Saturday, February 19, 2022

Pussy Galore Rolex "Goldfinger" Movie Poster GMT-Master

Update #1: I originally published this story on November 1, 2020. My horological research colleague, Nick Gould just double-verified the Pussy Galore Rolex GMT-Master Poster is 1000% legit, as he discovered a very similar version that was published by the Singaporian Straits Times on August 17, 1965.

Update #2: Nick Gould also double-verified the Sean Connery ThunderBall Rolex ad also featured in this article is 1000% legit!!!


Just to be clear, I always thought both of these vintage James Bond Rolex posters were authentic, but it’s nice to now have independent source double-positive ID confirmation.

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 1965 avant-garde 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 close to 15 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 substantial 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 two 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

Jose from discovered and made a positive ID on the fascinating photo below and since Sir Sean Connery just passed away I realized now is probably the perfect time to showcase it. 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 an up-and-coming company that was 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. Of 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 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 some deep research proved it to be real, which lends credence to the Pussy Galore Rolex poster featured at the beginning of this story.

One of the ironies with the Thunderbolt poster pictured above is that it features a rare 3, 6, 9 Explorer style dial Submariner [Reference 5512/5513] with then newly developed crown guards, which Sean Connery never wore when he played James Bond, as he wore an older Rolex Submariner [Reference 6538] "Big Crown" model.

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...


Pepsi GMT-Master

It's Fashion On The Front Page

It's All The Rage

Vogue Magazine Cover 

October 1, 1963

The Vouge Magazine cover below from October 1, 1964 pictured below features Vouge model and actress, Tania Mallet who played Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger wearing a Rolex Pepsi GMT-Master [Reference 6542] and it fascinatingly predates the Honor Blackman poster by less than three months as Goldfinger was released in theaters on January 9, 1965. Nick Gould was responsible for discovering the identity of Tania Mallet on this cover and he pointed out Tania was in Goldfinger.

The photo below of a model wearing a yellow gold Rolex GMT-Master appeared three years later in Vogue Magazine in November of 1966, which at the time would have been considered to be very avant-garde. 

This newly discovered information really does beg the question of what inspired women to start wearing men's professional Rolex watches back in the mid 1960s. The first known women I have documented that wore a Rolex GMT-Master was Shelia Scott who is pictured below in a 1966 Rolex GMT-Master Ad.

This newly discovered information really does beg the question of what inspired women to start wearing men's professional Rolex models? The photo below shows Shelia Scott rocking her Rolex GMT on her wrist back in 1966 as she was in the process of breaking over 100 aviation records.

Women wearing professional men's Rolex models is the epitome of style and refined elegance and femininity.

Speaking of How Women Began Wearing Men's Rolex Watches, we see Vanessa Redgrave pictured below back in 1965 from the film Blow Up (Released: January 1, 1966) rocking a Rolex Submariner.

In the photo below we see Vanessa Redgrave rocking her Rolex Submariner on a leather strap on the outside of her shirt cuff, which was another trendsetting style.

The New Rolex Standard

My best analysis is Rolex tried to make it a trend for women to wear men's Rolex watches from 1960 to 1966 which apparently did NOT catch on. I say this as I have NEVER seen a non Rolex related female voluntarily wear a Rolex men's professional model until the trend seemed to pick back up a decade and a half later in the early 1980s when super-leggy-model, Elle Macpherson began wearing Rolex professional watches, as we see in this first photo with a GMT-Master on her wrist. 

Today it's common to see women wearing Rolex Professional watches, but like many things Rolex, they often take a long time to catch-on, but then they become a Permanent trend. I imagine when a trend persists and becomes permanent we would refer to it as the new standard...

The Rolex Magazine ad below from 1997 that features clothing designer, Adrienne Vittadini perhaps represents the rebirth or recognition of the Rolex trend for women to wear larger, more masculine Rolex professional models. In other words, this 1997 Rolex Magazine Ad is the first one I am aware of that features a woman wearing a Rolex Professional ad.

So the great takeaway point to this story is women began wearing men's 40mm professional watches 62 years ago in 1960, and Rolex showcased them for 6 years until 1966 (56 years ago), but it did not catch on until around 1980 (42 years ago), and has remained constant since then. Ironically it took Rolex a decade and a half to really notice and recognize the trend before they comfortably embraced and celebrated the trend they initially tried to create. It turns out Rolex reality is once again stranger than fiction!?!!