One of the last Rolex watches worn by superspy James Bond is up for auction. One of two Submariner dive watches used during the filming of the 1989 thriller Licence to Kill, the vintage timepiece was worn by lead actor Timothy Dalton's stunt double during the movie's climactic chase scene and is estimated to fetch £60,000 to £90,000 (US$77,000 to US$115,000) at Fellows auction house in Birmingham, England.
Ian Fleming's secret agent 007 is famous for many things and toward the top of the list is his choice of wristwatches – a choice that's translated into millions in sales for the watchmakers. Bond has worn many watches over the last 65 years, but the first and most famous is the iconic Rolex Submariner.
The Submariner was first worn by actor Sean Connery as Bond in the 1962 film Doctor No and remained part of his wardrobe on and off until the 1990s, when Bond switched to an Omega Seamaster. The effect was such that to this day watch aficionados argue over the colors of the strap on 007's Submariner in Goldfinger, and Bond famously made dive watches okay to wear with a tuxedo – if you can pull it off.
For Licence to Kill, Dalton wore a Submariner 16610, which is the watch you see in the movie. The storyline that pitted Bond against the murderous Central American drug lord Sanchez was filled with action scenes involving a submarine battle in the Bahamas and a car chase with tanker trucks in the Mexican desert.
However, stuntman Rodney Pincott wore his own personal Rolex Submariner 5513 while standing in for Dalton during the more crashy bits for the chase scene. It can also be seen in the final film, though it's hard to tell them apart – the only significant difference from the 16610 is the date indicator, which isn't visible. According to Fellows, the watch was badly damaged during filming, but was later repaired by Rolex's service department free of charge.
The sale includes the restored Rolex Submariner, a book on the making of the film, provenance papers, a certificate of authenticity from EON Productions film company, and the original parts replaced during the repairs.
The Licence to Kill Rolex Submariner will be on display at Fellows in Birmingham on October 27 and 29 before going on auction on October 30.
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