other words, Rolex was still kind of an up-and-coming company that will still trying to prove itself to the world, whereas today Rolex is considered to be THE Swiss Juggernaut Watch Brand...

It's funny because when I really think about it, I tend to constantly psychoanalyze Rolex history in order to put together all the disparate and seemingly unrelated puzzle pieces :-)

I am aware that at least some of the executives at Rolex in Geneva at the time frowned on Rolex's involvement with the James Bond franchise, as one executive referred to it as a "circus", as if to suggest it was not a worthwhile investment for Rolex. That being said, nobody at the time could be clairvoyant or prescient enough to know how strong of an impact Sean Connery and the James Bond franchise would have on the world—which carries on to this day.

Also, after Sean Connery stepped down as Bond, George Lazenby took his place. George Lazenby already owned and wore a Rolex Submariner, which he said he purchased since he knew Sean wore one. In Lazenby's only Bond movie titled "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" Lazenby also wore a pre-Daytona Rolex Chronograph which EON productions had sourced from a local jewelry store. When Sean Connery returned after Lazenby in "Diamonds Are Forever" he returned sans Rolex. My best guess is that Rolex lost interest at that point, thus the 'circus' comment. This is my best hypothesis. Or course, when Roger Moore first played James Bond in "Live And Let Die", he was wearing a Rolex Submariner. Also, Timothy Dalton wore a Submariner.

It's also funny to consider the fact that nobody ever would expect researchers like Jose, Nick and I to dig so deep over the past decade to discover all these fascinating connection points and historical links.

The movie poster below shows a Rolex Submariner being featured in the James Bond movie Thunderball which came out in 1965. I remember when I fist saw this poster being a little cynical about its authenticity, but research proved it to be real, which lends credence to the Pussy Galore Rolex poster featured at the beginning of this story.

I was talking to Nick Gould about the Pussy Galore poster featured at the top of this story and he mentioned it reminded him of the 1965 Redline ad below from his Rolex Racing Champions story he published on earlier this year.

As previously mentioned, Nick and Jose and I believe the poster of Honor Blackman looks to be authentic and here are some more photos of Honor Blackman playing Pussy Galore from Goldfinger wearing her GMT-Master from the same scene in the movie. 

It's kind of profound when you think about it that both Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore) and Sean Connery (James Bond) both passed away in 2020...