Roger Moore as James Bond, British government agent
Spain, Spring 1981
Film: For Your Eyes Only
Release Date: June 24, 1981
Director: John Glen
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller
During the 40th anniversary year of For Your Eyes Only, the 00-7th of July feels like the appropriate time to examine the clothes and cars of Mr. Bond himself, after previously exploring the fits of one of his allies and one of his enemies. (This may be a little late for #CarWeek, but isn’t it always a good day for a drive in the country?)
Expanded from several Ian Fleming short stories, this grounded espionage tale may be my favorite of Sir Roger Moore’s celebrated twelve-year tenure as the sophisticated secret agent, bringing James Bond back to Earth after his star-hopping adventure in Moonraker.
In fact, the premise of For Your Eyes Only nearly matches up exactly with the narrative of Fleming’s story of the same name: Bond is tasked with following a lead on a Cuban hitman named Gonzales who engineered the murder of the Havelocks, whose vivacious daughter also sets out for revenge with her bow and arrow. The daughter’s arrow finds her target just as he’s taking a dive, and she escapes with Bond following a gunfight… but not without escaping his advice repeating the Chinese adage that “before you set out on revenge, dig two graves.”
The details vary between the story and the film, which adds layers of complexity and also ties the killing into the smuggling plot of a different story titled “Risico”, but it’s a welcome return to Fleming’s source material. The story’s setting of Vermont is shifted to a rural region of Spain, reportedly near Madrid but filmed at the Villa Sylva in Corfu, and the Havelocks’ vengeful daughter Judy is renamed Melina (Carole Bouquet) in accordance with her newly assigned half-Greek lineage.
What’d He Wear?
Ian Fleming frequently added extensive detail to his novels and stories so that readers could picture the clothes worn by James Bond as well as his friends and foe. In the story “For Your Eyes Only”, 007’s Canadian contact Colonel Johns suggests that Bond dress for his mission in “nothing fancy, nothing conspicuous—khaki shirt, dark brown jeans, good climbing boots or shoes,” that could be purchased from a secondhand clothing store in Ottawa; Bond indeed takes Johns’ advice, even picking up a pair of “soft ripple rubber climbing boots… [with] spring, cushioned soles,” which he opines should be used in military boots.
Whether by coincidence or design, Roger Moore’s costume for the cinematic representation of this adventure indeed reflects the tones, if not the exact spirit, of Colonel Johns’ dictated clothing suggestions, dressing in an ecru open-neck shirt and trousers in a darker shade of brown. While Colonel Johns’ suggestion was more tactical, the cinematic Bond opts for a more fashionable—but still casual—ensemble that wouldn’t mark him too immediately as a man on a mission should he get captured… which he does. As with all of Bond’s screen-worn clothing, this outfit has been extensively written about in fine detail by Matt Spaiser for Bond Suits.
Bond adds the layer of a zip-up blouson jacket made from a lightweight sage-green suede, an earthy shade that serves as a restrained quasi-camouflage, similar to the olive-drab fatigues then in use by many armed forces around the world. Rather than a traditional collar, the jacket just has a reinforced band around the round neckline which easily slips under the collar points of Bond’s shirt; 007 would again wear a collarless jacket like this when Daniel Craig slipped into that midnight blue goat suede John Varvatos racer jacket for the action-packed climax in Spectre (2015).
The zipper is a low-contrasting olive-colored plastic, running straight up the front from the bottom of the elasticized waist hem. There is a hand-level pocket with a straight vertical opening on each side of the jacket. The jacket has a straight horizontal yoke across the chest and back, echoed by seams that extend over the shoulders from the neck to the top of each set-in sleeve. Each sleeve closes at the cuff through a single olive two-hole plastic button.
The baggier fit and the top of each set-in sleeve falling a few inches off the shoulder suggest that the jacket may be a size larger than Moore would normally wear. While this could be in accordance with the oversized fashions of the ’80s, this may have also been a tactical choice to add roominess for Bond to more effectively hide his Walther PPK, which he keeps holstered in a tan leather shoulder rig under his left armpit.
Bond wears an ecru short-sleeved shirt by Frank Foster, the legendary London shirtmaker who made shirts for Roger Moore to wear on- and off-screen as well as for the two previous Bond actors and many other luminaries. In his Bond Suits post, Matt Spaiser identifies the shirting as jersey, a stretchy single- or double-knit cotton fabric that had been increasingly popular for sports clothes throughout the ’70s and ’80s.
The shirt has a fashionably broad spread collar, front placket, and a breast pocket, the latter a relative anomaly on all but the most casual of Bond’s shirts. The cuffed short sleeves recall the short-sleeved shirts that the literary Bond often wore with suits and ties, though the casual context of this scene makes Moore’s short-sleeved shirt considerably more appropriate here.
Bond tucks the shirt into a pair of tan flat front trousers which rise to Moore’s natural waist, where they’re held up by a brown leather belt with a thick polished gold square single-prong buckle. Bond Suits explains that the trousers are a heavy linen and, despite my first thought that they had no pockets, indeed have coin pockets slit just below the waistband on each side of the front in addition to a back-right pocket. The trousers are cut straight through the legs and plain-hemmed at the bottoms.
Roger Moore frequently wore slip-on shoes as James Bond, occasionally even with his evening black tie, so it’s no surprise to see he’s wearing loafers with this casual outfit. The uppers are dark brown leather to tonally coordinate with the earthy tones of his outfit, and detailed with apron-toe seams, gold bit detailing, and raised heels. He wears them with tan ribbed socks that effectively continue the leg line from his trousers.
The shoes—and belt, for that matter—are likely Salvatore Ferragamo, as Roger Moore relayed how he brought the Italian designer’s wares to the world of Bond in his 2012 book Bond on Bond: Reflections on 50 Years of James Bond Movies:
I introduced Ferragamo to the Bond films. A neighbor of mine in Italy was married to Salvatore Ferragamo’s eldest son, and I took her to a premiere of Live and Let Die, where she was horrified to see I was wearing Gucci shoes and belt. From then on Ferragamo supplied shoes, belts, and luggage for the films.
Not that I’m too eager to “correct” Mr. Bond himself, but Moore continued prominently wearing Gucci in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and again in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), so it likely wasn’t until the premiere of one of these latter films—which would also align with when he moved to Italy under tax exile—that he was so influentially admonished by Signora Ferragamo. Either way, Ferragamo was decidedly the leatherware provider of choice for 007 by the early ’80s when he was working the pedals of Melina Havelock’s dilapidated Citroën.
Under the terms of the franchise’s ongoing product placement deal with SEIKO, Bond strapped on a stainless steel SEIKO H357-5040 Duo Display quartz-powered alarm chronograph throughout For Your Eyes Only. Strapped to a tapered steel bracelet, the unique four-pinned square face consists primarily of a black rectangular analog dial, partitioned at the top for a single-row digital LED display intended to function alternately as a calendar, digital clock, alarm, and stopwatch… though Q evidently tinkered with the watch for it to receive messages in red from Bond’s superiors.
You can read more about Bond’s SEIKO H357-5040 at James Bond Lifestyle, which identified the exact screen-used model as #WHV005.
I love a drive in the country, don’t you?
After the Lotus Esprit in The Spy Who Loved Me rivaled Sean Connery’s Aston Martin DB5 for the position of most memorable Bond car, EON Productions—er, Q Branch—again equipped 007 with a sporty ride from the Norfolk-based manufacturer.
Bond speeds toward his mission in a “Monaco white” 1980 Lotus Esprit Turbo, branded with red accents that indicate a turbocharged dry sump Lotus Type 910 four-cylinder engine, offering a power output of 210 horsepower and top speed of 150 mph. This Lotus may be just as gadget-laden as the submersible Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me, but the only “optional extra” we see at work is the enthusiastic anti-burglary system… which results in a pyrrhic victory for Bond who witnesses both the destruction of the intended invaders as well as the Lotus itself.
Never fear, 007, the MI6 budget surely allows for another Lotus in your immediate future. In the meantime…
I’m afraid we’re being out-horsepowered.
Much to the agent’s chagrin, Bond is forced to make his getaway in Melina Havelock’s bright yellow 1980 Citroën 2CV 6 Club, the “2CV” literally translated to suggest that the car runs on the power of “two steam horses”. In the spirit of For Your Eyes Only‘s generally grounded creative approach, Bond is forced to make due with only his wits, intuition, and skills, with no Q-issued gadgets to help him as he makes his getaway from Gonzales’ henchmen.
Though Sir Roger’s judgmental eyebrow renders it the subject of some unspoken mockery in For Your Eyes Only, the Citroën 2CV was never intended to be a performance car. Citroën Vice President Pierre Boulanger conceptualized the “Deux Chevaux” prior to World War II, following the example of the Ford Model T and Volkswagen Beetle as a mass-produced economy car that could provide an affordable means for transportation to the general public, expected to perform reliably and be maintained simply and inexpensively without providing additional stress for those who would need them the most.
Production was delayed by the German invasion of France during World War II, during which Boulanger was labeled an enemy of the Reich for his refusal to collaborate with the Nazis… perhaps with a touch of irony, as it was under the Reich that the Volkswagen Type 1 had first been developed. After the war, Boulanger’s team dusted off the plans for its simple “people’s car” and the 2CV debuted at the Paris Salon in October 1948.
Originally powered by an air-cooled 375 cc flat-twin engine that delivered a whopping nine horsepower, the 2CV drivetrain was improved over the years to the extent that this power was nearly tripled by 1979 when the engine displacement was increased to 602 cc for what would be the final decade of the car’s production. Even with this increased engine, the top speed was still just over 70 mph, and that’s after the more than 30 seconds it would take to accelerate from 0 to 60.
The “6 Club” was one of four available trim options for the 1980 2CV, offering only a slight performance advantage over the base model. To ensure the performance that would allow the car to effectively “compete” on screen against the gangsters in their pursuing Peugeots, the four screen-used 2CV sedans were fitted with four-cylinder engines from the Citroën GS that nearly doubled the power up to 55 horsepower, but, for all intents and purposes, we’ll treat Melina’s as a stock 2CV 6 Club with its stock two-cylinder engine.
1980 Citroën 2CV 6 Club
Body Style: 4-door fastback sedan
Layout: front-engine, front-wheel-drive (FWD)
Engine: 602 cc (0.6 L) Citroën flat-twin (H2) air-cooled engine
Power: 29 hp (21.5 kW; 29 PS) @ 5750 RPM
Torque: 29 lb·ft (39 N·m) @ 3500 RPM
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Wheelbase: 94.5 inches (2400 mm)
Length: 150.8 inches (3830 mm)
Width: 58.3 inches (1480 mm)
Height: 63 inches (1600 mm)
1980 was the lowest sales year in a decade for the Citroën 2CV and, despite the popularity and exposure from For Your Eyes Only, sales continued to decline until production ended in 1990. Though demand was all but extinguished by a consumer base that had come to expect increased speed and safety, the Citroën 2CV remains well-regarded despite (or, in some cases, due to) its offbeat and antiquated appearance that concealed its advanced mechanics and reliability.
With more than five million produced and sold over its 42-year timeline, the 2CV remains a success story celebrated by L.J.K. Setright in Drive On!: A Social History of the Motor Car as “the most intelligent application of minimalism ever to succeed as a car.”
“Walther PPK… standard issue, British Secret Service,” describes the Cuban killer Hector Gonzales (Stefan Kalipha) as he inspects his prisoner’s weapon. “License to kill… or be killed.”
Following the advice of literary fan and firearms expert Geoffrey Boothroyd, Ian Fleming elected to arm his fictional secret agent with a Walther PPK beginning with the novel Doctor No, which features an extended scene of 007 trading in his underpowered .25-caliber Beretta in exchange for a newly issued Walther, which fires the 7.65mm (.32 ACP) cartridge that’s perhaps generously described as a “delivery like a brick through a plate glass window.”
Hyperboles aside, the Walther PPK was indeed a fine choice for a mid-century man of mystery, combining concealment, firepower, and a sleek profile that served both form and function. Firearms technology has come a long way in the decades since Fleming sat at his golden typewriter, but the PPK’s connection to one of the most iconic characters fo the silver screen will ensure its lasting recognition.
Bond is assigned with merely capturing Gonzales in For Your Eyes Only, but Fleming’s short story had actually tasked 007 with assassinating the killer, a job that calls for a heavier-duty weapon than his sidearm.
“One of the new Savage 99Fs, Weatherby 6 x 62 ‘scope, five-shot repeater with twenty rounds of high-velocity .250-3.000. Lightest big game lever action on the market. Only six and a half pounds,” Colonel Johns briefs Bond on the rifle that he had already placed in the trunk of Bond’s rented Plymouth, adding a gentle request that the rifle be returned as it was borrowed from a friend.
Johns then asks about Bond’s personal gun, which 007 describes as a “Walther PPK in a Burns[sic] Martin holster.” Fleming’s use of the Berns-Martin Triple Draw holster had resulted from a misunderstanding during his initial correspondence with Boothroyd. Boothroyd’s first recommendation to replace Bond’s anemic Beretta was a snub-nosed Smith & Wesson, carried in a Berns-Martin on the belt or under the armpit. Fleming was reluctant to diverge from arming his hero with a semi-automatic pistol, leading to Boothroyd’s suggestion of the PPK.
Unfortunately, Fleming failed to realize that the Berns-Martin holster could only be equipped with a revolver, but the incongruity made it to print in Doctor No and—despite Boothroyd’s clarifications—Fleming would keep the literary Bond’s PPK holstered in a black saddle-stitched Berns-Martin rig throughout the next several written adventures.
You can read more about the Fleming/Boothroyd Berns-Martin mixup and see photos of an example holster at Fleming’s Bond. If you’re interested in learning more about the incorporation of firearms into Bond lifestyle, check out the blog Commando Bond, written by my friend Caleb who also runs the Instagram account @CommandoBond.
How to Get the Look
James Bond dresses casually yet tactically for his warm-weather mission—and subsequent “drive in the country”—in For Your Eyes Only, blending Roger Moore’s penchant for suede blousons and horsebit loafers with Ian Fleming’s earth-toned literary direction… as well as the franchise’s ongoing product placement deal with SEIKO.
- Sage-green suede zip-up blouson jacket with round collarless neckline, side pockets, and set-in sleeves with single-button cuffs
- Ecru cotton jersey short-sleeve shirt with spread collar, front placket, breast pocket, and cuffed sleeves
- Tan linen flat front trousers with belt loops, front coin pockets, back-right pocket, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Brown leather belt with squared gold single-prong buckle
- Brown leather apron-toe gold-bit loafers
- Tan ribbed socks
- Tan leather shoulder holster (for Walther PPK)
- SEIKO H357-5040/WHV-005 duo-display alarm chronograph with black square face and stainless bracelet
As of June 2021, New York-based fashion house Theory offers the curiously named “Moore Suede Jacket” in dark fennel napped leather (Saks Fifth Avenue, $597) that may the closest approximation I’ve seen to Sir Roger’s For Your Eyes Only blouson.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
The Chinese have a saying: before setting out on revenge, you first dig two graves.