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NPeal Combat Trousers

Living Like Bond - Part 1

22 March, 2006

A gentleman in his late thirties straightens his Turnbull and Asser tie as he sits in the leather chair. He glances down at his Omega Seamaster watch and peers over his Calvin Klein faux tortoiseshell glasses at the closed door to the boardroom. He readjusts his crossed legs gently scraping the underside of the table with his Church's Presley custom grade shoes and gently slips a business card out of his bespoke Magnoli Goldfinger suit. As he goes for his Parker Jotter pen on the table his Dunhill cufflinks peak out of his jacket, the Sea Island cotton of his Turnbull and Asser shirt follows shortly. Suddenly the door of the boardroom opens and several executives enter. One greets the gentlemen, 'Mr. Zaritsky, sorry to keep you waiting.'

Although the above scene sounds like a description from a James Bond novel, I sadly assure you it isn't. It is an actual scene from my life- the life of an executive that every now and then lives like Bond. I am one of those Bond fans/collectors that enjoy wearing the clothes, accessories, and grooming products that James Bond has worn in the books and movies. Over time I have amassed a collection of watches, jackets, suits, accessories, shoes, glasses that from time to time I will wear in the non-Bond world we call reality. I am a licensee's dream-the kind of guy that Omega, Church's, CK, Samsonite and all the companies that have purchased the opportunity to showcase their products target; and an easy target I have become. But how on earth did I get myself in this predicament? It all started innocently enough with a watch.

I have always been a movie buff and certainly a James Bond fan. My fondest memories of a child would be when my father would let me stay up late to watch a James Bond movie on TV with him. There was never a greater 'bonding' moment in my father/son relationship growing up. I began collecting props and costumes from movies once I had some measure of expendable income and the collecting of the James Bond lifestyle was a natural progression. I remember quite distinctly the Omega watch from Goldeneye and coveting it but it wasn't until Tomorrow Never Dies that the Omega watch became a need that gnawed on me like a rat does to cheese. I had just acquired a new executive position at a new company and like most young execs decided to treat myself to a gift- the Omega Seamaster. What a rush of excitement it was to receive that red leather box, open it up and see the masterpiece in all its gleaming perfection. The fit and the feel were like no other watch I owned and it soon became an indispensable piece of jewelry no matter where I went. But I soon learned something remarkable was happening- during the day at moments that did not demand my attention I would find myself looking down at the watch, thinking wistfully of a scene from the movie. I would be transported, for just a moment, into the world of Bond and it was incredibly relaxing and exhilarating at the same time. A dirty little secret in my otherwise level-headed executive life that was neither dirty nor taboo. It didn't take long to realize that more Bond accessories could be had that would blend into corporate America and yet provide me the rush of being connected to Bond, even in my professional life.

This made perfect sense to me, after all the James Bond of the movies looks like an executive. The sharp suits, perfect shoes, spiffy watch, it all smacks of the well dressed C Level look. Yet, as I purchased my first pair of Church's Presley shoes, as seen in The World Is Not Enough, and begin buying ties and shirts from Turnbull and Asser I noticed a wonderful side effect. I was wearing high quality garments that helped improve my image! What a win/win situation I had found. Not only was I able to collect these items, not only was I able to live like James Bond, but to the outside world I was becoming quite the fashion maverick. But EON is a smart business entity and licensees knew that the David Zaritsky's of the world would want to communicate on James Bond devices, drink James Bond vodka, and carry aluminum Xylem attaché cases like James Bond. With each successive movie more and more items became available and I found my appetite larger rather than satiated. Call it a feeding frenzy for a Bond collector, if you will, but commercially available items suddenly became not quite enough.

The hunt is on- release the hounds. My penchant for wearing Bond related merchandise continued but soon a new high was needed. A good friend of mine, Ed Maggiani, who himself has collected Bond items since Bond appeared on celluloid, introduced me to a fact that James Bond paraphernalia, gadgets, accessories and the like could be acquired from everyday sources. In addition there were artists and manufacturers that could make custom made items such as the leather jacket Brosnan wears in Tomorrow Never Dies and linen suits as seen in The World Is Not Enough. You mean items for my collection that licensees did not pay to have show up in a film? The world suddenly became a bigger place and the hunt was on.

The hunting ground became the internet, networking with like minded collectors and the movies themselves. Research was the ammunition and Bond fans were the hunters. As I dove head first into this world I realized, quite quickly, that I was not alone in the forest. Many other hunters had taken up the mantle of finding these pieces with some specializing in electronic devices, some were great at finding Connery inspired pieces and still others (like myself) successful in hunting down wearable Bond items. Soon we realized that the sum of the parts equal the whole and we would be stronger together rather than as individual poachers. Distribution lists sprang up with communications like, 'Hey, I just found the company that made the turtleneck seen at the end of Die Another Day.'

James Bond collector boards also appeared with a laser focus on 1:1 collectables from the James Bond series. Individuals that did not realize their passion was held by others found security in the knowledge that doctors, presidents of corporations, lawyers, investment bankers etc were all amongst these collectors. The stereotype of the collector hovelling in his basement with a single light bulb swinging from the ceiling was destroyed now replaced by the executive driving his Aston Martin or BMW Z4.

Today my collection resides on the floor of my house that houses the media room, sitting areas and the like and does not spill over into the normal areas of the house. This has been done, not to the insistent of my wife, but because I do feel there is a magical nature in crossing over a threshold and becoming suddenly immersed in the world of James Bond. Where the secret life of a James Bond collector and the real world often are blended are still in those board meetings as I adjust my Dunhill belt or wear my CK2007 Sunglasses on a sunny day. My gentle and harmless self-reminder of my passion for all things Bond with all the wonderful side effects that come with it. Is there an end in sight? Not as long as there are Bond films to satiate us and items to be found in this world that never seems enough

© 2006 David Zaritsky -

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