Every Single Expensive Thing in James Bond’s Spectre, Explained
You may have heard that in the new James Bond movie Spectre, Daniel Craig’s Bond drives an Aston Martin DB10 prototype, one of only 10 made and worth $4.6 million on the street.
He’s chased by a villain in a Jaguar C-X75 supercar worth more than $1 million and which Jaguar says it will never send to actual production.
But that’s just the start of the high-priced life 007 inhabits in this 24th installment of the Bond franchise. (As a side note, with a budget of $300 million, Spectre equals Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End as the second-most expensive film ever made.)
The luxury starts from the moment we see his Tom Ford bespoke suit and Omega watches at a Day of the Dead festival in Mexico, continues through his sparse (but enviably located)London flat and his proclivity for high-end vodka spirits to the way he maneuvers a private plane across Austria. Even his cuff links and sunglasses demand careful attention.
“Don’t forget, Bond is a detail man,” Costume designer Jany Temime said in a thick French accent the morning after the film’s Mexico City North American premiere. “He comes from the Navy.”
And then there’s Léa Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann, dressed in custom ball gowns, diamond earrings, and delicate silk crème frocks frolicking through boutique hotels and African locomotive trains near Tangiers.
It’s plenty to tally, but here are the best of the big-ticket luxury items from director Sam Mendes’s second Bond film.
Throughout the movie Bond wears Tom Ford bespoke clothing, including an ivory Windsor tuxedo jacket ($5,200 for the off-the-rack version) and tuxedo shirt, three different dress shirts, including one with turnback cuffs, two formal coats (one each for Rome and London), four neckties, a bow tie, and a pocket square.
In London near Whitehall, Bond sports a gray pin-stripe suit, white shirt, gray necktie, and navy coat, all by Tom Ford. He also wears a blue N.Peal cashmere sweater ($340), the same model that he wore in the movie SkyFall, in several scenes in the film. It’s a fine, small manufacturer of the world’s best cashmere.
“I tried to find a traditional look for Bond, a classic look,” Temime said. “Bond is a classic man. He is confident and sure of himself, and he has exactly the right clothes for the situation. He is the epitome of an English gentleman.”
Bond also wore the $4,086 Tom Ford O'Connor suit in the Mexico opening sequence and other scenes and a $4,487 Tom Ford Windsor three-piece suit in Rome. In a London meeting with M, Bond wears a $2,235 Tom Ford herringbone overcoat.
“I had the long coat made by Tom Ford,” Temime said. “He was supposed to be one of the Italian gangsters in that scene, not too much, but slightly more arrogant, slightly more obvious than an English gentleman would wear.”
In the Alps, Bond wears a $2,236 Tom Ford Bomber jacket, $250 Danner Boots, and special $600 Vuarnet aviator sunglasses complete with black leather side shields. He also wore trousers based on vintage military models. Temime had them specially made.
“Those were based off French army ski trousers, 1960s ski trousers,” she said. “I took them to Tom Ford, and he made them for us. It was very old-fashioned the way he did it, with the same look.”
Along with the Vuarnet shades, Bond wore the Tom Ford Snowdon sunglasses ($405) in Spectre, especially in the scenes shot in Rome. He also wore the $405 Tom Ford Henry Vintage Wayfarer model in Morocco. Madeleine wore a pair from Persol.
Bond wears $380 Mulberry Day Gloves in Black Deerskin in several cold-weather scenes and a pantheon of handsome shoes by the British firm Crockett & Jones. Standouts include the $710 Camberley and $600 Norwich models.
As for watches, Bond is an Omega man. He wears two in this film, an Omega Aqua Terra Limited Edition ($6,150) and an Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition ($6,350). He matches those at one point with small round black and double-sided Tom Ford limited edition cuff links, which Christie’s valued at nearly $2,300.
It’s also worth noting that Sony is a tech partner on this film, so the cameras and electronics are duly branded as such. A Sony 'Made for Bond' ad campaign shows Naomie Harris as Moneypenny finding Bond's phone, which in the commercial is a Sony Xperia Z5, which costs more than $600.
The Real Estate
Bond first meets Madeleine at her desk in the Hoffler Klinik, a fictional health getaway on Gaislachkogl Mountain.
Like Spectre villain Oberhauser’s meteor-housing ($600,000) desert lair, the Klinik was a composite of a real location, a studio, and CGI effects. Filmmakers had to manufacture 400 tons of snow to cover the hillside.
“We went to the Alps in Switzerland and Austria and Italy,” Production Designer Dennis Gassner said on the phone in Mexico City. “Luckily, I found [the ski resort] Sölden in Austria and a restaurant, the ICE-Q, at the top of this ski lift, which became the foundation for what we needed. The Klinik is a little bit of an ice jewel in the middle of the movie.” The rest of the interior scenes were shot at a studio in England; building a state-of-the-art medical clinic in the Austrian Alps would probably have cost more than $100 million.
In Rome, the filmmakers shot for four days at the Museo della Civiltà Romana, which doubled for where Bond sees the widow, Lucia Sciarra (played by Monica Bellucci). As for Bond’s personal apartment, producer Barbara Broccoli called it one of the most difficult sets to get right, because everyone has an idea in their minds about the kind of place where Bond would live. Gassner declined to divulge where it was located in London, though any proper London apartment of that size would run in the $10 million to $20 million range.
“You had to go deeper than underground,” he said, speaking figuratively about Bond's deeply secluded apartment. “The decision to go into his space was very personal, so it had to be even more private than that.”
As for its sparseness (a big bottle of Macallan 18-year is the main furnishing), Gassner said that’s the most realistic thing about it.
“Bond is a man on the run all the time,” he said. “He lives a life that is extremely active and probably doesn’t spend a lot of time there. To me, it was the right thing to do.”
M, on the other hand, has the archetypical "red door" room look for his office—the traditional Whitehall environment that housed Bernard Lee’s M across the years. Q’s lab features lots of mechanical devices and high-tech devices, all bespoke from his own mad-lab mind, of course.
Léa Seydoux’s Swann had to look sexy for her role, as you might expect. But Temime also wanted to convey that this was a woman on the move.
“She was traveling,” she said. “That light green dress that she wore in the train was specially made for her. I wanted a dress that she could roll in and could be glamorous and where she could breathe.”
In fact, most of the clothing Swann wore was specially made, from the crème dress she wore in Morocco to her suits in Austria. But for Temime, that ghostly sea foam bespoke dress was the standout.
“I loved the green dress best, and the tuxedo,” she said. “She had that dress. He had that white tuxedo. They are in Morocco, in a train, which is an incredible look. Together they are like a dream couple.”
This is an area that proved tricky to identify, since most of the liquor bottles in Spectre had their labels strategically facing away from the camera. But there are several sponsorship collaborations that continued here, namely that of $175 per-bottle Champagne Bollinger and Belvedere Vodka for that famous “shaken, not stirred” martini. There’s also a Château Angélus Premier Grand Cru Classé Saint-Émilion on the Moroccan trainride (he drank it also with Vesper in Casino Royale), and, thankfully, that bottle of Macallan 18-Year ($200, roughly) on Bond's table at his London apartment.
There are many guns used in this film, but standouts include a Heckler & Koch VP9 ($700) and a Sig Sauer P226 ($1,000). Mr. Hinx used a double-barrel Arsenal Firearms AF2011 Dueller Prismatic pistol ($1,000).
As for noncar toys in Spectre, three different helicopters were involved, including a McDonnell Douglas MD500E ($1.3 million) in Morocco, a twin-engine AgustaWestland AW109 ($10 million-plus) in London, and a Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 ($750,000) in Mexico City. That one was flown by the Red Bull aerobatic helicopter stunt pilot Chuck Aaron and was modified so he could do barrel rolls and dives.
Then there’s the train ride ($4,000 for two) through Morocco, which filmmakers described as especially punishing. They filmed in Tangier and Erfoud and Oujda in the northeast part of the country, where temperatures averaged of 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
In fact, the element of hot-to-cold-to-hot again drove much of the production and location decisions for this movie, Glassner said. Back in Austria, a $250,000 stunt plane called a Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander, a 1960s British light utility aircraft, was used for a major car/plane chase scene. In all, eight aircraft were used on a variety of stunts.
Now for the icons: the cars. Spectre is the first Bond film for which Aston Martin built a car specifically. (Others, such as the DB5 that made its debut in 1964’s Goldfinger, the DBS from 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and the V8 Volante from 1987’s The Living Daylights, were all cars sold to the public.) The new DB10 is a prototype based on a modified Vantage, with a longer wheelbase and a 4.7-litre V8 engine. It has an estimated top speed of 190 mph and can get from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, according to Aston (in the film that number is closer to 3 seconds).
Its nose is shark-inspired, to hint at the car’s stealthy character, producers said, and all its body panels are carbon fiber with a full clamshell hood and a heat-mapped perforation pattern, which negated the need for vents.
“I wanted a car that had clean, clear lines,” director Mendes said in production notes. In the film, Q says it cost £3 million, or about $4.6 million. That’s including, presumably, the upgrades the $1,200 Missoni-sweater-wearing Q added, like rear-mounted flame-throwers, bullet-proofing, and an immediate-ejector seat.
The villain Mr. Hinx’s Jaguar was no slouch, either. Indeed, the C-X75 has a combined power output of 850 hp on a Formula 1-inspired, 1.6-litre turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder power plant. It has a seven-speed transmission, and the car can sprint from zero to 100 mph in fewer than six seconds.
According to production notes, the first C-X75 prototype exceeded 200 mph in testing.
“The Jag was so powerful that we had to tone down the engine so the throttle response wasn’t so aggressive,” said Spectre stunt coordinator Gary Powell. All told, seven Jaguars were used to film the Rome chase scene.
Elsewhere in the film, Bond gets picked up in a 1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith ($50,000) and drives a DB5 ($450,000 and up; the one from Goldfinger was sold by RM Auctions for $4.6 million in 2010). The Austria car chase required 11 Land Rover Defenders Big Foots ($100,000-plus, considering the fact that they were specially made) and seven Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVRs ($111,000 each, plus upgrades), all of which were heavily modified. The villain Oberhauser has a couple of Mercedes-Benz G-Wagons ($219,000) at his disposal; and if you care, Monica Bellucci’s grieving widow Lucia drives around in a big black town car ($100,000), among other similarly dark sedans in the film.
There’s also a scene at Blenheim Palace that doubles as the location of the Spectre group meeting in Rome. The parking lot there is a fantasyland of rare vehicles that set designers used to “paint a picture of the mafia types that would be attending the meeting,” they said, including a Porsche 956 Group B Homologation car ($275,000), a full carbon fiber Bugatti ($2.5 million), concept XJ Jaguars, an Aston Martin Lagonda ($300,000), and a handful of other supercars, including Ferrari 458 Speciales ($300,000), McLarens ($265,000), and Mercedes roadsters ($130,000-plus).
Filming the car chases—in Rome, in the woods—complicated matters considerably. In Rome, filmmakers shut down key portions of the city, including a section alongside the Tiber looking toward St. Peter’s Square and the Coliseum. That chase alone used eight Aston Martins and seven Jaguars driven at 100 mph by stunt pros. In the mountains, those Land Rovers were towed more than 3,000 meters up the mountain by snowmobiles, since there was no road access, and given tires with 1,500 hand-applied studs.
All told, the production crew blew up $48 million worth of cars. Ouch.
If you ask Glassner, though, he’ll say it was all worth it.
“Our influence on this movie was Skyfall—we had to top that,” he said. “It’s also about honoring a franchise. Every day I would think, ‘What would the audience want to get out of this?’ I do it for you guys.”
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