Daniel Craig as James Bond, retired British secret agent
Sea of Japan, Spring 2020
Film: No Time to Die
Release Date: September 30, 2021
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Costume Designer: Suttirat Anne Larlarb
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
What happens to the hero after he rides off into the sunset?
Aside from the occasional epilogue featuring James Bond and his lady du jour, we hadn’t really received much of an answer until No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s fifth and final movie as the stylish super-spy. On the 00-7th of March—which is Craig’s birth month, as the actor turned 54 five days ago—let’s revisit how his tenure ended after the martinis stopped being shaken.
Nominated for three Academy Awards and five BAFTAs, No Time to Die brought the Craig era to a daring, explosive climax that I felt was a fittingly poignant conclusion to the specific arc of his characterization of agent 007, paying tribute to its literary and cinematic forebears, specifically On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The finale finds Bond in full commando mode, and thus I enlisted the help of my friend Caleb who runs the excellent Commando Bond Instagram and blog pages and channeled his inner Geoffrey Boothroyd (IYKYK) to help me navigate the world of the various firearms that equip the final mission undertaken by Craig’s Bond.
“James Bond… history of violence, license to kill,” summarizes Lyutsifer Safin (Remi Malek), the dangerous terrorist established as Bond’s mortal adversary. “Vendetta with Ernst Blofeld, in love with Madeleine Swann. I could be speaking to my own reflection.”
While a few previous Bonds had hinted at some continuity between adventures, Daniel Craig’s five movies were the first to feel more serialized as the events connected—with varying degrees of success—that led to the events of No Time to Die. Having found and lost love with both the late Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) and now Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), whom he believes betrayed him, Bond hangs up his shoulder holster to retire from the service to live a life of pleasant solitude in Jamaica, perhaps modeled after the example set by his literary mastermind, Ian Fleming.
Of course, two hours of watching Bond fishing in a tattered T-shirt would hardly thrill, so the former agent is drawn back into service by his old CIA pal Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), who connects him with the charming rookie agent Paloma (Ana de Armas) in the hopes of retrieving the rogue scientist Dr. Obruchev (David Dencik). One marvelously entertaining sequence in Cuba and one tragic death later, Obruchev has escaped and Madeleine has been coerced by Safin to engineer the death of the imprisoned Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz). Realizing that he was never betrayed by Madeleine, Bond dashes off to Norway to find her living with a five-year-old daughter, Mathilde (Lisa-Dorah Sonnet), who’s curiously the same age as the amount of time that’s passed since he last saw Madeleine… give or take nine months.
Following a morning making breakfast for Madeleine, Mathilde, and her omnipresent stuffy Dou-Dou, Bond’s fleeting minutes of domestic bliss are interrupted by the arrival of SPECTRE killer Logan Ash (Billy Magnussen) and his hard-driving henchmen, accompanied by their boss Safin, who kidnaps Madeleine and Mathilde even after Bond mows down Ash and the rest. Despite his retired status, Bond gains the assistance of M (Ralph Fiennes), Q (Ben Whishaw), Miss Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), and the new 007—Nomi (Lashana Lynch)—who offers to accompany him on his mission after requesting that M redesignate Bond as 007.
Bond and Nomi take flight in Q’s “stealthy bird” glider, charging toward the explosive climax at Poison Garden Island, a mid-century complex that Safin commandeered from Blofeld located on a secret island in an area Q identifies as “disputed waters between Japan and Russia,” setting the stage for a final act that echoes Ian Fleming’s ending to the novel You Only Live Twice. (Rather than the contested area mentioned, the island seen on screen was actually among the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic.)
Dr. Obruchev’s warning that the two are embarking on a suicide mission grows increasingly prescient when Bond is called out to Safin, prompting him to hand Nomi the controller to the explosives they planted and ordering: “If I don’t come back, blow it all to shit.”
After saving his family—a word he uncomfortably mouths to himself after introducing Madeleine and Mathilde to Nomi—Bond observes that the entire island is a manufacturing plant for the deadly nanobots powering Safin’s bioweapon against the world, and he orders that the Royal Navy deliver an immediate missile strike to destroy it… even if he doesn’t have the time to leave first. Despite M’s protestations regarding a “diplomatically complex” situation growing, Bond sticks to his virtuous goals: “if we don’t do this, there’ll be nothing left to save.”
“I have to finish this… for us,” Bond tells Madeleine with a kiss as he loads her into a boat with Mathilde and Nomi to make a safe getaway. “I’ll just be a minute.”
What’d He Wear?
For this final act, Bond dresses in a tactical outfit that feels already established as an iconic outfit of the Craig era, the combined result of its ubiquity in the film’s marketing, its significance within the movie itself, and its overall “cool factor”. The buzz around No Time to Die meant plenty of advance coverage and speculation about the outfits for months—even years—before they were finally actually seen on screen in context, with this being a particularly anticipated costume.
As usual, Bond Suits is the first place to read expert analysis of 007’s attire, with plenty of other excellent sources like Iconic Alternatives, James Bond Lifestyle, From Tailors With Love, and The Bond Experience continuing to provide in-depth insights into the clothing, accessories, and gadgets of Bond’s world and wardrobe.
In fact, the look inspired my friend Caleb to combine his passions for firearms and Bond into @CommandoBond, his informative Instagram account—and now blog!—that expertly and illustratively details the crossroads of Bond’s firearms and fashion sense.
The Commando Sweater
When Bond and Nomi board the RAF plane where a pajama-clad and gadget-laden Q awaits, Bond is still wearing the white henley he’d worn in Norway under his corduroy duster, but he’s supplemented it with the additional of tactical clothing and gear presumably provided by MI6 to support his combat mission.
Particularly given Commander Bond’s naval background, the commando sweater and cargo pants look like they could indeed be government or military issue, but their actual provenance was a close collaboration between costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb and London-based knitwear outfitter N.Peal to develop a look specifically for Daniel Craig to wear in No Time to Die, following the sweaters they provided for Craig to wear in Skyfall and Spectre.
Bond’s sweater echoes the “wooly pully” jumpers that originated with the British Army during World War II, eventually adopted by other branches and nations around the world. In Peter Brooker and Matt Spaiser’s From Tailors with Love, N.Peal creative director Adam Holdsworth recalls that the impetus was when Larlarb “had seen a vintage military commando sweater” and worked with N.Peal to individualize it into something “useful that… harked back to his military past, but it had to be timeless and of the moment.”
“I wanted to refer back to his naval background, but with a twist,” Craig explained in an exclusive interview with David Zaritsky of The Bond Experience. “It had to look like a uniform that he’d sort of gathered over the years. We used a couple of references of Special Forces, but older special forces—like from the ’50s—as opposed to the guys now who are suited up with the flak jackets… I wanted a silhouette that said something a bit more… this is the gear he keeps at home, and when it’s time to go to business he gets it out of the wardrobe and that’s what he sticks on.”
Craig’s screen-worn sweater was designed to be both combat-ready and comfortable, made from a blend of 90% superfine Merino wool and 10% cashmere, the latter apropos N.Peal’s specialty. In his Bond Suits post about the outfit, Matt Spaiser explains that the fabric blend was a “good choice because merino wool makes this tougher than a sweater that has a higher amount of cashmere, but the 10% cashmere can still be felt in the hand.”
In addition to the more luxurious fabric, the sweater departs from modern mil-spec gear with its wide boat-neck that N.Peal describes as “consistent with maritime clothing designed to reflect Bond’s close association with the Royal Navy.” A matching drawstring “shock cord” has been threaded through the collar, with the two ends hanging down from the front of the sweater.
Commando sweaters are often associated with original olive green fabric—particularly appropriate for ground forces—though several branches like the Royal Navy issue them in navy blue, an appropriate choice for No Time to Die given the function (a former naval commander’s mission at sea) and the form (flattering Daniel Craig’s blue eyes). The ribbed body of the sweater also flatters Craig’s physique, highlighting that—even at five years retired and on the other side at 50—Bond is still in fighting shape. “The actual ribbing of the sweater had to have a specific level of definition and the shape of it had to make him look good,” Holdsworth explained in an interview for From Tailors with Love.
One of the key characteristics of commando-style sweaters are the canvas patches sewn over shoulders and elbows, both to prevent these high-tension areas from wearing out while also preventing friction burns from straps like those on Bond’s S.O.Tech gear bag or his Mk 18 Mod 0 carbine. “They wanted it in a quality cotton twill; just finding those things are incredibly difficult,” Holdsworth explained of the process to source the canvas taping for these patches. “[We found] a real cotton twill … and then custom dyed it to the shade they wanted.” Ultimately, Holdsworth recalled that approximately thirty of these “figure-hugging” jumpers were made for the production.
The Henley Shirt
After the first part of his mission on Safin’s island, Bond pulls of his commando sweater and drapes it around Mathilde, telling her “it’s going to get very cold out, so I want you to have this,” also giving his young daughter a memento of the father she never got to know for more than a day.
The gesture reveals that Bond’s base layer is the same eggshell-white long-sleeved henley shirt that he had worn under his corduroy duster in Norway. Made from a soft, slubbed jersey-knit cotton, this henley from American fashion label Rag & Bone has a reinforced woven placket with three recessed metal buttons, each intentionally designed for an aged effect with the white paint worn away on the edges.
You can purchase the Rag & Bone henley from Nordstrom.
Bond holds up his tactical trousers with a set of wide dark gray suspenders (braces), made by N. Peal in a blended fabric of 97% cotton and 3% elastane, the latter adding enough stretch to adapt to his significant level of activity on the island while also expanding enough to secure the recovered Dou-Dou.
The suspenders that N. Peal markets as “007 Braces” have dark brass hardware, including the front and back adjusters and waistband clips. Bond reinforces their connection to his trousers with short tan leather straps hooked on the lower front adjusters, presumably buttoned along the inside of his trouser waistband. (At From Tailors With Love, Pete Brooker shares that he learned the braces were actually sewn onto the trousers to keep them in place during the rigors of the action-heavy sequence.)
Read more about the suspenders at James Bond Lifestyle.
The Tactical Trousers
As with the sweater, costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb collaborated with N.Peal to develop Bond’s combat trousers, marking a departure from the brand’s usual focus on knitwear and cashmere. With their abundance of tabs, zips, snaps, and straps, these tactical pants may look out of place in any other situation, though they’re perfectly suited for Bond’s mission here and non-00s may benefit from wearing them for rugged outdoor pursuits like camping or hiking.
Made of dark gray cotton, these flat front trousers have eight long, heavy-duty belt loops that button closed just under the belt line, with three evenly spaced on each side of the front and two closely spaced in the back. Despite these, Bond foregoes a belt in favor of the aforementioned suspenders, which are reinforced by an integral tan strap that loops from inside the waistband on each side of the front, matching the short tan tab that passes through a gunmetal buckle rigged just behind the forward-most belt loop on each side of the front. The trousers have a button-up fly with two small buttons to close at the top and a two-button squared waistband tab.
Larlarb explained to N.Peal that the trousers “would need to have a tactical functionality, with pockets dimensioned and positioned for specific props,” hence the abundance of storage. Each side pocket closes with a zipper up a set-in vertical opening. A gusseted cargo pocket over the left thigh closes with a double-snap flap… concealing another intricate system of snapped straps—a gray horizontal cotton strap over a brown vertical leather tab—that cover three brown leather loops resembling those used for bullet cartridges. Farther down the right leg, the trousers boast what appears to be a knife sheathing system with two dark gray velcro straps sewn onto the outside of the right calf, positioned just below a snap-closing flap with a slot inset on the flap. The seat lacks pockets, but has a curved seam echoing classic cavalry trousers and those favored by equestrians.
Both trouser legs are finished at the bottom with a gunmetal zipper that zips up to open and down to close, tightening the fit over the legs with a double-snap closure to secure the hems.
Bond wears a wide, heavy-duty black nylon belt over his hips, with CNC-machined black anodized aerospace aluminum quick-release buckles that James Bond Lifestyle identified as the “Epoch” model made by the recently formed American company Carbon Tactics.
The belt is too wide for his trouser loops, but he wears it more like a utility belt, with an additional black leather pouch on the left hip and a drop-leg tactical holster for his MI6-issued SIG-Sauer P226 pistol. Luckily for Mr. Bond, several of Safin’s henchmen carry the P226 as well, so he’s able to holster their commandeered pistols after losing his own.
I’ve seen the all-black polyester UTG Extreme Ops 188 identified as the holster that Bond wears on his right thigh in No Time to Die, albeit with the buckles on the double black-and-gray striped straps replaced with the Carbon Tactics “Epoch” instead. (Though unavailable as of March 2022, this holster—and many like it—can often be found at an affordable price on Amazon.)
Appropriate for the combat-ready nature of Bond’s mission, Portland, Oregon-based bootmaker Danner redesigned their sturdy 8″ Tanicus duty boots specifically for Craig to wear in No Time to Die, marketed to the public as the Danner 007 Tanicus and “built on the same platform we designed for demanding military use.”
The all-black uppers are constructed of rough-out full-grain sueded leather with their durable 1000 Denier nylon Cordura® for additional protection, extending up the eight-inch shafts. The boots lace up through five sets of eyelets over the instep, then four sets of speed hooks up the shaft, with a stretch “lace garage” pocket at the top of the tongue to keep the loose lace ends out of the wearer’s way. The custom Vibram® outsoles have pentagonal lugs.
The 007 Tanicus boots are almost identical in design to Danner’s standard model, albeit with a moisture-wicking mesh lining (rather than the “Danner Dry” waterproof lining) that contributes to the 007 Tanicus’ relatively reduced weight of 39 oz. per pair while offering enhanced breathability, aided by two perforated grommets on the inner side of each boot.
When Bond and Nomi take off in the glider, he pulls on a pair of Vuarnet Edge 1613 sunglasses that are also evidently an off-screen favorite of Daniel Craig. Bond had debuted Vuarnet sunglasses with the unique Glacier model for his skiing scenes in Spectre, followed by the more conventionally framed Legend 06 model seen earlier in No Time to Die when we catch up with the retired Bond in Jamaica.
James Bond Lifestyle reports that the specific screen-worn model is the VL1613 0002 1622, indicating dark gunmetal frames with gray polarized lenses, overlaid with black acetate rims. The quasi-futuristic approach to classic aviator frames befits their use in a scene of Bond taking flight, particularly in more experimental technology like Q’s folding-wing glider.
Given Omega’s association with Bond now lasting over a quarter of a century, considerable thought went into co-designing the timepiece that would dress Bond’s wrist. “When working with Omega, we decided that a lightweight watch would be key for a military man like 007,” Daniel Craig explained in Omega’s official announcement. “I also suggested some vintage touches and color to give the watch a unique edge.”
The resulting product is the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Master Chronometer, worn on both a NATO strap (188.8.131.52.01.001) and metal “shark mesh” or “Milanese” bracelet (184.108.40.206.01.001). Both the 42mm case and the mesh bracelet were made from lightweight yet durable Grade 2 Titanium that also offers a tactical advantage given its resistance to corrosion and to reflecting light.
Q provides an additional tactical advantage to the watch when Bond returns to MI6’s service, gadget-izing the Seamaster to contain “a limited-radius electromagnetic pulse” designed to “short any circuit in a hard-wired network if you can get close enough.”
Bond: And how strong is it?
Q: It’s, uh, fairly strong.
Bond: “Fairly strong”? What’s that mean?!
Bond does get the opportunity to show Primo the Omega, subsequently blowing the henchman’s mind. One wonders if Primo had the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the “tropical brown” aluminum used for the undirectional rotating bezel and the dial, offering yet another weight-saving feature in addition to being an attractive alternative to the usual black and blue dials of Bond’s divers. The hours are indicated by luminous non-numeric markers, with a “broad arrow” just above the 6:00 marker that James Bond Lifestyle reports was “used by British Armed Forces and visible on some vintage watches issued and owned by the British Ministry of Defense (especially the W.W.W. watches from the Second World War).”
The watch is powered by Omega’s self-winding Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8806 movement with a power reserve of 55 hours and resistant to magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss. In addition to the screw-in crown, the Seamaster has a helium escape valve extending from the side at the 10:00 position.
Bond also wisely wears a pair of black lightweight tactical gloves, specifically designed to allow for air circulation and with special inserts that allow the wearer to operate touch-screen devices using their index finger and thumb. According to James Bond Lifestyle, these are the relatively inexpensive Mil-Tec gloves, made from a fast-drying blend of 70% nylon and 30% elastane over the backs and 60% polyamide and 40% polyurethane on the palms. As they were designed for a tactical purpose rather than warmth, they are ventilated through the palms and fingers and extend only to the wrist, where a black hook-and-loop closure can adjust the fit.
You can purchase Mil-Tec gloves from Amazon.
Read more about the Mil-Tec gloves at James Bond Lifestyle.
MI6 outfits Bond for substantial combat on Safin’s island with an Mk 18 Mod 0 carbine, rigged with a suppressor and optics, with a carry strap to be worn over his shoulder—making the case for the commando sweater’s reinforced shoulder patches.
The Mk 18 Mod 0 was developed by the U.S. Navy as a close-quarters battle receiver (CQBR) variant of the M4A1 Carbine, which itself was a shortened variant of the M16A2 selective-fire assault rifle. The modularity of the M16 platform allowed for relatively easy replacements of its long barrel with a system that blends the portability of a submachine gun with an intermediate cartridge, in this case combining a 10.3-inch barrel with the M16’s standard 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition.
For more context into Bond’s Mk 18 Mod 0, I turned to Caleb from @CommandoBond, who provided the following insights to be published here:
Bond utilizes a single point sling, connected at the base of the receiver, a holographic sight which appears to be an airsoft replica of an EoTech 512, offset iron sights (which, for some reason, are both on his quad rail, severely limiting his sight radius), a fixed A2 front sight post, and an incredibly long suppressor. While it certainly checks all the boxes for “tacti-cool” points, this setup does miss the mark a bit in my book. Offset irons are really meant to be a backup sight system for someone running a magnified optic, like a 1-6 scope or a Trijicon ACOG. Bond’s holographic sight has no magnification, meaning that he could just as easily run a fixed or folding rear sight behind the optic to accomplish the goal of having a back-up sights in the event of the optics failure. What also makes the case for a rear sight versus an offset pair is the fixed front sight, which is rendered more or less moot without it. In any case, its great to see Bond running a carbine.
One other thing that is really great—and in my opinion makes up for the carbine’s clunky setup—is Bond’s linked 30-round magazines. Daniel Craig was quoted saying that he really didn’t want to go all tactical with this look; he wanted something that allowed Bond to be functional without a flak jacket. His linked magazines allow him to carry additional ammunition without wearing a full kit. I would also hazard a guess that additional magazines were stored in his sling bag. But even if that isn’t the case, once things go crazy, we see Bond recovering magazines off of dead henchmen, which honestly made me really happy. Typically we get the usual “Hollywood unlimited capacity magazine” treatment. Not here. While his magazines seem to be depicted to hold more than 30 rounds, we at least get to see Bond realistically replenishing his limited stock on screen, and that is a major victory for me.
After very visibly disarming himself of his Mk 18 Mod 0 carbine and his holstered sidearm, Bond appears to be totally weakening to Safin’s domineering tactics… only for his “apologetic” crouch to be a ruse that allows Bond to better access his Walther PPK, which he swiftly produces to quickly fire three expertly placed rounds that take out Safin’s three guards in the room, though he isn’t fast enough to take out Safin, who absconds through a trapdoor with Mathilde.
German firearms manufacturer Walther developed the PPK in the early 1930s as a more compact variation of their PP (Polizeipistole), and the small blowback pistol grew to international fame as the favored sidearm of Ian Fleming’s fictional secret agent James Bond, first in the novels followed by the movies as Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan all holstered the .32-caliber PPK.
Daniel Craig fleetingly used a Walther PPK during the pre-credits sequence of his first Bond movie, Casino Royale, before the larger and more modern Walther P99 was established as his weapon of choice in the movie. By the following film, Quantum of Solace, Craig’s Bond had reverted to the smaller and more iconic PPK, which became his go-to carry piece for the rest of his tenure.
Caleb from @CommandoBond put considerable research into identifying the blued PPK carried by Daniel Craig in No Time to Die, ultimately determining that his handgun was actually a Walther PPK made under license by American manufacturer Smith & Wesson, made clear by the extended beavertail and dovetail sight. (This came as delightful news for me, as my PPK is also a post-recall Smith & Wesson-produced model—albeit a stainless steel .380.)
“Bond carries the pistol at the appendix inside the waistband (AIWB) position,” Caleb clarified to me. “This puts the pistol just to the right of his center-mass, giving Bond solid access to the firearm in nearly any position, including while bent double in Safin’s lair. With Bond’s full kit in mind, this is a perfect place to conceal a backup pistol. His drop leg holster and S.O. Tech Sling bag put a 3 o’clock or 4 o’clock position essentially out of commission, and his fitted trousers and high boots do the same for ankle carry. AIWB is currently one of the most popular carry positions due to its ease of concealment for handguns of any size; look to how Bond casually conceals his Browning Hi-Power in Jamaica. With an untucked cover garment, whether it’s a Tommy Bahama silk shirt or a commando sweater, one’s firearm easily disappears in AIWB carry and still has sub-second accessibility.”
The SIG-Sauer P226 emerged as one of Bond’s preferred pistols when facing heavier combat than his smaller-caliber, lower-capacity Walther PPK could handle. Swiss manufacturer SIG-Sauer designed the P226 to enter the XM9 Service Pistol Trials hosted by the U.S. Army when seeking a replacement for the venerable M1911A1 in the early 1980s. Though it wasn’t selected for that purpose, the P226 made a favorable impression on the firearms world—and would indeed be adopted by U.S. Navy SEALs—and has since spawned a host of offspring in varying sizes, triggers, and ammunition.
The British Army and Royal Air Force are among the many military forces around the world to have widely issued the P226 and P226R (modified with an accessory rail) for use, providing a real-life gateway for the weapon’s entry into the Bond-iverse as an authorized MI6 duty sidearm. We first see Craig’s Bond arm himself with a P226, taken from an MI6 guard in Quantum of Solace before using it through the final sequence, and another appears when he’s giving Madeleine a quick firearms lesson in Spectre.
Speaking of firearms lessons, please enjoy the additional context provided by @CommandoBond below:
In both Spectre and No Time to Die, the variant utilized by Bond is the P226R, which is a Picatinny-railed version of the pistol. It makes a lot of sense that the more modern Bond would have a penchant and familiarity with this handgun, as both the Special Air Service and Special Boat Service—with whom Bond served during his tenure in the Royal Navy—issue the P226. This alloy-framed pistol is hammer-fired, and sports a decocking lever rather than a manual safety. This mechanism also makes the P226 a great companion to the PPK, as both have a double action/single action (DA/SA) capability—the PPK’s manual safety also functions as a decocker—meaning that, for both of Bond’s handguns, the first shot has a longer and heavier trigger pull as an additional safety feature, with proceeding shots being far faster and with a shorter reset. This dual system does take some additional getting used to, and this would certainly be something Bond would train around.
Bond gears up with this P226R while on the RAF plane en route to Safin’s island, suggesting that it’s yet another government-issued pistol, perhaps provided by MI6 or the RAF. He wears it very accessibly—and visibly—in the drop holster strapped to his right thigh. As Safin can see Bond carrying it, he asks him to drop it… but he remains unaware of Bond’s more furtively stored PPK. Once Bond regains the upper hand, he re-holsters the discarded P226 and uses it for some extended combat to follow. After he runs out of ammunition during a stairwell fight, he runs into some luck as many of Safin’s henchmen are armed with P226 pistols, so he can just take and holster theirs as needed.
The weapon that ultimately was selected from the XM9 Service Pistol Trials was the Beretta 92F, designated for U.S. military service as the “M9”. As with most military weapons, the M9 has undergone several improvements since it first entered service in the 1980s, including the development of the Beretta M9A3, introduced in 2014. (In a curious reversal of history, the U.S. military rejected the Beretta M9A3 in favor of the polymer-framed SIG-Sauer P320, but the M9A3 remains for sale on the civilian market.)
The M9A3 expands on the improvements made for the M9A1 variant, including modifications to better accommodate differently sized hands, a threaded barrel, and a full MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail with thicker trigger guard for mounting lights, as Safin utilizes with the addition of a fore-light under the barrel. In addition to the classic black, the M9A3 is also available in the tactical finishes of olive drab or “flat dark earth”, as selected for Safin’s Beretta. Black controls like the angled decocker, grip screws, hammer, trigger, and removable front and rear tritium night sights provide a dark contrast against the pistol’s sandy khaki slide, frame, and grips.
After their brawl, Bond picks up Safin’s M9A3 from the water and uses it to execute him: partially to complete his mission but also in revenge for poisoning his blood against his family.
Although it’s certainly not the small .25-caliber pistol that Ian Fleming described in the first half-dozen novels, it’s perhaps suitable that the last on-screen kill of Daniel Craig’s James Bond uses a Beretta, the same Italian manufacturer that Fleming had chosen for the literary 007’s original armament before it would be swapped out for his now-signature Walther PPK.
Read more about the firearms of No Time to Die at IMFDB.
How to Get the Look
As costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb summed up to N.Peal: “From the closet of each and every Bond film there always emerges a memorable, informal look that combines a modern take on utility with the character’s effortless and refined style.”
Daniel Craig ends his tenure as James Bond dressed appropriately for his final mission in No Time to Die in a military-inspired “commando sweater”, cargo pants, and boots that—unlike, say, the Harrington jacket, polo, and jeans from Quantum of Solace—are a little too “tacti-cool” for everyday civilian wear, but the pieces themselves can be stylish components of a unique and comfortable casual look.
- Navy-blue ribbed merino wool/cashmere “commando” sweater with drawstring-threaded boatneck and canvas patches over shoulders and elbows
- N. Peal 007 Ribbed Army Sweater
- Eggshell-white slubbed jersey-knit cotton long-sleeved henley shirt with 3-button placket
- Rag & Bone Classic Slim Fit Henley
- Dark gray cotton flat front tactical combat trousers with button-down belt loops, zip-up side pockets, snap-flapped gusseted left-thigh pocket, corner-snap right-calf pocket, and zip-up/double-snap hems
- N. Peal 007 Combat Trousers
- Dark gray cotton/elastane suspenders with brass adjusters and waistband clips
- N. Peal 007 Braces
- Wide black nylon utility belt with quick-release black anodized aluminum buckles
- Black suede-and-nylon Cordura® 8″ military-style tactical boots with five-eyelet/four-speed hook lacing and Vibram® pentagonal lug outsoles
- Danner 007 Tanicus
- Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Master Chronometer 220.127.116.11.01.001 titanium 42mm-cased self-winding watch with “tropical brown” aluminum dial and rotating bezel on titanium mesh bracelet
- Vuarnet Edge 1613 sunglasses with gunmetal aviator-style frame, black acetate rims, and gray polarized lenses
- Black synthetic tactical gloves with touch-screen fingers and adjustable cuffs
How About That Ending?
I warned about spoilers above, but—seriously—don’t read on unless you either already know or are ambivalent about the ending to No Time to Die!
With Daniel Craig’s input, the filmmakers made the controversial choice for James Bond to die at the end of No Time to Die… perhaps rendering the title somewhat moot, as the 163-minute runtime offers plenty of time for the former agent to meet his demise.
Reactions to this decision was mixed from fans, with some feeling betrayed by the death of their seemingly immortal character while others (including me) applauding what felt like appropriate closure for Craig’s more introspective characterization of James Bond.
Some criticism levied at the ending suggested that this was not Ian Fleming’s Bond (and one wonders what these audiences thought of Roger Moore dressed as a clown in Octopussy), though readers may recall that Fleming had brushed with Bond’s mortality on several occasions, first at the conclusion of the novel From Russia with Love which finds 007 staggering into unconsciousness after being stabbed by Rosa Klebb’s poison-tipped shoe… leaving his fate ambiguous. Unlike No Time to Die, which promised viewers that “James Bond will return,” Fleming found himself besieged with frustrated fans who hoped that wasn’t the end of his literary creation. As described by Fergus Fleming in The Man with the Golden Typewriter:
But if he had been hoping to use From Russia with Love to step off the Bond treadmill, he had chosen the wrong moment. Enthusiasm for 007 was gathering apace and, as letters flowed in from a disappointed readership, it seemed that he had little option but to continue.
Following several more literary missions and his life-changing marriage that left him almost instantly widowed, Fleming’s Bond evolves into a more cynical fatalism that intertwined the character’s ending with that of his creator, as Ian Fleming died in August 1964, months after completing the novel You Only Live Twice that—combined with his posthumously completed The Man with the Golden Gun—drove much of No Time to Die‘s pathos and conclusion. The death of Bond’s new wife Tracy in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service has left him a self-destructive shell by You Only Live Twice, in which a simple assignment in Japan devolves into a desperate revenge mission against his mortal enemy Blofeld, now living at a remote castle that cultivates exclusively poisonous vegetation in its “Garden of Death”, an obvious model for the Poison Garden that would enrapture both Bond and his deceased nemesis in its explosive end at the finale of No Time to Die.
And truly, how else would we expect James Bond to die? Such an adrenaline addict would hate to grow old, and it serves his oft-stated raison d’etre that he was not above self-sacrifice, whether in the name of “the things I do for England” or the family he had spawned after leaving the service. Like so many mythic heroes of the old west, it serves the legend of James Bond that he would be determined to die with his proverbial (and literal, thanks to Danner) boots on. This philosophy is summed up when Ralph Fiennes’ M eulogizes the late agent with a passage from Jack London, which had also appeared in the novel You Only Live Twice as Mary Goodnight’s submission for Commander Bond’s obituary:
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
I found some interesting parallels between Bond’s on-screen death in No Time to Die and the real-life ending of Sidney Reilly, the Russian-born spy often cited as one of Ian Fleming’s inspirations for the Bond character. After a life shrouded in mystery, often spying on behalf of the British and their allies (and enemies), the middle-aged Reilly had returned to Soviet-controlled Russia, the country that had sentenced him to death in absentia for his role in attempting to overturn the Bolshevik government seven years earlier. Formerly driven by alternating forces of duty and greed, Reilly seemed now strictly ideological in his determination to challenge the Soviets… but his idealism was met with betrayal and capture, and it’s widely reported that he was executed in November 1925, following weeks in captivity. (There are theories that Reilly’s 1925 “death” was actually cover for his defection, but I’ll keep my commentary to the accepted facts.)
Like Bond in No Time to Die, Reilly had aged into his 50s by this point, was no longer on active duty, and appeared more focus on his romantic life (whether his latest wife was his third or fourth remains murky.) Both Bond and Reilly may have had the option to enjoy lives in quiet retirement, but both felt compelled to return to dangerous situations that led to their deaths. In both cases, their deaths were narratively positioned as sacrifices that served a greater good: the real-life Reilly’s capture and execution exposed the GPU’s fake anti-Bolshevik organization, The Trust (as emphasized in the 1983 mini-series Reilly, Ace of Spies), and Bond’s death on Poison Garden island prevented him from endangering his family while also ensuring the island’s destruction.
Some may disagree with my appreciation for how No Time to Die ended Craig’s tenure (which is fine!), but at least all 007 fans can count on the four words across the screen as the credits wrapped:
James Bond Will Return
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie.
You have all the time in the world.