This luxury replica Rolex Submariner 5513 could very well be the most valuable Watch Replica without a movement in it. Well, a Watch Replica movement anyway. You may very well recognize this timepiece — it is the Rolex 5513 worn by James Bond aka “007” in the movie Live and Let Die in 1973. It is being offered at auction again, this time at the Phillips Geneva Watch Auction on November 7 & 8, 2015. The first time this buzz-sawing wonderful James Bond Rolex Submariner 5513 Watch Replica sold at auction, in 2001, it fetched $37,560 (vs. a pre-auction estimate of $23,000-$30,000). Christie’s sold it again a decade later for a whopping 219,000 Swiss Francs (~$245,000). Though the 2011 sale was at the lower end of the pre-auction estimate range of 200,000 – 400,000 Swiss Francs, I think it is safe to say the Watch Replica sold for sum that would impress Her Majesty. This time around, the expectations are toned down a bit: 150,000 – 250,000 Swiss Francs.
Designed by art director Syd Cain, the Watch Replica is one of the exceedingly rare timepieces modified to be used in a film. It has been specifically adapted for the buzz saw feature by cutting the bezel’s edges into sharp teeth and modified in order for it to rise to maximum height before spinning:
For fans of both horology and cinematography alike, the sales includes additional James Bond memorabilia: 3 corresponding black and white framed stills, the Live and Let Die movie tape and the Christie’s South Kensington catalogue of the “James Bond” auction in 14.02.2001. One of the framed black and white prints show James Bond (wearing the Rolex 5513) and Solitaire tied to a hoist in Kananga’s lair; the other, a still of James Bond unzipping Miss Caruso’s dress by using the hyper intensified magnetic field of the Watch Replica . There is also Syd Cain’s original production drawing showing the functioning of the different features.
In Syd Cain’s original design, the buzz saw is activated by compressed air blown through a tube onto specially constructed vanes, causing the bezel to rise and rotate. James Bond used the saw feature with dramatic results in one of the movie’s most exciting sequences when cutting through the rope and escaping with Solitaire (Jane Seymour) from the hoist in Kananga’s lair just before the villain’s plans to feed them to the sharks could be carried out.
The inside case back is signed (with what appears to be a black permanent marker): Roger Moore 007. The steel Rolex Oyster expandable bracelet with deployant clasp (stamped 7-72) also has a small hole in the end links which was used by Bond in the movie to attach an invisible wire to unzip Miss Caruso’s dress. Her remark about the delicacy of his touch gave rise to 007’s typically wry response “Sheer Magnetism, Darling”. Bond aficionados may also recall that Bond’s Rolex was further equipped with a hyper intensified magnetic field powerful enough to deflect the path of a bullet even at a long range, as used to full effect by Bond in his final confrontation with Dr. Kananga.
Probably one of the most intriguing lots of 007 memorabilia a Watch Replica and Bond guy could ask for! But boy oh boy what a price to pay. The Watch Replica auction market has been red hot for a few years now, and it will indeed be very interesting to see what this Watch Replica sells for. I should also note that the latest Bond film, Spectre, opens in the U.S. on October 26, 2015, which will also perhaps help generate sum additional “buzz” for this sale.