1. The Swiss Connection

    By Luke Freeman on 2002-09-06

    Everybody knows that when it comes to producing high quality watches, army knifes, cheese and bank accounts, the Swiss are miles ahead of the rest. But what allot of people who haven’t read You Only Live Twice (shame on you) don’t know is that James Bond is half Swiss, on his mothers side (and Scottish on his fathers side, but that’s not really relevant here). Had Bonds mother not died along with his father in a climbing accident when he was young, perhaps she would have encouraged her son to pursue a profession in one of the traditional Swiss dominating areas. With Swiss blood, Bond must have natural abilities in any field involving the aforementioned products. As good a spy that Bond is, he may infact be even better at army knife making or so forth, indeed 007 may be wasting his talents in the secret service, and would that be a down right shame.

    To test this incredibly innovative theory (if I do say so myself, and I do), its worth taking a glance at occupations involving these four Swiss products and investigating how successful Bond would be in each of them. Perhaps the school careers adviser back at Eton should have suggested one of these areas to Bond as a possible career, then again perhaps not…

    Swiss watchmaker – It’s common knowledge that there is a bloodthirsty rivalry between Switzerland and Russia when it comes to the art of watch and clock making. Remember that cocky Russian in From Russia With Love who made the rather dubious claim that Russian clocks are always correct? Didn’t you just want punch his head in? It makes one think that this long running war would make Bond, who has taken on the Russians on many a mission, feel right at home in field of time telling device construction. But I’m sure that once word of Bond previous spy exploits got around the Swiss watch making community, they would have him on the next plane to Russia on an undercover mission to steal watch blue prints and sabotage watch making operations, and Bond would find himself back in the world of espionage, if on a slightly different scale.

    Swiss army knife assembler – The craft of army knife assembling required that utmost concentration. Many eyes, fingers and other body parts have been needlessly lost on the job due to the recklessness of inexperienced army knife makers. Would Bond suffer a similar fate? Would he crack under the pressure, mixing up the scissors with the screwdriver and forgetting to put in the corkscrew completely, or would he thrive on it? He has performed in similar high stakes positions before, like when he disarmed the nuclear device during The Spy Who Loved Me. But he’s getting old now and his memory isn’t what it once was, as seen recently in The World is Not Enough, forgetting his nuclear disarming capabilities. Employers would be therefore reluctant to take him on, fearing that he may also have a memory lapse when it comes his army knife constructing skills, and be forced to call upon the help of Dr Christmas Jones.

    Swiss cheese producer – If you thought that Agent Under Fire was a good game, then imagine how much better it would have been if Bond was a cheese maker instead of a spy. But I’m afraid it’s not quite as simple as that. The skill of cheese making is something that can’t be taught, you either have if or you don’t, the question on everyone’s lips being “Does Bond have it?”. Yes, Bond did display a love for food in A View to a Kill when he made that omelette, but his close minded, juvenile expressions towards the sheep’s head served to him at the dinner table in Octopussy shows that he is an uncultured swine, and totally unworthy to socialize in the exclusive circle of the cheese making community. Perhaps there was a time in the mid 70’s when he would have been accepted, but certainly not now. Sorry if that sounds a little harsh, but that’s the way I feel and I can’t help that.

    Swiss Banker – We’re going to use the profession of banker here because it makes for a far more interesting analysis than that of a bank manager or teller. If you remember, Bond was quite convincing as a banker in Tomorrow Never Dies, and he does seem to have quite a fascination for figures as shown in Octopussy, perhaps the number crunching world of a banker is where Bonds real talents lie. But as a banker, Bond may have to go head to head with other bankers, some who are just as evil and sinister as say Blofeld or Goldfinger, but don’t prematurely reveal the details of their diabolcal schemes. Sadly, It could prove too much for James Bond, who is accustomed to the more relaxing and easygoing lifestyle that a spy enjoys.

    It would seem that only being half Swiss isn’t enough, and it’s just as well that Bond found his calling as a secret agent. Because as a secret agent he does his country proud, something he may not be able to say with the same certainty if he were an army knife maker or a banker. But then again, we have only covered the Swiss side of Bond, don’t forget, he is half Scottish as well. Perhaps he would fare better as a bagpipe tuner or a muffin maker, then again, perhaps not.

    Until next time,


    Dedicated to army knife assemblers everywhere.