Fictional MI6 secret agent James Bond, as both the literary character and the Sean Connery film version, has fascinated me for much of my spyless adult existence. In keeping with my homage watch theme, I decided to make a 007-inspired timepiece.
My parameters were a Submariner-esque dive watch with a particular band. The watch I was looking to emulate, imitate, impersonate sported a British Ministry of Defence-style nylon strap that Connery wore in “Dr. No” and “Goldfinger.” The 007 watch had to have a black band with olive and red pinstripes.
I recognize that there are some minor controversies behind Connery’s watch, a Rolex Reference 6538. Well, not so much the watch as the band, which was a 16mm wide strap in the larger 20mm-lugged 6538 case. They looked terribly mismatched. Also at issue, some have said the black parts of the strap are actually dark blue and not black.
Add to this the apparent disdain some Internet villains have for the oft-used term “NATO strap,” which is incorrect terminology for wristbands approved by the MOD for military watches during the 1960’s. Really, all of this angst is collectively worth as much to me as spent brass on the firing line—just something annoying underfoot.
This year for Christmas, I asked my wife to buy me two things. One was an Invicta Pro Diver watch, the second, a BluShark band. Did I mention I wanted this project to come in at under hundred bucks, so as not to tax the spouse’s holiday cheer?
In my watch box, there is no Invicta. I have many Seiko’s, but I always thought of Invicta as perhaps substandard based upon its low price point. Nevertheless, I was intrigued, since this originally-Swiss Invicta Pro Diver has a Seiko automatic movement.
I selected the Invicta model 8926. It had the Rolex appearance and project-correct “Mercedes” hands. Because I have too many watches with coin-edged bezels, I went with the scalloped style instead.
BluShark sells some interesting NATO straps (yeah, I said it). They have a model in their Original line call the BluShark Vintage Bond. Its appearance was just right, although the spacing of the stripes is not exactly the same as the movie version. Again, brass.
Although I knew what was wrapped in the festive paper under the tree, I could not wait to open my Christmas present. I was not disappointed. The watch was solid and worked properly out of the box. The band was equally pleasing. I carefully removed the spring bars in the very heavy steel Invicta bracelet and installed the new nylon band.
The 40mm Invicta case nicely mimics the 38mm of a Submariner. The Pro Diver 8926 has a Seiko NH35A 24-jewel, hacking automatic movement. It has run accurately for me the last six days at plus or minus zero minutes overall.
While in the Bahamas a decade ago, I got to skin dive into the Thunderball Grotto, where Connery made an appearance in the movie of the same name. I wore a TAG Heuer 1000 Professional on that trip, which was a Bond watch for Timothy Dalton. My new Invicta 007 timepiece will be equally at home where spies and SPECTRE roam.
(Photos BBB, Invicta Watch Group, Bond photo courtesy Sony Pictures)