James Bond's 'Thunderball' watch to go under the hammer

edited May 2013 in News Posts: 3,052
A watch worn by Sean Connery in the James Bond movie Thunderball is set to sell for £60,000 at Christie's - after being picked up at a car boot sale for just £25.

The Breitling Top Time, worn in the 1965 film, was snapped up at the sale by a bargain hunter a couple of years ago. Knowing they had purchased something quite special, the buyer, who wants to remain anonymous, took the watch to an expert to be valued. But they were said to be shocked to hear how much it was actually worth and of its film heritage.

ay110332739undated-handout1.jpg?w=650&h=0&crop=1#038;h=1107

The timepiece featured during 007's mission to find two NATO atomic bombs stolen by SPECTRE in Thunderball. The watch was the first to be modified by the famous Q Branch and is equipped with a Geiger counter, which detects the emission of nuclear radiation in the film. It was used by Bond to help him locate the stolen atomic weapons during underwater scenes.

Made by Breitling in 1962, it was adapted by the James Bond art department and was the only example produced for the movie. Its whereabouts was a mystery for many years until it was discovered at the car boot sale. It is thought to have been passed on by someone who worked at Pinewood studios where the film was shot.

The piece of film history will go under the hammer at Christie's auction house in London next month. It has an estimate sale price of between £40,000 and £60,000. A spokesman for the auction house said: "This is a great opportunity for collectors to acquire a unique piece of James Bond memorabilia."

In October 2012, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of James Bond on film, Christie's and EON Productions presented 50 Years of James Bond - The Auction. The auction raised £1,641,350, which was donated to twelve charities including UNICEF, Barnardo's, Women for Women, Parkinson's UK and ChildLine.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/10068894/James-Bonds-watch-to-go-under-the-hammer.html

Comments

  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 14,032
    I see that this is mentioned over at AJB too. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,282
    The person who sold this must be kicking themselves. It's so great to see so much memorabilia still out there.
  • Posts: 3,052
    Agreed @Samuel001. The original owner must be committing Harakiri after today.
    I'm surprised the seller sold it for so little as Breitling watches aren't cheap no matter how old they are. You only have to look at the price of a 60's one to see the new owner got a bargain.
  • Posts: 4,589
    "Going under the hammer ?" Won't that break it ? Oh, not that kind of hammer !

    Yes, I know, but somebody had to say it.
  • edited May 2013 Posts: 4,622
    Quite the find. A very famous watch indeed!



    "The Breitling Top Time, worn by Sean Connery in the 1965 James Bond adventure "Thunderball," is going up for sale at Christie's auction house.
    It's expected to go for about $90,000.
    More amazing than the expected price is the manner in which the watch was discovered. The U.K.'s Independent reports that several years ago, a bargain hunter spotted the timepiece at a yard sale. It was purchase for less than $40.
    The buyer, who asked Christie's to remain anonymous, knew the watch was worth something but had no idea just how much, according to the U.K.'s Telegraph.
    An expert examined the find and confirmed that it was the same wristwatch agent 007 wore in his battle against the evil organization SPECTRE in "Thunderball." It had been missing for many years."

    bond-watch-jpg_222037.jpg
    bond-watch2-jpg_230212.jpg


    Edit: actually this thread could be merged with this thread
    http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/6916/james-bonds-watch-to-go-under-the-hammer
    Its the same topic.
  • Posts: 2,469
    I'd be very interested in knowing how a yard sale watch was bowled out as a Bond watch from 48 years ago. Most curious.
  • Posts: 345
    Michael G. Wilson will be the winning bidder.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 14,032
    I think the Collecting and Merchandising sub-forum on AJB007 first broke this story, interestingly. You can find the originating thread and the full story there as a Bond fan community exclusive.
  • edited May 2013 Posts: 4,622
    I'd be very interested in knowing how a yard sale watch was bowled out as a Bond watch from 48 years ago. Most curious.
    The article goes on to say this:

    "An expert examined the find and confirmed that it was the same wristwatch agent 007 wore in his battle against the evil organization SPECTRE in "Thunderball." It had been missing for many years.

    The Telegraph reports the watch "is thought to have been passed on by someone who worked at Pinewood Studios where the film was shot."


    Looks like the watch found its way off the studio lot, back in the day, but yes, how would one recognize the watch at a yard sale. Maybe a keen Bond fan spotted it as familiar, and then later was able to confirm that it was indeed the real deal.
  • Posts: 2,469
    timmer wrote:
    I'd be very interested in knowing how a yard sale watch was bowled out as a Bond watch from 48 years ago. Most curious.
    The article goes on to say this:

    "An expert examined the find and confirmed that it was the same wristwatch agent 007 wore in his battle against the evil organization SPECTRE in "Thunderball." It had been missing for many years.

    The Telegraph reports the watch "is thought to have been passed on by someone who worked at Pinewood Studios where the film was shot."


    Looks like the watch found its way off the studio lot, back in the day, but yes, how would one recognize the watch at a yard sale. Maybe a keen Bond fan spotted it as familiar, and then later was able to confirm that it was indeed the real deal.

    Keen, indeed! I daresay my Bond fanmanship is about as fanatical as anybody's, but there's no way in Hell I would have recognized that watch sitting on a table in a yard sale.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 6,187
    timmer wrote:
    I'd be very interested in knowing how a yard sale watch was bowled out as a Bond watch from 48 years ago. Most curious.
    The article goes on to say this:

    "An expert examined the find and confirmed that it was the same wristwatch agent 007 wore in his battle against the evil organization SPECTRE in "Thunderball." It had been missing for many years.

    The Telegraph reports the watch "is thought to have been passed on by someone who worked at Pinewood Studios where the film was shot."


    Looks like the watch found its way off the studio lot, back in the day, but yes, how would one recognize the watch at a yard sale. Maybe a keen Bond fan spotted it as familiar, and then later was able to confirm that it was indeed the real deal.

    Keen, indeed! I daresay my Bond fanmanship is about as fanatical as anybody's, but there's no way in Hell I would have recognized that watch sitting on a table in a yard sale.

    Nor would I. It's not exactly distinctive unless you're a watch fanatic.
  • Posts: 4,622
    I might have spotted it as familiar and Bond-looking, and picked it up for that reason.
    But then to actually suspect that it might be the real deal? Who knows. It could happen, especially if one knew that the watch had been missing for years.
    More details on the back-story would be interesting.
  • saunderssaunders Living in a world of avarice and deceit
    Posts: 987
    Does anybody actually think this watch is attractive (apart from it's TB connection of course!). Personally even as a Bond fanatic I'd rather have a LALD Rolex Submariner or a GE Omega Seamaster than this clunky looking chunk of metal.
  • Posts: 4,622
    No its quite unattractive. Rather its more a specialized piece of "functional" spy accessory, which is possibly why the keen TB fan might be inclined to recognize it and be curious.
  • DiscoVolanteDiscoVolante Stockholm, SwedenModerator
    edited May 2013 Posts: 1,346
    timmer wrote:
    Edit: actually this thread could be merged with this thread
    http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/6916/james-bonds-watch-to-go-under-the-hammer
    Its the same topic.
    Done.

    Yup I also feel bad for the previous owner ;)


  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,282
    £104,000. Oh my Wow!
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 14,032
    Samuel001 wrote:
    £104,000. Oh my Wow!

    Indeed. Not bad at all for an old timepiece.
  • 001001
    Posts: 1,575
    I would think eon bought the item to add to their collection.
  • hullcityfanhullcityfan Banned
    edited June 2013 Posts: 496
    How did they get hold of it? The carbooters?
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited June 2013 Posts: 9,117
    saunders wrote:
    Does anybody actually think this watch is attractive (apart from it's TB connection of course!). Personally even as a Bond fanatic I'd rather have a LALD Rolex Submariner or a GE Omega Seamaster than this clunky looking chunk of metal.

    I agree; I've never liked this. I think I even prefer the Seiko in OP to this. Just looks ugly.

    Whilst I think that Breitling make some nice watches I find them a little bit flashy for my tastes (and Bonds - nothing wrong with Rolex: 'a bit on the heavy side but they worked').

    Yup I also feel bad for the previous owner ;)

    Sorry I dont. What sort of mug sells a genuine Breitling for £25? Idiot.

    A quick look on Ebay shows how the guy who bought this must have been laughing all the way home to stumble across such a moron:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xbreitling+top+time+&_nkw=breitling+top+time+&_sacat=0&_from=R40

    The fact that its actually worth way more due to its Bond heritage makes it even funnier.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 14,032
    saunders wrote:
    Does anybody actually think this watch is attractive (apart from it's TB connection of course!). Personally even as a Bond fanatic I'd rather have a LALD Rolex Submariner or a GE Omega Seamaster than this clunky looking chunk of metal.

    I agree; I've never liked this. I think I even prefer the Seiko in OP to this. Just looks ugly.

    Whilst I think that Breitling make some nice watches I find them a little bit flashy for my tastes (and Bonds - nothing wrong with Rolex: 'a bit on the heavy side but they worked').

    Yup I also feel bad for the previous owner ;)

    Sorry I dont. What sort of mug sells a genuine Breitling for £25? Idiot.

    A quick look on Ebay shows how the guy who bought this must have been laughing all the way home to stumble across such a moron:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xbreitling+top+time+&_nkw=breitling+top+time+&_sacat=0&_from=R40

    The fact that its actually worth way more due to its Bond heritage makes it even funnier.

    Due to a skin rash caused by the nickel, I've stopped wearing watches. I may do again but I'm almost puritanical in my aversion to "bling" of any kind. I'm a good Presbyterian at heart, y'see. Having said all that a Rolex would be very nice indeed. Even the Brietling is a thing of beauty.

  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,028
    If there's one thing Bond I can't put my money in, it's this kind of collectables. If I want to look at the watch, I'll happily plug in my TB DVD. It cost me close to nothing compared to the real trinket and it brings me the amusement of a good film at the same time.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 14,032
    I find any kind of collectibles to do with Bond often rather boring. That's what AJB's for, after all.
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 10,888
    I thought we had an ebay thread, guess I'll post this here:

    It's Lazenby's Bond watch for sale!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/JAMES-BONDS-ROLEX-CHRONOGRAPH-WATCH-/261814178052?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cf5575104
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