Rare Opportunity To See Ian Fleming’s Watch Ticking

James Bond watches

Ian Fleming’s personal James Bond watch is not kept wound while it’s on display as part of the increasingly popular “Bond Watches, James Bond Watches” exhibit.

So when attendees arrive for the special “Bond Enthusiasts Weekend,” September 10 and 11, they’ll be in for a special treat. This most famous James Bond watch in the world will be wound, set to the proper time – and ticking.

“One of the most vivid stories I’ve shared about this watch was when Ian Fleming’s stepdaughter, Fionn Morgan, first inherited it,” recalls Dell Deaton, Guest Curator of the Bond Watches exhibit. “She told me about picking it up in her hand, and how, despite its period of storage up until then, that slight movement was enough to start it running again.”

“When watch collectors describe the emotional appeal of mechanical timekeepers, this is what they mean. Earlier this year, I went overseas to meet with the Fleming family as their designee to hand-carry this Rolex Explorer in trust to the National Watch & Clock Museum for display. As Ms. Morgan’s daughter placed that watch in my hand, it felt like an electric charge had hit me. Counting off the seconds. Telling me the time at a glance.”

As a practical matter, this watch was never shown while running before it was first displayed at the Bond Watches exhibit: It’s in very good condition, but without motion to keep it wound, its power reserve runs out in a day or so.

Thus it is only on rare occasions such as the “James Bond Enthusiasts Weekend” that the Fleming Rolex is prepared to keep track of time while displayed.

Ian Fleming's Rolex Explorer
Ian Fleming’s own Rolex Explorer

The last chance attendees had to see this watch in full function was when the Bond Watches exhibit first opened, during its preview on June 17, and then when it was unveiled to the public on June 18. Viewers of television station WGAL-TV in Pennsylvania were treated to footage during newscasts that ran from that Thursday and into the weekend.

A video of that coverage is now available on the Internet.

Museum Director, Noel Poirier explains, “With everything the public now has to choose from when exploring fascinating subjects such as James Bond and the watches associated with that character in the books and movies, we want to keep the bar high on the things that only a physical museum exhibit can give them.”

“Displays such as this one centered on James Bond watches deliver an experience in all three dimensions. And, on weekends like the one coming up, even more significantly through the fourth-dimension of time,” adds Poirier.

The “Bond Enthusiasts Weekend” will be held at the National Watch & Clock Museum on September 10 and 11, 2010. Friday is “Casino Night,” from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Then a full Saturday program includes a “Bond Jeopardy” contest, open discussion of the Ian Fleming James Bond stories, and a special viewing of the Eon Productions 007 film, For Your Eyes Only. Guest Curator Dell Deaton will lead personally guided tours of the exhibit at several scheduled times on Saturday as well.

Tickets for one or both days are available online or at the door – see website for details.

© 2010 JamesBondWatches.com and Dell Deaton

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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One Response to “Rare Opportunity To See Ian Fleming’s Watch Ticking”

  • Bob

    that watch is amazing Ian flemmings very own time peace you are a very lucky man indeed to have holded that watch thank you for this its very intresting to see some thing like this most amazed indeed