- by Admin - 13-Oct-15
With the 24th installment of James Bond slated for a November 2015 release, one wonders what makes this iconic character such a box office draw. Is it the suits, the action, the girls or the timeless dialogue thats been repeated all over the world, usually when feeling a little smug. Let’s face it, this character has single handedly changed our perception of what ‘cool’ must look like. From the elegant Saville Row suits to the Astin Martins and BMW’s, James Bond is a puzzle that needs the right pieces. And it comes as no surprise that many still ignore the one item that really gives this globetrotting secret agent his signature look. His Sunglasses.
Over the years, James Bond has donned various types of sunglasses. Do they depict eras? Or is it a personal statement? We think it's something else. We think they were defined by each actor's individual rendition of the character. Don't believe us?
Let's take a look at some of the various shades of James Bond!
Sean Connery – The Wayfarer
The first time we see Sean Connery wearing sunglasses is in From Russia With Love, after he finds Tania in his bed at the hotel. He arranges to meet her the next day and follows her into a mosque to ensure she is not being followed. As he pulls away from the back of a guided tour, Bond appears to be wearing what seem like tortoiseshell sunglasses, with brown lenses, and a wayfarer style.
The next time we see Sean Connery's James Bond wearing shades is in Thunderball, in a tropical location. Right about the time when he hands Domino the news of her brother's death, he is seen wearing black framed wayfarer style sunglasses. Both times, Sean Connery wears a wayfarer styled pair of shades. Why so?
No. I’m Just Looking – Dr. No (1962)
The sharp edges and executive outlook of the wayfarer go perfectly with this Bond's tough, yet polished personality. He always has something going on behind his trademark Scottish accent, good looks and that leisurely smile; the ideal blend of cruelty and charm that peeks through his shades. Classic wayfarers are about subtle luxury. And Sean Connery's Bond enjoys this more than any of his successors. He enjoys luxury without the show that surrounds it. Appreciates the feel of elegance that comes with a classic pair of wayfarers, but doesn't want everyone to know of the subtle details he is contemplating. His deadpan wit, impressive manners and Russian grain vodkas, all fall right in with his ‘get to the point’ persona, that appreciates the classics and doesn't care much for the repercussions of his actions.
Roger Moore – Droopy Aviators
In A View to a Kill, Roger Moore's James Bond is seen wearing the slightly droopy, aviators, with a white plastic frame and black variable temples in the opening sequence. Bond is seen nosing around a military station somewhere in the cold regions of Soviet Union. He is eventually discovered and escapes by fighting off his enemy in style on skis and snowmobiles.
You Know What They Say About The Fittest – Octopussy (1983)
Not only did this pair of stylish sunglasses match the completely white outfit including a jacket and a fur hood that Moore wears for this scene, it also says a lot about the 80’s. While other Bonds were flinty and presented a somewhat rough exterior, Roger Moore's version brought a bit more of fluid glamour. He would wander into situations with a roguish grin on his face, make a few quips, kill a few henchmen, and all this while being slick as a baby seal. With this glitzy style statement, Roger Moore's champagne-sipping Bond had people thinking that he had it easy. Looking astonishingly fashionable with gradient sunglasses, in the middle of a huge snow covered landscape, is not something everyone might be able to pull off. He was certainly the odd one out, and so was his fashion statement.
Timothy Dalton – Binocular-Glasses
Clearly, this Bond is not much of a sunglasses-for-style fan. We don't see him wearing any sort of sunglasses throughout the two movies he was a part of. The only time he is spotted with eyewear is a pair of binocular-glasses, one of the many Bond gadgets. He is seen wearing these in Tangier, where he poses as a member of the press hot on Pushkin’s trail.
If It Has To Be Done, I’d Rather Do it – The Living Daylights (1987)
The fact that the only time Timothy Dalton bothers with eyewear is for a strictly work related reason, shows that this guy means business, and has no patience for style. He doesn't drink much and is not that concerned with looking the part all the time. When his charm does not do the trick, he simply used his physical strength or intelligence to kill the bad guys and rescue the ladies. This aura gave people the impression that Timothy Dalton's Bond was too driven, too attached to his work to integrate fully with anyone's ideas or plans. He just didn’t care how he looked, as long as he saved the world.
Pierce Brosnan – The Rectangular Westerns
Even though all Bonds had some sort of a sunglasses tradition going for them, there is no denying that the guy who set the standards for sunglasses for James Bond was Pierce Brosnan. He brought the sunglasses back for Bond, drawing inspiration directly from the master, Sean Connery himself. In The World Is Not Enough (1999), Pierce Brosnan is seen sporting the infamous blue X-Ray glasses in the casino of Valentin Zukovski. And we figure out the reason was purely professional when he uses them to check out what Zukovsky's heavies are packing. These are perhaps the most sought after Bond accessory that was custom made for the movie. Even in Die Another Day, while on a mission in North Korea, Brosnan is seen wearing sunglasses of the same smooth and rectangular shape, but this time, with a relatively dark tinted lens. And both these pairs went pretty well with this Bond's personality, his less dark, less intense and more fluid persona.
We Aim To Please – Golden Eye (1995)
Pierce Brosnan's James Bond had more heart, and looked more like an everyday business tycoon, rather than a tank-driving undercover agent. The elegance and sophistication defined by the gentle framing of his X-ray glasses, along with off-hand charm and self-deprecating humor were few of the qualities that this dashing Irish-born leading man brought to his portrayal of Bond. His slender, dark-haired outlook blended well with the sleek frames, and a dash of blue color brought about the right amount of variation in his personality. Pierce Brosnan added to this character, a perfect tinge of English, along with a high degree of suaveness, and a refined high fashion look. His lithe, sinuous athleticism blended with these classic customized sunglasses like yin and yang.
Daniel Craig – Westerns to Classic Aviators (to Brow-line Wayfarers?)
Daniel Craig is perhaps the most diverse James Bond when it came to choosing sunglasses. He is seen wearing a different kind in all of his movies. In Casino Royale, he pays tribute to Pierce Brosnan's sleek plastic rimmed and metal rimmed rectangular Western frames. But as expected, he puts his own spin on them. Slightly more robust, and having a tough tortoiseshell exterior, Bond now developed a more harder edged personality than his predecessor. Maybe to remind everyone what made James Bond a truly iconic character in the first place.
There is something horribly efficient about you – Quantum of Solace (2008)
But looks change along with the ever-evolving Bond. In Quantum of Solace, we see Daniel Craig dressed casually, wearing silver metal framed aviators, with a thick temple as he arrives in Port au Prince in Haiti and makes his way to Hotel Dessalines, hot on Mr. Slate's tail. He wears a similar pair of sunglasses in Skyfall, with a slight variation in the temple area. Now here is a guy who enjoys the good things in life and gets the job done. He is seen enjoying a whole lot of Vesper martinis and even a beer in bed – a first for Bond. But that doesn't mean he lacks any of the qualities of his predecessors; it's just that he is slightly more in control of himself (doesn't smoke for instance, drinks heavily only when off duty), and doesn't feel the need to get all alpha in people's faces to get his way. Aptly described by Camilla Montes as ‘horribly efficient’, this perfect balance makes Daniel Craig's James Bond a true paradox. Isn’t that what secret agents are supposed to be?
And now to his sunglasses for SPECTRE, he is seen wearing the brow-line vintage wayfarers in the first few promotional images for the upcoming movie. Could they be another shade of Craig's Bond? We'll have to see to find out.