A reader’s story: From bland to Bond

If you’ve signed up to receive the monthly newsletter from The James Bond Dossier you may remember a short series of welcome emails in which I tell you a little about me and how I got interested in James Bond (and if you haven’t joined yet you can do so here).

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Many new subscribers often reply in detail to one of those emails in particular, and while they can be quite different from my own experience, they are interesting to read all the same. I received one such email recently from Paul, in which he tells his own story, below:

Paul’s story

I have always been a fan of Bond in the movies, I watched them all on TV up until my first cinema outing which was for The Living Daylights (still one of my favourites).

I never really took much notice of anything but the action back then, my favourite movie was always For Your Eyes Only, probably because I loved the end where they scale the old monastery.

When Pierce Brosnan took over I just couldn’t get enough of the suave spy, although he always looked more dapper in his casual (if a little too large) outfits. At the time I loved the Brosnan era, however I find the movies have aged considerably more than much older movies, but still have some very iconic scenes – the bungee scene in Goldeneye is unforgettable!

My real interest in the clothing and lifestyle of James Bond really kicked in with Casino Royale, probably because of a lot of shameless plugging but still, here was the new incarnation of a British institution who awoke the more stylish side of me.

I remember walking out of the cinema and straight into Ernest Jones for my two years’ interest free Omega Seamaster. That was just the beginning!

I don’t recall being influenced to buy anything after watching Quantum of Solace. I loved the film but I was still wearing jeans and trainers and pretending to be younger than I am but Skyfall was the movie that cost me and probably benefited me the most.

I had just turned 35 and was getting married in six months. On screen I was witnessing a transformation from scruffy, presumed dead Bond into the dapper spy we love, and dammit, it’s about time I dropped the “designer stubble” I’d had for the last 15 or so years, start shaving and dressing better!

I bought a straight razor and got a wooden shaving bowl from Floris of London, then came some decent shoes, Tom Ford Markos and some Dents’ gloves. After that came the limited edition Skyfall Bollinger which I bought my fiancée for Christmas (she loved it and refuses to drink it as it’s her collector’s piece) and in the lead up to our wedding I began buying up any Grand Annee I could get my hands on. We now have enough for our first ten anniversaries with a couple of RD95’s for good measure.

As a wedding gift my wife gave me Bond’s Aqua Terra and I gave her Moneypenny’s, both from Skyfall. My wife wears my Seamaster from Casino Royale now too, so I had to buy myself a Planet Ocean so we have two each (you need balance for a marriage to succeed I told her). My most recent purchase was the Barbour Commander jacket which I love.

My funniest experience was when I was due to fly home from South Africa after working out there for six weeks, whilst sat in the airport bar at a table with a huge mirror opposite, I fired up my laptop to check the status of my five hour delayed flight.

I glanced in the mirror only to see about ten people staring at me and nudging each other, bemused I looked down to my laptop and there for everyone in the bar to see was my screensaver – the “Military Intelligence” one from M’s computer in Casino Royale and for about an hour after that I really felt like James Bond.

How has 007 impacted your life? Do you have any similar experiences or something completely, different? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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