Commando Bond Christmas Gift Guide 2022
This year, I’ve been blessed. I’ve connected with some incredible people throughout a variety of industries and backgrounds, and I’ve been fortunate to test drive some of those pieces. I’ve also been blessed with a beautiful wife who indulges this project and my passions, and who has allowed me to pick up all sorts of Bond pieces for my daily life. Today, I’m eager to share some of my favorite things that I believe make the perfect gift for any fan of James Bond. I want to clarify too, while I have been gifted some pieces or items, I’ve also taken the time to use, abuse, and find how/if they suit me well before sharing them with you in this manner. Merry Christmas – and please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have about these pieces, I’m thrilled to be of service.
Jack Carr Autographed Editions
If you’re like Jack Carr and a fan of James Bond, the James Reece Saga is the next series for you to sink your teeth into.
We have ample time before we get more Bond, so while we savor what’s come before, join me in celebrating the work of a modern author whose background and dedication to his new craft deserves equal exaltation. Like Fleming, Carr is driving hard with relevant thrillers that are being released at the pace of Fleming in his prime. There’s five books waiting for you already, with another one to come next year – not to mention the hit Amazon Prime series starring Chris Pratt.
Carr is a kind and great individual, and I genuinely can’t recommend his work enough to you. A 20 year veteran and family man who has spent his life a student of war, soaking up every paperback on the subject in sight, who is now taking that knowledge and producing thrillers. The writing is powerful and resonates so well due to its timeliness and depth. You can feel the depth of knowledge oozing out of every paragraph, and if you’re like me, you’ll be buying books in mass quantities to learn more.
A signed book is a great piece and lovely gift. Get yours from a small business and bookshop selected by Jack Carr here.
SAS Rogue Heroes – Ben Macintyre
Ben Macintyre’s book is now a hit series at the BBC and is the only authorized wartime history of the Special Air Service. This group templated what is now the modern special operations community globally and fundamentally changed the tactical landscape. If you’re keen on learning about the real hard men and heroes of the world, this book is a brilliant read. The unbelievable missions and courage of these pioneers, as well as the prose of Macintyre makes this book impossible to put down. Just be warned – this book is a Pandora’s Box of historical reading, but I promise it’s totally worth it.
These aren’t new, but that’s part of the joy. These 1960’s era paperbacks are gorgeous and just the size to be tossed into a backpack or back pocket during your travels. Half of mine are held together by some packing tape, but the pastel covers and minimalist cover art make these unparalleled. I love that a book this size takes up no room in a bag, but can bring you into one of Fleming’s adventures with ease. These are easy enough to find in lots on Ebay, and make for a great and unique gift for any Bond fan.
Black Silk Knit Tie
There’s nothing that invokes Fleming in my mind more than his Bond Uniform – a navy two piece suit, white shirt, and black silk knit tie. I’ve worn my knit tie for so many occasions, it’s one of the most utilitarian sartorial pieces you can ever own. Here’s a short list of examples:
- A friend’s wedding
- A Gun Control Debate and Public Forum
- Business Meetings
- A night out on the town
- To the Range (seriously – knit ties and ballistic therapy go together hand in glove)
- A movie premiere
These are just some examples from the last year!
This is a safe wardrobe staple that will quietly bring 007 into your professional and personal life whenever the occasion arises. Here’s a couple links to some options across the board, including the new Mason & Sons 007 Collection.
Sunspel Riveria Polo
This is THE James Bond polo. Inspired by a piece made by Sunspel since the 1950’s and reimagined and tailored specifically for Craig in Casino Royale, its a gorgeous and understated piece that deserves a place in any Bond fan’s wardrobe. I’ve had mine since last Christmas, and after nearly a year of ownership and consistent wear, I have to admit that this is worth every single penny. Right now, it’s on sale too, so you can’t beat the savings. This seems to be their lowest price after years of watching the price like a hawk, so I wouldn’t recommend holding out longer for a better deal. If you already have the navy like me, another colorway wouldn’t be out of order, such as their storm blue, which reminds me of the Dr. No Crab Key polo.
J. Crew Factory Long Sleeve Henley in Slub Cotton – Marine Salt
No Time to Die was the film that reminded me of how much I really love a good henley. It’s an essential part of the commando outfit after all, layered with the N. Peal sweater. Now, I own the Rag & Bone henley that’s screen accurate, and I must admit, I’m not impressed. I love the distressed metal buttons and long cuffs, but the fabric is about as durable as cheesecloth. Mine is mostly rag at this point, and is only being kept around to be worn as a base layer still with said commando sweater. (I’d include that sweater here too, but I feel like I already cheated by saying the PPK – this project is literally named for the sweater, and while it is pricey, I’ve loved it – expect a year in review soon). All that said, I love this alternative from J. Crew Factory. My wife bought me it in three colorways, and I’ve basically been living in them this Fall, either by themselves or under my sweaters. I currently have these three – Slate Blue, Faded Black, Marine Salt. For the commando look, or the Skyfall Scotland finale look, this is a stunning piece that would be perfect for any Bond wardrobe.
Also, it’s currently on sale for $16.50, which is just insane. I’ll be snagging back-ups to mine!
Parker Jotter GoldenEye Pen
I’ve had one of these pens in my pocket for years thanks to its appearance in 1995’s GoldenEye. For 10 years I did competitive debate and this pen was the perfect companion as I had to take notes at an absurd pace. It’s also served me well professionally. What’s also brilliant about it is the price. This pen is a useable tool at its price point, not some object to be hidden away and carefully watched. Toss it in a pocket or backpack and let it join you every single day, whether you’re hiking with some Field Notes in your pocket or in a jacket and tie. It has a minimalist yet elegant design as well, making it perfect for both the boardroom and the backwoods.
Covert Product Groups G10 Collar Stays
If you’ve read the Raymond Benson Bond novels, you may be familiar with his affinity for G10. The 90’s really brought the metal detector into the mainstream, and Benson’s 007 combated this with a variety of metal detector defeating tools, such as these collar stay blades. Meant to be staged in the collar for escape and evasion, these are based on the lapel daggers of the SAS. While these aren’t the most functional pieces in the world, they are a fun nod to Bond and the SAS. Just note that these are sharp and do only work with full point collars, not spread or semi-spread.
Forscher 5513/5517 MilSub Homage
I’ve said a lot about this watch (most recently in my James Bond’s Military History write-up) and all I’ll add here is that an automatic watch is a great addition to any wardrobe, especially one that’s inspired by real heroes and has a subtle 007 connection. This homage is sub 1k, and a beautifully accurate recreation of one of the most unique watches ever issued to a military force. What’s more, only 180 total were made, and as of this writing, only 20 or so remain, so hit Forscher on Instagram if you’re keen on one. This watch means a lot to me, and I’m really thrilled to say this is only the beginning of the fun with them, so keep your eyes peeled for more!
Magnoli Clothiers Connery Cufflinks
These cufflinks are objectively my favorite pair. Inspired by the pair worn by Connery when he first is introduced as James Bond, in that iconic casino sequence in Dr. No, as well as during the DB5 sequence in Goldfinger, these are an elegant and subtle way to bring 007 into your wardrobe. Thanks to their vintage styling as well, you can join me in forgoing the “matching metals” rule. The rose gold is beautiful and quiet all at once. I bought these for my wedding, but haven’t stopped wearing them since.
Grayman & Co Amber Tortoise Keyhole Sunglasses
I’ve been wearing these almost exclusively for months, and I’ve been very impressed with the fit and quality of these glasses. To me, they make for a great homage to Bond’s sunglasses worn in Matera, but with a functional twist that Bond may have wanted, seeing as he was the victim of an IED at a former lover’s grave – perhaps the ballistically tested lenses would have been preferable. The branding is subtle on these (something I very much prefer) and the amber tortoise color looks beautiful with a jacket and tie or with a pair of Orbelar Brown swim trunks on a beach somewhere. For a 00 fan, the dual functionality of these glasses is second to none, and feels like something right out of Q Branch.
The Spectre MKIII is a collaboration project between myself and my friends over at TH Holsters, meant to bring Bond’s PPK into the 21st century, without discounting the aesthetics. Blending hand-stitched suede and a kydex shell, we have brought the 00 feeling into functional daily carry. More than that, this leather wrapped design is available in all holster options on TH Holster’s website, so feel welcome to get your own bespoke holster for whatever firearm you trust your life with daily. The next batch of Spectre’s (due to some R&D work) will be shipped by Dec 31. Not arriving by Christmas, but I’d be remiss to not highlight this today. Add “4Christmas” in your order notes, and I’ll get a small swag sticker pack as a thank you along by the holidays as a thank you.
Gerber 06 Auto
I’ve carried the Gerber for a while now, as it was used by Bond in Spectre. I’ve found it to be a durable and functional daily carry folding knife. It’s on the larger side, with an oversized button and safety lever, but in five pocket denim, it’s carried well for me. This is the knife you carry for every daily miscellaneous task without any hesitation.
For any discerning Bond fan, this is THE handgun. Currently produced in Fort Smith Arkansas, this venerable handgun is one for the ages, and comes in a gorgeous presentation box. Due to its significant popularity, it can be very hard to find, especially in the black melonite. I personally have a stainless steel PPK from this new production variant, and I’ve really enjoyed its company in the holster. That finish may be more Austin Powers or Sterling Archer, but if you’re like me and looking to have more than one PPK in the collection, I’d say this is the one for you. For fans of the 7,65mm – the used market is ripe, just be wary of scalpers. This is obviously a grail piece for many, and I totally recognize that. If you can swing one, you won’t be remiss.
Merry Christmas all!
*Please note: this page contains affiliate links, which means that if you buy something via one of the product links or banners, I might receive a small commission, but the price is the same for you.