One of the thick cased Submariners with the large crown appeared on Connery’s wrist in Dr. No, From Russia With love, Goldfinger, and Thunderball. It is assumed that Connery also wore this watch in You Only Live Twice, but I don’t recall seeing it in that movie and to my knowledge it is not in the movie.
By analyzing close ups of the Connery Submariner, it is clear that the watch has the big crown with no crown guard, has a gilt dial with two lines of printing on the upper part of the dial below the Rolex crown and two lines of printing on the lower portion of the dial that appear to be different colors (although it is hard to tell and you may see it differently), and has Mercedes hands. The bezel insert is the non-graduated version, meaning there are no extra minute markings between 0 and 15 and the bezel pearl is in the center of a silver triangle. Later versions of the Submariner had the extra minute markings between the 0 and 15 including the ones without crown guards. These observations are important because the watch has characteristics of a 6200, a 6538A, a thick cased 6538 or even a 5510 (depending on whether you discern the depth rating of Connery’s watch as white or gilt) despite what so called experts say about it being only a 6538.
To collectors the Connery James Bond Submariner, have always had contradictory characteristics with respect to the exact model. Firstly, the non-graduated bezel insert is that of the earliest thick cased, large crown Submariners, the 6200. However, on the mid 50’s version of 6200, there is only one line of printing on the lower part of the dial, the word “SUBMARINER” in gilt, because although it was rated to a depth of 200m/660ft it did not yet appear on the dial.
The late 50’s 6200, 6538A and 6538 did have the two lines of printing on the lower part of the dial (chronometer versions of the 6538A and thick cased 6538 had 4 lines) and the depth rating was printed in white while the word “SUBMARINER” was in gilt. On the 5510, late 50’s models had both the depth rating and the word “SUBMARINER” in the same color, gilt. To further make things murky, the late 50’s 6200, 6538A, 6538 and 5510 had graduated bezel inserts, and the triangle containing the luminous pearl was red. As experts have said before, the Connery Submariner has a non-graduated bezel insert and the triangle containing the pearl was silver.
So what does all that mean according to collectors? Probably not much. The fact of the matter is that Rolex often used up older parts even when they went to a new model. So it would be entirely possible to have 6538A with a 6200 bezel insert. Also, it’s quite possible that a 6538 or 5510 could have been serviced during its ownership by a service center having older parts which means that a 6538 or a 5510 might end up having a 6200 bezel insert.
So unless the Broccoli family, who are rumored to have the original watch, furnishes the exact model number, collectors may never know the exact model number of the Connery Bond Submariner. However with the wealth of parts available, it is possible to achieve the same look using the 6200, 6538A, thick cased 6538 or the 5510 Submariner because they all share the same case and big Brevet crown. But, collectors are warned, some collectors and aficionados hate to restore or change watches and rather have an original beat up watch rather than a pristine restored one. Luckily, there is a building trend toward restoration.
|Racal RA-117 receivers|
The RACAL RA-17 and RA-117 were notable as the first production communications receivers to implement the Wadley Loop tuning system. The Wadley Loop was a technique to improve tuning precision and stability at higher frequencies in the days before phase-locked-loop systems were feasible economically. These were premium receivers in their day, and the choice of many Naval and commercial services in the 1950s and 60s.
|Racal RA-117 receivers - Dr. NO movies|
Using these receivers is a unique experience relative to that of their contemporaries. The tuning precision and stability is remarkable for a tube receiver. The tuning dial is graduated with 1 KHz markings and the tracking can be accurate down to ± 1 KHz. The Collins R-390 is the only other receiver from the period with comparable tuning capabilities that I am aware of. The R-390 took a very different approach to achieving those abilities, employing multiple crystals and complex mechanical linkages. In contrast, the RA-17 and 117, using the Wadley Loop, rely on a single 1MHz crystal reference.
|Racal RA-117 receivers - Dr. NO movies|
Dr. NO movies: At the G7W London base, presumably the global communications base for MI6, they were using Racal RA-117 receivers. When Strangway's secretary was killed, the Jamaica line was cut off and M was alerted of the situation.
|K.W. Vanguard - Dr. NO movies|
Since James Bond exploded onto the silver screen in 1962, his gadgets and tools have become icons, and an immensely popular part of the films. In Dr. No (1962), there weren't any high tech gadgets of the later years, but James Bond still came equipped with several tools and machines. Here we list all the gadgets, gizmos and tools that James Bond, his allies, and the opposition, used in their missions.
Every night at around 6:30, the MI6 representative of Jamaica John Strangways would leave his game of bridge and head out to his bungalow. His secretary Mary Trueblood would be waiting, preparing the communications so that Strangways could signal in his report as soon as he arrived.
She would signal the communications base, saying "W6N calling G7W". W6N being the Jamaican base and G7W being the London base. If the call was interrupted or if Strangways didn't report by the "red call" at 7:30, the communications would be severed permanently, and an emergency alarm raised.
|K.W. Vanguard and Eddystone 840/A - Dr. NO movies|
The actual communications equipment used in Jamaica was a K.W. Vanguard high frequency transmitter (shown on the left) and an Eddystone 840/A transmitter,which wasn't actually used in the film but was located on the right of the Vangaurd
|K.W. Vanguard and Eddystone 840/A - Dr. NO movies|
This is a really neatly built radio. The 840A has a number of features of a real communications receiver. But like the simpler 870A, it was sold as a “Cabin Receiver” for shipboard use. It has an RF pre-amplifier stage and uses a triple ganged tuning capacitor. Communication receiver features are the RF gain control and a BFO (beat frequency oscillator) in case you want to listen to SSB (single side band) transmissions. It covers a frequency range from 480 kHz to 30 MHz in 4 bands. The geared tuning mechanism has a vernier scale to allow for precise tuning.
Finally, this isn't a code machine at all. It's a vintage (late 1950s) K.W. "Vanguard" ham radio transmitter with 30 watts. These were typically built from kits sold by a British company. This particular old rig is at one of the operating positions set up by the Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Club upstairs in B Block. The antenna tuner on top is modern.
The subject of this article was the first major offering from KW Electronics and is an AM/CW transmitter providing a power input of 50 watts on all bands 80 – 10 metres. The manufacturer also offered a modification to enable topband coverage at reduced power (10 watts). The Vanguard was offered as a complete kit at £56/14/0 or ready built at £66/3/0, in each case the topband coverage was extra. A review of the kit version appeared in the March 1958 issue of Shortwave Magazine.
The Vanguard was designed around the then popular Italian made Geloso 4/101 ‘Signal Shifter’ VFO unit, which was generally available to amateurs and also provided an easy way to build a homebrew transmitter. A full description of this unit appeared in SWM, March 1957. The VFO unit consists of a Clapp oscillator (6J5), buffer/multiplier (6AU6)and a 6V6 output stage. This unit can directly drive a PA stage up to 50 watts input. For higher output a 6L6 could be substituted for the 6V6 with some minor component changes. The commercially manufactured high power version was known as the 4/102, the only difference between the two models being in the inductance values of the output stage, to take account of the different capacity of the alternative output valves and the higher input capacity of the larger PA stage.
The Clapp oscillator covers 3.5 – 4.0 Mc/s for the 80m band, 3.5 – 3.6 Mc/s for 20 and 15 metres and 7.0 – 7.45 Mc/s for the 40 and 10 metre bands. The 6AU6 isolator stage is fed by a 100pF capacitor from the cathode of the oscillator valve, and functions as an untuned aperiodic amplifier on 3.5 and 7 Mc/s. On 14, 21 and 28 it functions as a tuned frequency doubler. The output stage operates as a tuned amplifier on 3.5 and 7, as a doubler on 14 and 28, and as a tripler on 21 Mc/s. Drive level can be adjusted using a wirewound potentiometer which varies the screen voltage on the output valve. The large, clear dial when illuminated looks good is easy to read and once set up is accurate.
The VFO unit drives a 6146 PA valve which has in its output a Geloso band switched pi output network and a tuneable harmonic trap. The PA can be cathode keyed for CW, or high level anode and screen modulated for AM.
The modulator consists of a pair of 6L6 valves in push-pull, driven by a 12AX7 phase splitter and a 6BR7 microphone amplifier. This arrangement, together with the high quality modulation transformer provides adequate audio power to achieve full modulation without distortion, these are one of the nicest sounding AM rigs on the band even today
The power supply consists of three separate mains transformers, one to supply all heaters including the HT rectifiers, one to supply the modulator HT and one to supply the RF section HT, each having its own rectifier. Transmit and receive keying, netting and AM/CW selection is achieved by applying the mains supply to the primary of one or both transformers and switching the PA cathode as necessary. The front panel transmit receive switch also provides for aerial changeover and receiver muting. Metering is provided to indicate grid drive, PA current and modulation depth. The latter operates by rectifying a portion of the audio on the secondary side of the modulation transformer. In this way account is taken of the loading effect of the PA under different tune-up conditions, the meter giving a fairly accurate indication of the modulation depth under all conditions.
As the Geloso components do not cover topband, KW issued a modification to enable coverage of this band. This was described fully in the May 1958 issue of Shortwave Magazine. Basically it involved adding a series inductance to the 80m VFO and driver coils with a small rotary switch to change between 80 and 160 by shorting out the extra coils on the 80m band. The switch is positioned between the bandswitch and drive controls; in this position very short wiring can be used, but as there is little space between the two controls there is no room for a knob on the switch, instead a small screwdriver is used to change between topband and ‘normal’.
Topband coverage for the PA is achieved by adding an extra coil in series with the first 80m position on the PA bandswitch (two positions were thoughtfully provided by Geloso, only the second one is needed unless one needs to tune into a high impedance aerial on 80m.) The then compulsory reduction to 10 watts input was achieved by switching a 3,500W 20 watt resistor in series with the PA HT supply. This served to seduce the HT voltage to the PA, and also to dissipate the unused audio power from the modulator.