S howcasing the optimum in watchmaking and automobiles, Sotheby’s has two auctions running concurrently this summer: RM Sotheby’s: Monterey (15–17 August) and Watches Online: The Driver’s Collection (14–20 August), a collaboration with Bob’s Watches. Of the eighteen timepieces on offer, an indisputable highlight is a rare “Big Crown James Bond” Submariner with tropical dial, ref 6538, forever immortalized in cinematic history by Sean Connery’s 007. This piece presents the ideal companion to the 1965 Aston Martin DB5 "Bond Car," also known as “The Most Famous Car in the World,” which sold on 15 August for $6.4 million.
The halo effect that the Bond association has with a number of products is well known, and in the modern age, it is more about product placement and marketing. However, in the early days, Bond’s car and accessories were strategically dictated by Ian Fleming’s and the film’s producers’ creative vision for the character. Bond wore a 6538, as that was the perfect watch for a sophisticated gentleman spy – not because Rolex was throwing cash at the production company for a little screen time. Fleming wore a Rolex Explorer, which would have been the obvious timepiece for Bond, but their choice to go with the “Big Crown" Submariner has made it one of the most iconic and desirable vintage sports watches of all time.
Featuring thirteen functioning Bond modifications, the James Bond 007 Aston Martin DB5 is one of just three surviving examples commissioned in period by Eon Productions and fitted with MI6 Q Branch specifications as pictured in Goldfinger. Click here to read more about the car’s fascinating history and see its original design in action. Upon selling for $6.4 million on 15 August, this car became the most expensive piece of Bond memorabilia, as well as the most expensive DB5.