Explore the best James Bond gadgets from more than 50 years of 007 adventures!
There are certain ingredients necessary to produce a great James Bond movie. You need the theme song, you need the car, and you also need the James Bond gadgets. These technological marvels, development by Q Branch, have been getting Bond out of impossible situations from the first time the franchise’s screenwriters wrote themselves into a hole and decided they needed a magical doodad to get them out of it, and the fans have loved them ever since.
With SPECTRE out in theaters this weekend, we wanted to take a look at ten of our favorite James Bond gadgets from through his 50+ year career. Since Bond has had dozens upon dozens of these thingamajigs over the decades, let us know if we left off any of your personal favorites.
The Best James Bond Gadgets: Attaché Case (From Russia With Love)
The first “proper” James Bond gadget – that is to say, a typically everyday item that turns out to be secretly badass – was this dapper little number from Bond’s second film, From Russia With Love. More than just a fashion statement, this bad boy features 40 rounds of spare ammunition, a retractable throwing knife, an AR7 folding sniper’s rifle, 50 gold sovereigns (which actually do come in handy) and a tear gas cartridge which explodes if you don’t open the case the right way.
The Best James Bond Gadgets: Jetpack (Thunderball)
It’s a jetpack. What more do you need to know? James Bond used this futuristic device to escape from SPECTRE in the opening sequence from Thunderball, and audiences have been clamoring for more of them ever since. Unfortunately the actual device (a “Bell Rocket Belt”) only has a flight time of about 20 seconds, so they won’t help you out much with your daily commute.
The Best James Bond Gadgets: Little Nellie (You Only Live Twice)
A gyrocopter with machine guns, flamethrowers and missiles. Best of all, it technically qualifies as luggage. James Bond battles SPECTRE in You Only Live Twice while flying “Little Nellie,” which is shipped to him in convenient pieces and then reassembled before the film’s big mid-air battle sequence.
The Best James Bond Gadgets: Buzzsaw Wristwatch (Live and Let Die)
James Bond has had many wristwatches over the years, mostly as a form of dastardly product placement, but often as a plot device to get him out of tough scrapes. Speaking of scraping, one of our favorites is this Rolex Submariner from Live and Let Die, which has a pop-up buzz saw and a powerful electromagnet that, in theory, could deflect an oncoming bullet. Mythbusters busted that one, but we’ll take it anyway.
The Best James Bond Gadgets: Prosthetic Nipple (The Man with the Golden Gun)
One of the more weirdly specific James Bond gadgets arrived in the form of this prosthetic nipple attachment in The Man with the Golden Gun. In the film, Bond has to impersonate the high-priced assassin Scaramanga, whose only distinguishing feature is – you guessed it – a third nipple. How that little piece of information got out, instead of what the rest of his body looks like, is anyone’s guess.
The Best James Bond Gadgets: Crocodile Submarine (Octopussy)
Sometimes you need to get around underwater, but you also need the enemy to think that you’re a crocodile. In those situations – and only those situations – this one-man submarine comes in handy because it looks like a crocodile. On a related note: Octopussy was kind of a weird movie.
The Best James Bond Gadgets: Ghetto Blaster (The Living Daylights)
Some of the best James Bond gadgets never actually made it into the field. Case in point, the “Ghetto Blaster,” which tech wizard Q shows off in The Living Daylights. It’s a rocket launcher disguised as a boom box (come to think of it, “boom box” is probably a better name for it), which Q was designing as a favor for Bond’s American counterparts. The Ghetto Blaster was only seen being used under test conditions, at least until the Marvel Comics superhero Jack Flagg unexpectedly turned up with one in the 1990s.
The Best James Bond Gadgets: The “Felix” Lighter (License to Kill)
Those things will kill you… literally! James Bond winds up with this nifty cigarette lighter, which actually throws flames around like nobody’s business, rather by accident in License to Kill. In fact, it’s never entirely clearly whether it’s actually gadget or simply malfunctioning.
The Best James Bond Gadgets: Laser Wristwatch (Goldeneye)
James Bond upgraded his wristwatch in Goldeneye to this beautiful Omega Seamaster Professional. This time around, it’s got a remote detonator and a built-in laser cutter, because everything’s better with lasers. Seriously, everything is better with lasers.
The Best James Bond Gadgets: X-Ray Glasses (The World Is Not Enough)
One of the all-time classic spy gadgets, and somehow it took nineteen films for Bond to use them. These x-ray specs from The World Is Not Enough do exactly what you expect them to do, instead of just showing the bones in your hands. They’re a major upgrade from Bond’s previously x-ray technology, which included an x-ray Polaroid camera (from License to Kill) and an x-ray safecracker (from Moonraker).