Sean Connery's James Bond incarnation is widely accepted as the template from which all of the other Bonds were made.
At the time the director understood what a spy is all about and they wanted to convey the image of a well dressed man, but one who doesn't stand out from the crowd.
A spy doesn't want to be outstanding, he wants to be blending in as much as possible. The same way Ian Fleming described the hero in the novels.
So what was the template?
Terence Young, director for Dr. No, requested his own tailor for the task. Suiting up James Bond based on Fleming's baselines.
- Lightweight fabric
- 100% Wool
- Limited colour schemes - Navy Blue, Shades of grey (no pun intended) & Subtle patterns
- Waisted Slimline
- 2 buttons
Terence Young's tailor, Anthony Sinclair, created the now well known "Conduit Cut" suit based on Fleming's guidelines. Named after the street address of its creator's shop. Sinclair describes the cut as simple, elegant, understated and timeless, which reflects Fleming's intended Bond's taste in clothes.
The cut turned out to be the "official" Bond suit up until 1969 that ended with the Australian Bond, George Lazenby.
Before that, Bond was seldom seen in anything else but a suit. From Lazenby the style started to be more in fashion, but the foundation of the "Conduit Cut" remained for a while. For a brief period during the Moore years the cut was totally left behind. Hayward is the one responsible for stoping the 70's era of Bond contemporary outfitting and brought the character back to his roots to a more traditional style.
Quite frankly, Connery's shirts are bland and its good. The colour selection was held to a minimum and the fabric had to be 100% cotton. What made this interesting though is the cuffs.
Terence Young, the director of Dr. No, From Russia with Love and Thunderball dressed James Bond as he dressed himself and he wore cocktail cuffs.
Connery "wears them with lounge suits in all of his Bond movies except Goldfinger in which he wore double cuffs with everything. Except for Thunderball, Connery always wears double cuffs with his evening wear." — thesuitsofjamesbond.com
Connery's Bond shirt baseline:
- Double cuffs for evening wear
- Cocktail cuffs the rest of the time
- All cotton or silk
- Light blue or White - off white is accepted
To complement the suit properly the tie needed to fit right. At the time the right tie meant grenadine. The grenadine tie is a staple of Sean Connery’s Bond wardrobe.
Grenadine is a weave characterised by its light, open, gauze-like feel. If you want to know more about it the best articles you can find on James Bond's grenadine tie can be find on this web site: thesuitsofjamesbond.com.
Connery's Bond necktie baseline:
- Single colour
- Grenadine weave (garza groza)
- Knitted silk
The look wouldn't be complete without the wristwatch. Bonds of the Novel wears Rolex. There is no official reasons why so. What we know for sure is that Fleming created Bond after himself, and he wore a Rolex.
Rolex didn't want to provide the production of Dr No with a watch and the legend has it that they didn't have the budget to buy one. So Cubby Broccoli, the producer, handed the art department with his own: Rolex Submariner model 6538
From then on, Submariners appeared on Connery’s wrist in Dr. No, From Russia With love, Goldfinger, and Thunderball.
In Dr. No and From Russia With Love, Connery wears his Submariner on a crocodile strap which is fairly common, but something happen from Goldfinger and later Thunderball. The strap on the Rolex is the NATO/MOD nylon band.
Bond being an ex-navy intel officer before his double 0 status with the MI6 would have had access to the specific Rolex available only to the Royal and Canadian Navy. According to Richard Dos Santos author of the Absolutely James Bond's Blog that is perhaps an attempt by the producer to reflect the military background of James Bond, which makes absolute sense. As the description of Bond in the novels are that James Bond wasn't rich.
Rolex and James Bond have had a strong relationship featuring in Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, Licence to Kill and The Living Daylights.
Connery's Bond Watch baseline:
- Stainless steal casing
- Nylon or Croco wristband
Pretty simple style to adapt with a contemporary touch.