Dunhill and James Bond
.. have a shared history in both the films and in the Fleming novels, in the novel From Russia With Love, Donald “Red” Grant, Fleming describes the lighter that he uses “a well-used gold Dunhill lighter”.
In terms of the movies Dunhill products have featured in Dr No, Goldfinger, Licence to Kill, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, and Die Another Day, and over the Christmas holidays I was fortunate to receive the last in a line of Dunhill products featured within the Pierce Brosnan era of films.
Tomorrow Never Dies – Gold Lighter
The first item that I would like to showcase is the Gold Unique Lighter featured in the opening scene of Tomorrow Never Dies. In the scene, Bond first offers to light a cigarette of a lookout at a terrorist arms bazaar on the Russia / Afghanistan border, followed by a punch and Bond quipping “filthy habit”.
A sweet distraction
The lighter then has its second use as a grenade, which is then thrown by bond to create a distraction whilst he tries to steal a Russian MIG.
Within the film the unique lighter is a plain gold finish lighter, however the one in my collection is the same model but with vertical lines. Not being a smoker myself, I haven’t used this lighter, but the lighter is a wonderful heirloom piece which also has an art-deco design.
Whilst it was only a blink and miss it moment in the film, the lighter incorporates the Dunhill heritage design, and even without its Bond connection is still a lovely item.
Read the interview with costume designer for Casino Royale Lindy Hemming in the book From Tailors With Love: An Evolution of Menswear Through the Bond Films, available on Amazon.
I have adored the cufflinks that Bond wears and in Tomorrow Never Dies, Pierce Brosnan only wears a single pair of Dunhill cufflinks throughout the film, and they do get some serious screen time especially when Bond in is Hamburg.
These cufflinks have an oval-elliptical design with three vertical bars, silver gold silver. In a way they do look like an eye and the middle gold bar gives it that “golden eye” design. The cufflinks are sterling silver, and the gold bar is 14K gold with hallmarking to confirm.
The cufflinks are a good size, and fit well with the double cuff shirts that I wear. The cufflinks can work well with either blue or white shirts, but I think it works exceptionally well with a cream shirt. I am one of the biggest Tomorrow Never Dies fans, and for me these two items are a holy grail from one of Brosnan’s best films.
The World Is Not Enough
Dunhill provided the cufflinks for the film, in fact the cufflinks for Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is not Enough were part of Dunhill’s 2000 AD collection, and the cufflinks which Brosnan wears feature a similar design with gold and silver bars but this time it is two interconnecting circles with horizontal silver and gold bars.
The other cufflinks
The cufflinks make an appearance after the title sequence, as Bond wears a different set of cufflinks in the Bilbao scenes (Georg Jenssen 88).
The cufflinks are sterling silver and the gold bar is 14K gold with hallmarks to confirm. The design of these cufflinks is very classic and can be worn very easily with double cuff shirts of several colours.
Die Another Day
For Brosnan’s last film, he once again wears Dunhill cufflinks, this time the cufflinks are a slight departure in design, the cufflinks look like a double L intertwined with each other. The cufflinks are sterling silver and have a classic design.
Bond wears these cufflinks after escaping the British frigate and he arrives at the Rubyeon Royale Hotel in Hong Kong. He wears the same cufflinks when he returns back to London and when he and Jinx arrive at the DMZ South Korea base. The cufflinks have a classic look to them and like the rest of the Dunhill products are absolutely timeless.
Sadly, these cufflinks are very rare to find, and I will count myself as being very fortunate to have this set of these amazing cufflinks. You can shop the latest range of Dunhill cufflinks through their site here.
Dunhill and James Bond, the other connections
Licence to Kill
The Dunhill unique silver lighter was featured as is available, however the design on sale includes either vertical lines or a barley design. It is not known whether the lighter that featured in Licence to Kill was a commercial product or one that was made specifically for the film. Either way, I look forward to getting a version of this lighter to complete the collection.
So was this lighter a one-off made especially for the film? (Editor question).
Yes it was a one off as all known versions of the lighter for sale have the vertical lines or a barley design. There are some rarities where it was a plain design, but it is more than likely that the design was a one off.
Dr No and Goldfinger
The Dunhill lighter featured in Dr No and Goldfinger is the Dunhill Broadboy Mk2, and are very rare, according to some listings on eBay good quality heritage pieces go for over £1,000.00!
Dunhill does have a heritage with Bond, and I have been fortunate to visit the Dunhill Home at Bourdon House and it is a must for any fan of menswear.
The house is split over three floors, with a beautiful tailoring room. If Bond were to depart from Tom Ford for Bond 26, I would hope that Dunhill is a contender as being the suit supplier to the new Bond.