x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

The name's Kane, and you can buy my watch - but it will cost you

Frank Kane talks about owning an Omega watch - although not quite in the same league as the ones worn by James Bond - and a looming bust-up over remarks the Bric economies are overrated.

"The name's Kane, Frank Kane." That's got quite a ring to it I reckon, at least as good as "Bond, James Bond".

I began musing on this when I saw a story about the auction of the watch worn by the James Bond actor Daniel Craig in the new movie Skyfall. Somebody has paid £157,250 (Dh924,989) for the secret agent's Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean watch, with the proceeds going to the blindness charity Orbis.

That didn't quite make the top price ever paid for a Bond watch, which remains with another Omega worn by Craig in the 2007 movie Casino Royale, which went for 250,000 Swiss francs (Dh980,550).

Behind the scenes of the Bond movies which stretch back 50 years, there has been quite a bit of chicanery between watch manufacturers to get their product on the agent's wrist. In the novels by Ian Fleming, Bond wore a Rolex Oyster Perpetual, once used as a knuckleduster.

The third-highest price (SwF219,000) paid for a Bond watch was for the Rolex worn by Roger Moore in the 1973 film Live and Let Die that Bond used to help a lady with her zipper as I recall.

Some time around the mid-1990s Omega decided the Bond image was the one it wanted, and agreed to supply watches for all future movies. Rolex, by now such a super-premium brand it decided it didn't need the promotion, stepped aside.

Anyway, I too own an Omega. A Seamaster, too, although not quite in the same league as Craig's. Mine cost about £1,600 (Dh9,400) as a birthday present to myself from a shop in Brighton last year, and I love it.

Mind you, I will entertain offers above SwF200,000.

***

The life of Dave Robinson, the Hill & Knowlton PR executive who sadly passed away at the end of last month, is to be commemorated at a service of thanksgiving a week today at the Atlantis hotel on The Palm Jumeirah.

Afterwards, the kind of evening Dave would have revelled in - a night of rock 'n' roll at the Majestic Hotel, Bur Dubai - is planned.

His colleagues at Hill & Knowlton are planning a party that will be "loud, bluesy, busy, laughter-filled and drenched in the music he loved". Hear, hear.

No doubt there will be lots of Dave stories swapped in the course of the evening. One of my favourites involved an Indian supper with him a couple of years back.

He loved food, especially Indian food, and was an avid carnivore. After ordering five or six meat dishes between the two of us, I suggested we might have something lighter, such as some vegetables, to accompany them.

"Oh all right then," said Dave reluctantly, "let's have some prawns." That was his minimal concession to the veggie world.

***

bust-up is looming between two of the heavyweights of the world of economics.

Gideon Rachman, the Financial Times geo-economic guru, writes that the Bric countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - are overrated and face a tricky set of economic issues in the years ahead.

"The new marks of Bric status are a weakening economy and political dysfunction," he writes.

I look forward to the virulent riposte from Jim O'Neill, the Goldman Sachs expert who invented the Bric concept 10 years ago.

fkane@thenational.ae