Felix Leiter in No Time to Die
Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter, cynical CIA agent
Jamaica, Spring 2020
Film: No Time to Die
Release Date: September 30, 2021
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Costume Designer: Suttirat Anne Larlarb
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
On the 00-7th of August, let’s celebrate the return of Jeffrey Wright’s Felix Leiter to the 007 franchise in No Time to Die. Years after the events of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, Felix and his politically appointed State Department crony Logan Ash (Billy Magnussen) track down the now-retired James Bond (Daniel Craig) to his secluded life in Jamaica, hoping to recruit him into assisting them in locating a missing MI6 scientist.
“It’ll be like old times,” Leiter pitches to Bond over beers, adding that “I wanna get back to my family, tell ’em I saved the world again!”
What’d He Wear?
When the first production photos from No Time to Die leaked, they not only informed fans of Bond’s newfound preference for Tommy Bahama and Sperry but also of his “brother from Langley” Felix Leiter’s long-awaited return to the series, comfortably clad for the warm Jamaican climate in his unbuttoned mint-green shirt, drawstring-waisted trousers, and suede lace-ups.
The Craig-era iteration of the Bond/Leiter dynamic had always presented the latter as a more practical—if schlubbier—sartorial alternative to Bond’s typically more sophisticated sense of style. There are never tailored polos or Tom Ford for Leiter, who opts for partially buttoned sport shirts and lightweight trousers, all prone to considerable wrinkling that doesn’t seem to concern the cynical, cigar-chomping agent one bit.
When Bond and Leiter reconnect in Jamaica, Leiter wears a mint-green short-sleeved shirt that James Bond Lifestyle identified as a Beams Plus Colours Slub Yarn Vacation Shirt, made from a slubby blend of 91% rayon and 9% flax, a natural plant fiber often used to make linen. Made by the heritage-inspired Japanese company Beams, the shirt is patterned with a balanced pattern of sombré stripes that appropriately gradate between red, white, and blue.
The two sagging patch-style chest pockets suggest a shirt that has been worn and washed often without much attention given to its treatment. The shirt has a camp collar with a loop on the left for the top button and five horizontal buttonholes down the plain (French) front that all correspond to white plastic buttons on the opposing side, though Leiter wears the shirt completely open.
Leiter self-cuffs the ends of the short sleeves which, combined with the fully unbuttoned front, creates more of a roughneck appearance to contrast Bond’s usual refinement. The open shirt shows Felix’s undershirt, which appears to be a white cotton tank top with a wide, ringer-reinforced neck-line.
Leiter wears ivory linen casual trousers, fastened with a white drawstring through the waistband. The pinched fabric on each side of the front suggests pleats, which would create a more generous fit that would allow cool air to pass through, likely wearing more comfortably in the warm climate than Bond’s jeans. Despite some looseness through the thighs, these casual trousers are tapered through the legs with plain-hemmed bottoms that Leiter wears self-cuffed to break high above his shoes, which he wears either sockless or with low, “no-show” socks.
James Bond Lifestyle has also identified Leiter’s shoes as the Clarks Original Desert London model with “pine green” suede uppers and off-white crepe soles, though the latter appear to have been distressed or aged to present darker on screen. Part of the 2018 Desert London collection, these plain-toe derby shoes appear to be a low-shoe variation of the classic crepe-soled desert boot, which Clarks had pioneered after World War II.
Unlike the European-made Persols and Vuarnets preferred by Mr. Bond, American agent Leiter prefers classic American sunglasses, specifically the iconic Ray-Ban RB2140 Wayfarer model with its signature black acetate trapezoidal frame. (Granted, Ray-Ban has been owned by the Italian eyewear conglomerate Luxottica since 1999, but the heritage is American!)
Ray-Ban introduced the Wayfarer model in 1956, the same year that Ian Fleming roped Leiter into Bond’s latest mission in the novel Diamonds are Forever and twenty years after Bausch & Lomb established the brand as a military eyewear contractor.
Read more about the history of Ray-Ban Wayfarers in the Bond series at James Bond Lifestyle. One of the most enduring sunglass frames in history, the Wayfarer’s current RB2140 iteration can be purchased via Amazon or Ray-Ban.
Leiter and Bond may prefer different brands of sunglasses, but both are confirmed Omega men by the time they re-team in No Time to Die. Leiter specifically wears an Omega Speedmaster Racing Co-Axial Master Chronometer, which James Bond Lifestyle confirmed as ref. 322.214.171.124.01.001. This self-winding watch has a 44.25mm stainless steel case with a fixed black ceramic bezel ring detailed with the Liquidmetal-numbered tachymeter scale and the word “TACHYMÈTRE” filled in orange lettering that echoes some of the dial detailing as well as the orange rubber interior visible through the intentional micro-perforations around the edge-stitched black leather strap.
Anti-reflective and scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal protects the matte black dial, with its non-numeric hour markers comprised of luminous 18-karat white gold arrowhead indexes, a racing-style minute-track that gives the watch its name, and a blackened date window at 6 o’clock. The primary hour and minute hands are orange with a white-filled bar, while the narrower second hand is an orange-tipped white arrow. The two blackened sub-dials consist of a white-handed 12-hour recorder at the 3 o’clock position and a 60-minute recorder at 9 o’clock with a single orange hand. Though not intended for diving like many of Commander Bond’s watches, the Speedmaster Racing Co-Axial is still water-resistant to 50 meters (or 167 feet), a feature which Leiter unwillingly and tragically tests upon Bond’s return from Cuba.
You can read more about the watch from Omega, who—as of August 2022—continues to retail the watch for $8,450.
Felix Leiter dresses in a similar fashion for Wright’s final scene in the series when he and Logan Ash connect with Bond after the latter returns from Cuba. Leiter has swapped out his green shirt for an ivory self-striped two-pocket camp shirt, which primarily differs from the previous shirt by a flatter notched collar that lacks a top loop. The plain front has vertical buttonholes and the chest pockets are reinforced with horizontal top yokes. Leiter again self-cuffs the ends of the shirt’s short sleeves, which are shirred at the set-in shoulders.
Leiter now wears stone-colored trousers that present more of a contrast against his white shirt than the lighter linen trousers he had previously been wearing would have done. He also wears these trouser bottoms self-cuffed and continues to wear his forest-green suede Clarks crepe-soled derbies.
What to Imbibe
As in Quantum of Solace, Felix Leiter and James Bond rekindle their professional partnership over long-necked beers. This particular reunion doesn’t end with Bond escaping by the skin of his teeth, but his disdain for their new drinking buddy Logan Ash might have sent him running from the bar even faster than CIA gunmen firing at him with MP5s.
Unlike Quantum of Solace, which featured generic and ultimately fictional “Cervecita” beers, the gods of product placement revived 007’s preference from Skyfall by serving the trio of agents a round of Heineken, the distinctively bottled Dutch pale lager.
You can read more about Heineken’s 25-years-and-counting with the Bond franchise at James Bond Lifestyle.
How to Get the Look
Felix Leiter’s gruff, no-nonsense exterior extends beyond his personality to his appearance, dressing practically for No Time to Die‘s Caribbean setting in lightweight summer-friendly fabrics like flax and linen, insouciantly wearing his camp shirt open to show his undershirt and the knotted drawstring holding up his white linen pants, completing the look with a set of iconic and timeless accessories like his Ray-Ban Wayfarers and Omega Speedmaster.
- Mint-green sombré-striped rayon/flax short-sleeved camp shirt with loop collar, plain front, and two chest pockets
- Beams Plus Colours Slub Yarn Vacation Shirt
- White cotton tank top undershirt
- Ivory linen single-pleated casual trousers with drawstring waist, slanted side pockets, and self-cuffed plain-hemmed bottoms
- Forest-green suede 4-eyelet plain-toe derby shoes with off-white crepe soles
- Clarks Original Desert London
- Black acetate wayfarer-style sunglasses with green polarized lenses
- Ray-Ban RB2140 Wayfarer
- Stainless steel racing chronograph watch with black ceramic tachymeter bezel, matte black dial with 2 sub-dials and 6:00 date window, and black micro-perforated leather band
- Omega Speedmaster Racing Co-Axial Master Chronometer 3126.96.36.199.01.001
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie.
Hard to tell the good from bad, villains from heroes, these days.