1. Swatch Launches 007 Villains Watch Collection

    By Devin Zydel on 2008-09-13

    As first reported on last month, the Swiss watch company Swatch has returned to the world of James Bond with their latest collection: the 007 Villains.

    This line of 22 watches, each inspired by a different lead villain or henchman, is sure to appeal to fans of the Bond baddies.

    The official press release announcing the launch follows as well as specific details on the 007 Villains watches for Dr. No through Moonraker.

    Part two (For Your Eyes Only through Quantum of Solace will follow soon on the CBn main page).

    Swatch Turns To The Dark Side With Villains Bond Fans Love To Hate

    In a series of heroic adventures from Dr. No to Quantum Of Solace, James Bond outfoxes and destroys a nefarious bunch of evildoers bent on conquering the world. Destroys? Well, not quite. Like Bond himself, true villains live on forever, remembered fondly by their fans–and now by Swatch. Celebrating the legendary British secret agent’s most memorable adversaries, the Swatch 007 Villain Collection presents twenty-two Swatch watches inspired by the best of the worst: the bad guys Bond fans love to hate.

    Has Swatch gone over to the other side? In a provocative and insidiously subversive move, the mischievous maker of iconic Swiss watches has aligned itself with the enemies of the world’s most famous gentleman spy. “We’ve discovered the dark side of the myth,” said N. G. Hayek, also known as Dr. Swatch. “And we love it. It’s absolutely fascinating.” As the news raised eyebrows in London, Paris and Berlin, the notorious inventor of the plastic watch hastened to explain his intentions. “It’s the art of the villain that interests us. Ian Fleming’s novels and all the Bond films, the villains play a crucial role. And if Bond is alive and well today, it is thanks in no small part to the enduring power of his enemies.”

    Indeed. The Swatch 007 Villain Collection is a tribute to the Bond saga as a whole. It honours the art of infamy that Bond’s creators developed with perfidious cunning and cinematic flair through twenty-two thrilling adventures. Each model in the Villain collection evokes one or more wily evildoers. We know them all–armed to the teeth and dressed to kill: there’s Dr. No with his stylish suit and metal hands and Blofeld with his fluffy white cat purring under the sign of SPECTRE. Rosa Klebb has a nasty knuckle-duster, Xenia Zaragevna Onatopp a black leather strap to match her killer thighs and deadly Red kiss. There’s a metal-mouthed monster of a man called “Jaws” and scheming Soviet Russians whose watches evoke the Evil Empire’s glory days. Fiendishly clever actors add lustre to the glowing legend, and Villains pays tribute to outstanding performances: Christopher Walken’s malevolent Max Zorin deserves his stylish Retrograde; Richard Kiel’s menacing JAWS gets a massive, polished steel Irony THE Chrono; Lotte Lenya’s Rosa Klebb is given a pair of knuckle-dusters welded to an Irony Lady. And in homage to Casino Royale, poker-faced master of malice Mads Mikkelsen (alias Le Chiffre) nabs an Irony Big with an Ace of Spades. There are more to come, of course, as Swatch explores the dark side of the story.

    More than forty-five years have passed since Dr. No debuted on the silver screen in 1962, but the fascination that has nourished the myth of 007 shows no signs of fading. If anything, it’s growing stronger–Quantum Of Solace, Bond flick number twenty-two, premieres this year–and the 22nd Swatch watch in the new collection is a fitting tribute to Dominic Greene, the latest Bond villain we’re sure to hate.

    DR. NO – Dr. No (SUYK117)
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    The first Bond film featured the nefarious, ever elegant Dr. No, the “SPECTRE” agent played by Julius Wiseman who dies sinking into the bubbling vat of a nuclear reactor. Dr. No and the reactor find a suitably elegant tribute in the form of this distinctive Skin Chrono: its textured white and pale beige synthetic fabric strap evokes Dr. No’s high-collared suit, and the dial recalls the reactor’s instrument panel. The milky plastic case has a black plastic crown and pushers and frames the sunbrushed light beige dial. The applique silver “instrument panel” is framed by a broad black ring with red hour markers and white minute indices and holds the silver legend “DANGER LEVEL” embossed against a black ground. Applique silver Arabic numerals indicate hours 4 and 8 and a delta sign is positioned to mark hour 12. Set within the black band are the two chrono counters, each with black numerals and black hands set off by a white dial, and the continuous seconds counter at 6 o’clock. The latter has a white dial with a red dot at the centre, black Arabic numerals and a black hand, and carries the label “HIGH VOLTAGE” printed above it on the lightly patterned pale beige central zone. Squelette metal hour and minute hands mark the time.

    ROSA KLEBB – From Russia with Love (YSS239)
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    Russia’s Rosa Klebb wields a nasty weapon in From Russia With Love, and this stylish Lady’s satin-brushed stainless steel bracelet features subtly sinister end pieces shaped like Klebb’s knuckle-duster. The bracelet leads to a satin-brushed stainless steel case and unmarked bezel framing a sunbrushed silver dial with applied silver Arabic numerals at all hours. Reflective metal hour and minute hands and a delicate silver seconds hand mark the time.

    ODDJOB – Goldfinger (YOG102G)
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    A brilliant tribute to Oddjob, bowler-hatted henchman to the Midas of malice featured in the memorable Goldfinger, released in 1964. The heavy gold-coated stainless steel bracelet of this stunning Irony THE Chrono features a lightly engraved 007 logo on one of the links that evoke gold ingots leading to the massive, golden, stainless steel case. Mounted on the case is a golden bezel with engraved minute ring. The brown and gold diamond-patterned dial is circumscribed by a brown flange with a golden minute ring and golden Arabic numerals (05, 10, 15 … 60) at all hours. Flush with the flange is a flat outer ring with engraved gold-on-black tachymeter scale. Embossed gold ingot-shaped markers indicating hours 4, 8 and 12 are complemented by applied golden Arabic numerals at hours 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11. The grooved golden chrono and continuous seconds counters feature black Arabic numerals and black or white indices and black hands. Lustrous golden hour and minute hands with white superlite highlights and a slim white chrono seconds hand mark the time.

    EMILIO LARGO – Thunderball (SVCK4039G)
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    Emilio Largo, a black-hearted villain in Thunderball, wears a ring with an evil-eyed black octopus, the emblem of Bond’s enemy. The stainless steel bracelet of this dashing Irony Chrono Diaphane features satin-brushed steel links and a central row of paired dark resin inlays set in steel. The 007 pistol logo appears on the brushed steel end piece on the six o’clock side of the bracelet, just below the frosted translucent plastic case. Mounted on the case is a matt black aluminum bezel with sparkling transparent white crystals set at all hours. The sunbrushed champagne dial shows a black minute ring with Arabic numerals (2, 4, 6 … 18; 22 … 60) and a black-on-white date window at 4 o’clock. Black-rimmed white superlite dots in relief mark hours 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 11 and a black-rimmed white delta in relief appears at hour 12. The 60-minute counter features a white dial with black numerals and indices; the 1/10th second counter offers a contrasting black dial with white numerals and indices. At 6 o’clock, the continuous seconds counter features Largo’s black octopus emblem on a pure white dial. Tie-shaped squelette metal hour and minute hands with superlite white highlights and a silver chrono seconds hand mark the time.

    BLOFELD’S CAT – You Only Live Twice (GE218)
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    Popular still among Bond film fans are Blofeld and his fluffy white cat, to which Swatch pays tribute with this classic Gent. The white synthetic leather strap evokes the cat and her master’s affiliation with the enemy organisation known as “SPECTRE”, represented by the ominous octopus with 8 spiky tentacles. This menacing beast appears engraved on a shining stainless steel charm dangling, like an ID tag on a collar, from the single stainless steel end piece that joins the six-o’clock side of the strap to the clear plastic case. The 007 pistol logo is displayed in silver on the white synthetic leather loop. The dial is a mirror marked at 1 o’clock by a light green cat’s paw print. All other hours are marked by printed white Arabic numerals. The hour, minute and slim central seconds hands that mark the time feature a sandpaper silver surface.

    BLOFELD – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (YGB1001AG)
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    On Her Majesty’s Secret Service features Telly Savalas in the role of Ernst Stavro Blofeld. One of Bond’s most formidable and long-lived antagonists, he is featured in three Bond films and is marked by the menacing sign of “SPECTRE”, an evil-looking octopus. The matt black aluminum bracelet of this elegant Irony Big features matt gold-coloured central links and gold 007 pistol logo printed on the first black link on the 6 o’clock side of the bracelet. Mounted on the matt black aluminum case is a silver and black bezel with black indices at hours 1,2 4, 5, 7, 8 10 and 11. Straddling the centre of the sunbrushed silver dial is Blofeld’s menacing silver octopus whose oval eyes are mirrored golden appliques. In the absence of all numerals, mirrored silver applique hour markers indicate all hours but 10 and 11, where they are replaced by the golden eyes. Mirrored golden squelette hour and minute hands and a thin black central seconds hand mark the time.

    WINT & KIDD – Diamonds Are Forever (YLS434)
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    In Diamonds Are Forever, black-hearted Blofeld henchmen Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd attempt to assassinate James Bond with a bomb disguised as dessert. The alligator-pattern white leather strap has a black leather loop with a white 007 pistol logo and a stainless steel clasp; the strap forms an elegant counterpoint to the stainless steel bezel mounted on this classy Irony Medium’s polished stainless steel case. The bezel is set with 44 transparent white crystals that form a sparkling frame around the sunbrushed silver dial, which features a delicate white vortex pattern at its centre. Skeleton black Arabic numerals with white infills indicate hours 9, 10, 11 and 12; skeleton white Arabic numerals with black infills mark hours 4, 5, and 6; a black-on-white date window is positioned at 3 o’clock. A pair of transparent white crystals is set in the dial at hours 1 and 2; set directly opposite, at hours 7 and 8, are two more crystals, black. Slim oval squelette metal hour and minute hands and an elegant black central seconds hand with a white superlite highlight mark the time.

    BARON SAMEDI – Live And Let Die (GB237)
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    In Live And Let Die, Bond does battle with a skeletal villain who goes by the name of Baron Samedi. The bone-coloured superlite silicon strap of this scary Gent features a black print skeleton stretching from the 6 o’clock side across the dial to the 12 o’clock side of the strap, where the skeleton’s bones are raised above its head. The matt black plastic case holds a black dial with the bone-coloured superlite skull mask of Baron Samedi. In the absence of all numerals and indices, round-tipped black hour and minute hands and a delicate white seconds hand mark the time.

    SCARAMANGA – The Man With The Golden Gun (SUYB119)
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    The Man With The Golden Gun pits Bond against the supremely elegant assassin, Francisco Scaramanga, played by Christopher Lee. Elegance is the name of the game with this superb Skin Chrono, whose black leather strap is stamped with a tone-in-tone 007 pistol logo on the 12 o’clock side and whose grooved golden end pieces show a head-on shot of the business end of Scaramanga’s golden gun. The matt black plastic case offers an elegant contrast to the end pieces and frames a black, white and golden dial. A black-on-white minute ring surrounds a broad sunbrushed golden band with embossed skeleton Arabic numerals with white infills at hours 4, 8 and 12 and similar hour markers at hours 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11. The 60-minute and 1/10th of a second chrono counters and the continuous seconds counter feature white dials with black numerals and black hands framed by applied golden bands with printed black indices. A second minute ring appears in white on the glossy black central zone of the dial, which contrasts nicely with the white hour and minute hands that serve to mark the time.

    JAWS – The Spy Who Loved Me (YOS429G)
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    The Spy Who Loved Me presents Bond with an unforgettable villain whose polished heavy-metal dentures give him the nickname “Jaws”. The stainless steel bracelet of this weapons-grade Irony THE Chrono recalls Bond’s worthy adversary with a central row of polished stainless steel teeth set in contrast to the satin-brushed surfaces of the links and the massive stainless steel case. Mounted on the case is a brushed stainless steel bezel whose polished indents at all hours recall this villain’s bite. The black flange features a white and yellow minute ring with Arabic numerals (02, 04, 06 … 60) and a second ring indicating the hours in silver (ONE, TWO, THREE … TWELVE) and white or yellow Arabic numerals (13, 14, 15 … 24). A thin yellow ring on the flange frames the dial’s shades of silver, black and yellow. A minute ring with black, yellow and white indices circles the darker grey centre, which has polished metal applique Roman numerals at hours 4, 8 and 12 and a white-on-black date window at 4 o’clock. The chrono and continuous seconds counters feature brushed silver dials with black indices and yellow hands, silver or black Arabic numerals and yellow ID labels: MIN, DEC, SEC for the 60-minute, 1/10th of a second and continuous seconds counters, respectively. Polished metal squelette hour and minute hands with superlite white highlights and a yellow chrono seconds hand mark the time.

    HUGO DRAX – Moonraker (YRS410G)
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    Moonraker finds the world’s most famous gentleman spy up against a billionaire French villain by the name of Sir Hugo Drax, whose company manufactures space shuttles. The high-tech angle is well represented by this striking Swatch Irony Retrograde, whose stainless steel bracelet combines brushed with polished and glossy black stainless steel links. The signature 007 pistol logo is lightly engraved on the brushed steel end piece on the 6 o’clock side of the polished stainless steel case. Mounted on the case is a polished stainless steel bezel with engraved white triangular hour markers. The flange framing the dial is split into black and white zones and features a tachymeter scale and the words “DRAX ENTERPRISE CORPORATION” across the top. The black-versus-white split extends to the lightly textured dial, where applique silver Arabic numerals mark hours 4, 8 and 12 and a black-on-white date window opens at 4 o’clock. The 60-minute and 5-minute chronograph arcs show applique silver frames and white-on-black or black-on-white numerals and indices and a grey vortex pattern; the 30-second chrono counter is an applique silver crescent with black indices. The continuous seconds counter at hour 6 features a grooved silver dial and silver vortex graphic and a black hand. Silver squelette hour and minute hands with white superlite highlights and the central chrono seconds hand mark the time.

    Keep watching for all the latest James Bond collecting news.