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FORGING HISTORICAL LINKS WITH ORIGINAL BOND STYLE

Posted on November 30 2016

Sean Connery’s introduction as 007 in “Dr. No” is one of the most memorable in cinematic history - instantly defining the character's sense of style.

Sean Connery prepares to introduce James Bond to the cinematic world

Director Terence Young decided that, rather than show his hero immediately, he would slowly introduce him with a series of oblique shots that would tease the audience and gradually reveal Sean Connery as James Bond.

We first meet Bond at the Baccarat table in London’s famous Les Ambassadeurs, where he demonstrates his cool head, his willingness to take risks, his uncanny luck, and his way with women - all before we’ve even seen his face.

What we do see are Bond’s hands, the immaculate turn-back cuff of his midnight blue Anthony Sinclair dinner jacket, his Lanvin double-cuffed dress shirt, and a pair of square cufflinks in rose gold, with rounded corners and engine turned detail.

Turn-back cuff, double cuff and rose gold cufflinks

These cufflinks were perfect for the occasion; classic, understated and elegant. However, Connery’s Bond was not one to wear adornments, and as soon as he leaves for Jamaica, he switches to a shirt with a cocktail cuff. These shirts, fitted for Connery by Michael Fish at Turnbull & Asser, featured a distinctive cuff that had the look of a double cuff, but fastened with buttons, rather than with links.

It was Terence Young, the film’s director, who wore these shirts himself and decided Bond should wear the style - the idea being that Bond would want to retain the sophisticated look of the double cuff, whilst having the added benefit of a faster, more practical fastening. So, it is hardly surprising that Connery’s Bond retains this sense of practicality throughout his next film, “From Russia With Love”, also directed by Young, with “Bond” only wearing cufflinks in the pre-title sequence.

Terence Young directs in his cocktail cuff shirt

It isn’t until “Goldfinger” that we see Bond wearing cufflinks with his daywear. This was the first of the Bond films not to be directed by Terence Young, instead being helmed by Guy Hamilton. This may be the reason that Connery suddenly switches his style of shirts.

Whatever the case, Bond wears double-cuffs throughout “Goldfinger” and it is interesting to note that it seems Bond favours the same cufflinks he wore with his dress shirt for “Dr.No” - wearing them during his meeting in M's office, also for the black-tie dinner with Col. Smithers at the Bank of England, and when Q famously introduces him to the Aston Martin DB5. 

Bond dresses suitably for his introduction to the DB5

Later in the film, following a round of golf with Auric Goldfinger, Bond appears to switch to a pair of unusual, torpedo-shaped cufflinks with his Anthony Sinclair barleycorn tweed jacket and ecru double cuff shirt. Their shape is quite a departure from those Connery has worn up until this point, and they have been the subject of bemusement with Bond-style aficionados for many years. 

The intriguing torpedo-shaped cufflinks

Whilst on first inspection these seem to be a different pair of cufflinks entirely, an eagle-eyed employee of Anthony Sinclair recently spotted that they are, in fact, the same pair... they have simply been put in backwards!

This could've been a mistake by the wardrobe department whilst on location that wasn’t picked up by continuity. Perhaps Connery was confused by the contraptions whilst trying to dress himself, or maybe James Bond had actually intended to make a fashion statement to follow on from the blue towelling onesie worn earlier in the film.  

Wardrobe malfunction or style statement?

Throughout the remainder of the movie, Bond continues to wear the cufflinks with various outfits, the "correct" way round. There is even a moment where he adds a tie-slide to his outfit. However, Sean Connery would never wear cufflinks this often as Bond again, even going so far as to pair a cocktail cuff shirt with his dinner jacket in “Thunderball”.

A rare image of Connery as Bond sporting a tie-slide

Inspired as much by the story as the cufflinks themselves, Anthony Sinclair approached legendary British jewellers, Deakin & Francis, to create a product that emulated the originals, replicating them as closely as the reference material would allow.

James and Henry Deakin

Brothers James and Henry Deakin are the seventh generation of the family to manage Deakin & Francis, and their unrivalled knowledge, together with an extensive reference archive of period jewellery, proved invaluable in the process of developing an authentic reproduction.

The Deakin & Francis X Sinclair cufflinks are available in both Sterling Silver and Rose Gold-Plated Sterling Silver. The engine-turned square cushion with rounded corners is chain-linked to the distinctive torpedo shaped bar. Together with a co-ordinating tie-slide and money clip, they are a handsome addition to any gentleman's wardrobe... no matter which way round they are worn.


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