In Numbers: James Bond’s Riches

There are a few constants in life. We’re all getting older; we all owe the government, and the sun will continue to greet us dispassionately every morning. However, in our short reign upon the earth, we’ve still managed to create a number of things that never seem to end – and most of these are entertainment franchises. Whether it’s the 95 Final Fantasy games or the 26 Marvel movies, we’ve been transfixed with much the same characters and themes for decades now.

It’s not (necessarily) a bad thing. Franchises can only exist if they continue to delight existing fans while offering something enticing to attract newcomers. James Bond, the venerable MI6 spy, is a good example. The character has maintained his position in pop culture for decades, with the semi-regular quest to guess the next leading man becoming a genuine market at the bookmakers. Betfair lists Tom Hopper (3/1) and Richard Madden (10/3) as favourites with fans betting on the next James Bond.

A Civil Service Wage

Bond’s story began way back in 1953 with Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale novel, a book that was followed by more than fifty other stories from Fleming and various other authors. Of course, that’s to say nothing of the films, of which, there are 27 entries in the storied movie series. One thing that has always been central to the James Bond canon is the various riches he enjoys, whether that’s supercars, luxury hotels, casino games, fancy gadgets, or the fineries of a spy outfit.

Ironically enough, Bond probably didn’t earn all that much in terms of pure wages. Apart from his inexhaustible expenses account, James was just another cog in the government’s machine. Fleming wrote, back in 1955, that Bond is on a Civil Service wage, which, today, averages £32,000/year. Of course, his seniority in the Service likely meant that he earned more than the average Joe but Grade 7 positions in London tend to cap out at just under £70,000/year.

If he was a footballer, Bond’s salary would place him at a club somewhere between League Two and League One in the English Football Pyramid.

So, that’s disappointing.

No Time to Die

Of course, that expenses account is important. The business travel site Travel Perk notes that Daniel Craig spent £7,896 during the No Time to Die Mission, a figure that includes £6,367 on flights (it cost £4,662 just to fly from London to Sapporo, Japan), £1,524 on the oaky notes of a 2020 Château Angélus, Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé A Wine – and £5 on a bottle of Heineken. Talk about extravagant. To date, No Time to Die is Bond’s most expensive mission.

While Bond might buck the trend of superheroes with unlimited bank accounts, like Batman and Tony Stark’s Iron Man, James Bond still manages to spend a great deal of money during his outings. Of course, the 1960’s Aston Martin DB5 he drives in No Time to Die isn’t exactly a junker. At today’s prices, it’s worth just under a million pounds.

It’s probably a company car, though.


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