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“Live and Let Die” Rolex auctioned in Geneva

An extremely rare piece of film memorabilia has recently changed ownership at the Geneva Watch auction held on November 7th & 8th. The original 1972 Rolex Submariner 5513 used in Roger Moore’s first James Bond film “Live and Let Die” (1973) was auctioned for CHF 365.000 ($ 363.202 / € 338.151).

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CATALOGUE ESSAY

The most recognizable watch in history with 1 billion people having watched the film “Live and Let Die”, the wristwatch worn on the wrist of Sir Roger Moore as James Bond is in fact a Rolex Submariner reference 5513 made in 1972, and was later modified for the movie.

SUBMARINERArt director and British production designer Syd Cain worked on over 30 movie projects, and received international fame for playing a key role as gadget designer in the James Bond movies. The acclaimed Rolex Submariner worn was memorable for its buzzsaw bezel that spun and could cut through rope to escape dangerous situations, and its hyper intensified magnetic field with the ability to deflect bullets. Used for both humor and heightened dramatic events, the magnetic power could unzip Miss Caruso’s dress, and catch a spoon off of a coffee saucer.

The present Rolex reference 5513 “Q” is the most unforgettable watch prop used in a movie and is even signed inside the caseback “Roger Moore 007”. As a highlight in the most iconic scenes of “Live and Let Die”, this watch is sure to interest both watch collectors and true fans of cinematography alike.

SYD CAIN: An accomplished movie production designer, Cain is best known for his creative work on four films of the famous James Bond 007 series. His work on the series followed his successful efforts supporting Producer Albert R. Broccoli on two films in 1954 and 1956. Broccoli chose Cain for “Dr. No” in 1962, and went on to assume the role of art director for 1963’s “From Russia With Love”. That film introduced Q, the legendary character responsible for issuing gadgets to James Bond. It was Cain who was designing these gadgets in actuality, including villains gadgets, such as the poisoned-tipped blade of Rosa Klebb’s shoes, and of course this Rolex Submariner 5513 worn in 1973’s “Live and Let Die”.

Bond uses the Rolex Submariner built-in saw gadget to get out of a tricky spot
Bond uses the Rolex Submariner built-in saw gadget to get out of a tricky spot

Cain (1918-2011) was himself a survivor, having managed to walk away from a plane crash during World War II, and later, surviving a lightning strike. Notably, he also served as assistant art director for Standley Kubrick, and production designer for Alford Hitchcock and Jack Gold. Survived by five sons and three daughters, he was a popular personality with James Bond fans, and wrote an autobiography documenting his experiences with the 007 films: “Not Forgetting James Bond: The Autobiography of James Bond Production Designer Syd Cain”.

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