But wait, 007! Before you can go off and stop the villain of the week with the Bond Girl of the day you have to head down to Q Branch for your gear. After all, no self respecting heart-breaking spy can leave headquarters without their toys. And after starring in twenty-four films and risking life and limb for queen and country in countless scenic locations around the globe, our dashing spy has had a lot of toys to work with. Most of which were broken beyond repair much to the dismay of the four generations of Quartermaster.
But anyway, getting back on topic, this list features fifteen of the most memorable gadgets seen throughout the James Bond film franchise. Even though most of them, okay ALL of them, were goofy at the time, we can’t deny the timeless novelty they possessed. That being said, the gadgets that we all enjoyed the most should get their fair time to shine. Because while an agent doesn’t necessarily need their gadgets to be a great agent, they do help out in a pinch, especially in the scenarios 007 manages to get himself into. Read on as we cover the James Bond gadgets that we die hard fans have grown to adore and hold dear to our hearts. From TheRichest with love, here are the Top 15 Memorable James Bond Gadgets. Be warned, however, as some of the descriptions contain spoilers and mention certain movie scenes you may not have seen. But by now, that’s your own fault.
15. Walther PPK
First appearing in the 1962 film Dr. No starring Sean Connery, after James was briefed by M (played by Bernard Lee) about his mission concerning the insidious villain Julius No, the head of MI6 also informed Bond that he was getting a new weapon. At first James was rather reluctant, as he held his Beretta 418 with great sentimental regard, but M insisted due to the weapon having jammed on him during a prior mission which resulted in a long hospital stay. And ever since then the Walther PPK has become the go-to weapon for the famous spy. Many adversaries have found themselves staring down the barrel of the weapon that has become almost as famous as the man who wields it. By the time the film Tomorrow Never Dies came out, it was retired and was subsequently replaced by the Walther P99, then it came back in the film Casino Royale.
14. Attaché Briefcase
Appearing in the 1963 film From Russia With Love, the Attaché Case was technically the first major gadget James Bond received. But rather than be filled with college ruled papers, a calculator, a ruler, and an assortment of a dozen ballpoint pens, this smart business case is packed with much more than office supplies. The Attaché Case is equipped with a folding sniper rifle, a knife, and fifty gold sovereigns. The knife, sovereigns, and ammunition for the rifle are kept inside secret compartments on the outside of the briefcase. And should the Attaché Case ever fall into the wrong hands, or James needs a quick diversion to outwit any enforcers, the case also happens to have a safety mechanism: A gas bomb that detonates if the case is opened improperly. Fun fact, this specially equipped case is similar to one that Ian Fleming wrote about in his original novel.
13. Magnetic Buzzsaw Wristwatch
Throughout his spy career, James Bond has had many wristwatch gadgets, but a particularly memorable one is the Magnetic Buzzsaw Wristwatch. This little marvel had its debut in the 1973 movie Live & Let Die starring Roger Moore. As its name and the picture above suggests, this special Rolex Submariner has two key features: a strong magnetic pull that can attract small to medium sized bits of metal and a circular buzzsaw built into the face of the clock. Bond makes a theoretical statement that, because of its literal magnetic personality, the watch could possibly deflect a bullet, although this has never actually been shown in the movie. What puts this gadget on the thirteenth spot is because of a rare thing that occurred – when James was trying to escape from the alligator farm in the movie, the buzzsaw feature had failed to work. But by the end of the film it pulled through.
12. Crocodile Submersible
Looking for a fetching leather suit to wear at the club? Well keep looking, because this suit definitely isn’t the kind of suit that will get you a phone number. You will, however, get a laugh from the person you’re trying to impress. In the 1983 movie Octopussy, Bond had to infiltrate the lair belonging to the woman of the same name. However security was air tight with highly trained female assassins who were armed more than fluffy pillows guarding the place. So what does our suave spy do in order to sneak past them? In a while, he came back as a crocodile and managed to infiltrate Octopussy’s base and meet with the woman herself. Even though this can be considered one of Bond’s more goofy gadgets, it’s that very thing that makes it memorable.
11. Keyring Finder
You know when you go to souvenir shops while on a trip, and you buy a little trinket to remember it? Usually the trinket you buy is a keychain – just like the one in the picture above. However this unassuming thing isn’t your average keepsake. It’s one of Bond’s more deadly gadgets, debuting in the 1987 film The Living Daylights starring Timothy Dalton, simply referred to as the Keyring Finder. But what isn’t so simple about this keychain is its sound activated features. As shown in the movie, whistling the first few bars of “Rule Britannia” causes the keychain to exhaust stun gas. Another deadly feature is an explosive charge that is activated by a signature tune appropriately chosen for James Bond…a wolf whistle. It also comes with a key that is able to open ninety percent of locks in the world, so if you happen to encounter a lock in the other 10%, you’re out of luck.
10. Polarizing Sunglasses
It’s a hot day out, and you want to shield your eyes from the sun. But you also need to look in on a villainous criminal up to no good. Yet they have tinted windows to prevent any peeping spies from seeing what they’re up to. How did Q Branch resolve this? By giving Agent 007, played by Roger Moore, special shades that allow him to accessorize and work at the same time. This fashionable gadget appeared in the 1985 film A View To A Kill and allowed Bond to be able to peek into the tinted windows of the office belonging to the villainous mastermind Zorin while going undercover at his party. While these are one of James’ cooler gadgets, it is not recommend to use them to spy on someone, lest you get into trouble that no gadget can get you out of.
9. Ballpoint Pen Grenade
Edward Bulwer-Lytton said that the pen is mightier than the sword, and fifty six years later Q would prove that statement right. In the 1995 movie GoldenEye starring Pierce Brosnan, the famous MI6 inventor gave Bond a new gadget to use, and also later destroy. This unassuming writing tool may look like any other Parker Jotter pen, but in this small package is not ink but a powerful amount of C4 explosive. Clicking the pen top three times activates the detonator which will go off in four seconds, and another three clicks deactivates it. Unfortunately the pen got out of James’ possession and into the hands of computer hacker Boris, who kept clicking the pen top out of nervous habit. The end result was an explosion with Q’s new Ballpoint Pen Grenade as a casualty, but it at least provided James with a good distraction.
8. Fake Fingerprint
Some folks may say that it’s bad to pull back your skin if you don’t have to, but not in this case. In Sean Connery’s final turn as James Bond, a nifty little gadget dubbed as the fake fingerprint appeared in the 1971 movie Diamonds Are Forever. Tiffany Case wanted to test to see if Bond really was the person that he was impersonating, a fellow diamond smuggler named Peter Franks, and so she lifted his thumb print off a wine glass she took from him. Fortunately this isn’t our spy’s first rodeo and he came prepared. For this mission Q had made a false thumb print that can fit seamlessly onto the actual skin of the person. And the fake fingerprint had DNA from Peter Franks which fooled Tiffany into believing that he was in fact the very man she was supposed to meet.
7. Shooting Cigarette
Sometimes you really need that rolled up stick of tobacco, in spite of knowing it’s bad for you. However, this kind of cigarette isn’t bad for the smoker. Rather, it’s bad for the person near the smoker. In the 1967 film You Only Live Twice, the Shooting Cigarette gadget takes dying from secondhand smoking to a new level. After faking his death to investigate the activities of his arch nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld, James met his Japanese contact Tiger who would later take him to his secret ninja school. Along with being trained in the way of the ninja, James was also familiarized with the tools of the ninja trade. This included the Shooting Cigarette, which can shoot a jet powered projectile from thirty yards away. One of Blofeld’s goons learned of that fact the hard way when James asked for one last smoke.
6. Wrist-Mounted Dart Gun
Etiquette dictates that, if you wish to get a word in when someone is talking, you should always raise your hand up. Just be sure not to raise it when you’re wearing this! Fresh out of Q Branch, it’s the Wrist-Mounted Dart Gun from the 1979 Bond classic Moonraker in which Roger Moore took on the role and bravely went where no spy had gone before. Easily concealed by a long sleeve, this gadget is perfect for the spy on the go who can’t always afford to carry a concealed weapon on a mission, or just needs a little help in a tight spot. The Wrist-Mounted Dart Gun is equipped with two kinds of darts: armor piercing darts to make protected henchman get the point and cyanide coated darts to ensure a quick and lethal blow. And Bond got to use them both during his mission.
To be quite honest, there isn’t anything particularly special about this lighter except that it can produce a larger than average flame. But what puts this gadget at number five on the list isn’t what it can do, it’s who gave it to James that does. In the 1989 film License to Kill, it not only marked Timothy Dalton’s second and last performance as the famed Agent 007, but it also marked the last appearance of James’ CIA friend Felix Leiter. Felix and his wife Della had given the inscribed cigarette lighter to James on the occasion of their wedding, but then ruthless drug lord Sanchez had Felix’s wife raped and killed while he literally lost one of his hands and a leg to a shark and was left for dead. This resulted in James going on a revenge fueled rampage on Sanchez’s illicit empire. Fittingly, he used this very same lighter to kill the drug lord when he was covered in gasoline. As for Felix himself, he had retired from the CIA to join the Pinkerton Detective Agency.
4. Ericsson Mobile Phone
Cell phones have come a long way in the recent years, but sometimes we forget our roots and the technology we used to rely on. And in some cases that old tech turned out to be better than the tech today. Take Bond’s Ericsson Mobile phone, for example. Way back in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, Pierce Brosnan took on the rule of Bond a second time, and of course that meant he got a new espionage toy to play with. This old time cellular device may not have the Fruit Ninja app but it does have a fingerprint scanner, a twenty thousand volt taser, a key replicator, a secreted touchpad LCD display that enables James to control his standard issued BMW 750iL, and controls that allow James to activate the car’s defense mechanisms. It makes you wonder how the next iPhone will manage to top this.
3. Glass Shattering Ring
Every spy should dress to impress, and as such they should have the proper accessories to do so. But they should also be ready for whenever pesky bullet proof glass gets in their way. Thanks to the Quartermaster, he has fulfilled this need for all his spies. A “standard issue” ring, he called it, appeared in Pierce Brosnan’s final movie as James Bond in the 2002 film Die Another Day and looked like an ordinary piece of jewelry. In reality, it is capable of generating a powerful, ultra high frequency sonic wave that can shatter bullet proof glass on contact. All it takes is a single clockwise twist and that glass just about reverts back to the sandy state that it started out from. When the villainous trio of Gustav Graves, Zao, and traitor Miranda Frost had him cornered, James used the ring on the glass floor to escape.
2. Bell Rocket Belt
When your back is against the wall, your get away car is too far to run to, and henchman are right on your tail, you feel trapped. How can you possibly escape from this situation? Flying comes to mind but of course humans can’t do that. However, those humans didn’t have the Bell Rocket Belt! Shown in the 1965 film Thunderball, which was the fourth movie in the series and Sean Connery’s fourth time playing the suave spy, this quick get away device boasts the number two spot because it was the best example of a jetpack shown for its time. Bond used it at the beginning of the film to make a quick dash for his car. While it operated on low-powered propulsion and could only work for small distances, the Bell Rocket Belt has proven to be a memorable gadget nonetheless.
1. Walther PPK/S
We started this list off with a bang, and now we’ll end it with one. Metaphorically speaking of course. Here to wrap up this top fifteen list of the most memorable James Bond gadgets is the Walther PPK/S. It was given to Bond by the fourth generation of Quartermaster in the 2012 film Skyfall starring Daniel Craig who played Bond for the third time by then. This is a modified version of the classic Walther PPK that the spy is famous for using. What makes the Walther PPK/S unique is the palm scanner built into the gun’s grip. This meant that only once it registered Bond’s unique palm would he be able to fire the gun while no one else can. It should be noted that this weapon is very much like the Signature Gun used in License to Kill, and was more than likely based off it also.
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