Although James Bond is probably perceived as one of the most stylish men around, he certainly messed up his watch in Goldfinger. In Goldfinger, he was wearing a Rolex Submariner (ref.6538 probably) on a NATO strap. On several Rolex Forums, the close-up below shows the watch with as much detail as possible:

I don’t like NATO straps at all, and find them far from stylish, but I guess that there are a lot of Rolex (and Bond) fans that do. But look at the width of the strap, it is way too small, approximately 18mm (if not any smaller). This looks plain ugly, and I can’t imagine they couldn’t find a right NATO strap for this watch in 1964.

Anyway, some of the Rolex / Bond fans are delighted by finally having such a nice close-up, so they can get a NATO strap with similar pattern. Visitor Dieter of the R-L-X forum, found one that comes close AND fits properly. I really wonder if the real fan will go for a 18mm version of this strap to attach between the 20mm lugs.

In this case, I think that Dieter is more stylish than James Bond. 🙂 His vintage Rolex Submariner with the patina dial looks superb! As far as I can judge it, the original bezel is still there and looks niceley aged. However, I cannot getting used to these NATO straps.

A sporty Rolex should be on a stainless steel bracelet, any time. Also for Mr. Bond.

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  • Where do I begin, my friend? This topic (if not the exact image you’ve shown) seems to be its own religion to some folks; discussion is forbidden, let alone debate.

    Give it time. Someone will no doubt show up here with a story about how they knew the drugstore owner who sold the strap to Sean Connery himself, when the original gave out unexpectedly on the first day of filming.

    As for me, I have a couple of NATO straps, Bond-style, none of which is on any watch I wear. On the other hand, when the leather strap on my Rolex 1016 Explorer recently broke, I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely one of those NATOs appointed it until I could get it back on its bracelet.

    Live and let live, I say.

  • Cam

    I have recreated the Real Bond NATO strap in correct colors and pattern! Check them out at Corvus Watch Company.


  • You may be in luck, Robert-Jan.

    Just had lunch with Cam here today, and he tells me that it’s not “technically” correct to refer to the watch strap we seen in “Goldfinger” as a “NATO” band. Well, you know me: What else is there besides technical accuracy?

    Heading off now to look for references I need to change on my website.


  • William

    Mr. Deaton I believe you mean Live and Let Die.

  • James Bond


    I just bought a couple of Cam’s RAF style Real Bond strap. It is an exact reproduction of the one Sean wore. Superb quality too! The strap Sean wore was a regimental strap by the way, not a NATO.

    James Bond

  • C’mon! James always looks cool and stylish. And try to remember that he’d just used SCUBA gear to approach a target by underwater stealth, set plastique charges on an installation, and gotten out of his wet suit–which had his swanky white evening jacket underneath, pristine and ready to party. He glances down at his Rolex while lighting a cigarette; it reads 20 minutes after 12:00. The explosion happens at that very moment. Totally cool. All that, and you’re complaining about the size of of his watch strap? Don’t be a pussy, Bob! Get with the program. This is 007 we’re talking about here! 😉