To the keen eyed investor in physical assets, understanding how popular culture can increase the value of your investments is paramount. In this article we will be examining how James Bond can act as a potential indicator of wise investment, due to the character’s appeal as the epitome of British style through his choice of watches and whiskies. In part one we will cover the scotches of Bond, then in part two the timepieces.
For those who have only seen the films, you might think that the Vodka Martini is the drink of choice for James Bond, however in the original Ian Fleming novels whisky is his preferred tipple. If one were to tally the different drinks Bond orders throughout his career in Her Majesty’s Secret Service, he orders far more scotch and sodas than martinis. So what are some of the most iconic Bond brands to invest in?
Unlike the films, there are scant references to individual brands of scotch in the novels. Out of those mentions, one stands out to us: Haig Whisky. Whether it's drinking an ample tot of Haig Dimple with breakfast before duelling a Russian sniper in the short story The Living Daylights or consuming gallons of the US made Haig Pinch alongside his CIA counterpart Felix Leiter, Bond often turned to Haig as his scotch of choice.
Haig is one of the rarest and oldest whiskies, with many of its most famous blends such as Dimple having been discontinued. Before investing one should note that due to being a blended whisky, the price tag it commands rarely exceeds £50 a bottle and actual casks being almost impossible to come by. At Hackstons we suggest if you come to possess a bottle you might as well have a casino night and enjoy it with company, for investors unfortunately casks are impossible to obtain.
Perhaps the most iconic of scotches seen during Pierce Brosnan’s tenure as 007, appearing in both The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day proudly sitting on M’s desk. With many of the whiskies in earlier Bond films being bourbons, it was high time that Scotch was in the limelight for a series that has a distinctly Scottish heritage. Thus Talisker was a perfect choice, like Bond’s own father hailing from the Western coast of Scotland, Talisker evokes the homely warmth of the coastal highlands.
For the investor a Talisker cask is a great scotch to start your whisky investment portfolio with, due to being more affordable than other luxury brands.
In the tense confrontation between Bond and Silva in Skyfall, Macallan takes the centre stage as a glass is placed atop the head of Bond’s flame in a tense shooting competition. Upon the whisky tumbling to the floor, Bond morbidly utters "A waste of good scotch." While a callous disregard for human life, it does highlight the prestigious nature of Macallan.
In fact the specific whisky in the film is the Macallan 1962, a cheeky reference to the fact that the first James Bond film, ‘Dr No’ was also released that year. Macallan’s auctioned a bottle of 1962 signed by the cast off to charity for a staggering £9,635.
For the discerning whisky investor, Macallan represents the pièce de résistance to a portfolio, being extremely rare and extremely expensive. However, the returns are fantastic for those who invest in a cask, due to these reasons.
Overall James Bond is a fascinating way to understand the perceptions and values of these luxury brands through the eyes of an investor and goes to show how popular culture can help to impact supply and demand. In part two, we will examine the watches of 007 and see which may be best to invest in for 2021.