Last Sunday, on April the 5th 2020, Honor Blackman died of natural causes at the age of 94. As an actress, her most famous role was that of “Pussy Galore” in the James Bond movie Goldfinger. Having watched literally every James Bond movie that exists, her character was always one that stood out to me. She was a strong female antagonist, older than Bond, and very capable both physically and mentally beating him in their earlier encounters. With such a stellar acting performance I have no doubt that she will be remembered in the decades to come. Today, however, I want to take the time to pay my respects and remember her for the powerful female figure she was outside of Hollywood, and the watch she inspired.
Blackman is one of the few people that manages to be even more impressive than the fictional character that helped elevate her fame. Especially her political activities in my eyes highlight her true character. She famously declined the Order of the British Empire on grounds of being a republican. Further she criticised her peer Sean Connery for accepting the Knighthood in spite of being known for tax trickery, stating that “I don’t think you should accept a title from a country and then pay absolutely no tax towards it.” As a women of high principles she became a role model for many. And being the baddest bong girl there ever was I was honestly not surprised to find out that she was a proven martial artist, training for years at the oldest Judo gym in Europe: the Budokwai dojo.
The name Pussy Galore however is not just dedicated to Honor Blackman, it also refers to the Rolex 6542 GMT-Master that she wore during the movie. This very early model now looks more contemporary than ever, with the glossy shine of the Bakelite bezel looking visually similar to that of the modern ceramic models. While looking fantastic, bakelite proved a horrible material as it was highly brittle, radioactive, and the numbers tending to flake in warmer environments. Accordingly, this reference was only in production for four years which in turn explains the rarity and high demand this model experiences today. More important than that though is the fact that as long as just one 6542 has a running seconds hand, people will have a reason to remember Honor Blackman.