The Best James Bond Gadgets


Ian Fleming’s fictional British Secret Service agent James Bond is known for his love of women, his drink of choice — the martini, “shaken, not stirred” — and the many exotic gadgets he’s used throughout the film franchise (and Fleming’s novels) to escape the enemy.

The twenty-fourth film in the 007 series opened this weekend. Spectre will surely feature new and exciting toys for Bond to play with during his adventures, presented to him by Ben Whishaw’s Q, the head of Q Branch — a fictional research and development division of the British Secret Service. Here are ten of our favorite James Bond film gadgets.

Thunderball‘s Bell Rocket Belt

You have’t lived until you’ve watched Sean Connery strapped into a Bell Rocket Belt, launching himself into the sky. The rocket propulsion gadget was a real-life invention by Bell Aircraft Corporation, used to help a single person travel small distances through the air.

Goldfinger‘s killer bowler hat

One of Bond’s greatest nemeses, Oddjob was villain Auric Goldfinger’s henchman who used his steel-rimmed bowler hat to play a morbid game of frisbee against those who crossed him. Bond became a target of Oddjob and his killer chapeau in the 1964 film, but the razor-sharp fashion accessory was eventually used against the thug, resulting in his . . . electrifying death.

The Spy Who Loved Me‘s Lotus Esprit

Ranking highly as one of Bond’s most ridiculous and dated gadgets, but one that’s gloriously nostalgic, the Lotus Esprit car converted into a submarine to aid Bond during high-speed car chases. In The Spy Who Loved Me, Bond manages to escape a motorcycle, another car, and a helicopter by driving the vehicle into the ocean. On land, the Lotus had machine gun headlights. They weren’t as cool as the Lotus’ underwater torpedo launchers, though. The prop nicknamed “Wet Nellie” was recently purchased by businessman Elon Musk who plans to make it fully functional, on land and in water, again.

The Living Daylights‘ boombox rocket launcher

So very ’80s and un-PC — but we can’t resist a boombox that blows things up.

Goldeneye‘s Parker Pen grenade

In Goldeneye, Q Branch supplies Bond with a Parker Pen that disguises a C4 grenade. It only took three clicks to arm the fuse and another three clicks to disarm it. But sniveling computer programmer Boris Grishenko (Alan Cumming) doesn’t know that, which leads him to angrily click away. You can imagine what happened next.

From Russia with Love‘s booby-trapped attaché case

Not all Bond gadgets were as flamboyant as we remember. In Russia with Love, Bond’s unassuming attaché hid sniper rifles (with all the ammo 007 could need to dispatch his enemies), a throwing knife that protruded from the side of the case (similar to the villainous Rosa Klebb’s poison-tipped shoes), tear gas, and some money for a fast getaway.

Live and Let Die‘s buzzsaw Rolex

Only James Bond could use a tricked out Rolex to deflect a bullet, saw through ropes, and unzip a woman’s dress. Roger Moore’s British agent does all three in the 1973 film, in which he evades a gruesome death by shark, thanks to his Rolex’s sawtooth bezel. The Rolex also had intense electromagnetic powers, which helped him undress Madeline Smith’s agent Miss Caruso.

The Man with the Golden Gun‘s golden gun

Christopher Lee’s high-priced assassin Scaramanga carried a single-shot, fancy-pants weapon that fired a 23-carat gold bullet. Scaramanga sent Roger Moore’s Bond one of his expensive pieces of ammo with “007” etched into the gilded bullet as a warning. The gun also doubled as a lighter, fountain pen, cigarette case, and cufflinks.

Goldfinger‘s Aston Martin DB5

Bond’ most recognized car is the classic Aston Martin DB5, first seen in 1964’s Goldfinger. It was basically a stunt showcase for the 007 series, equipped with wonderfully weird and creative gadgets like rotating license plates, bulletproof mechanisms, tire slashers, machine guns, smoke and oil sprayers, and the famous ejector seat. The model made a return for Skyfall, but was destroyed. It returns for Spectre, but only seen in repair in Q branch’s underground workshop.

Diamonds are Forever‘s fake fingerprints

Listen to a former CIA Covert Operations Officer, currently the Executive Director of the International Spy Museum, talk about the nifty fake fingerprint trick Bond pulls in Diamonds Are Forever when he disguises himself as assassin Peter Franks to uncover a diamond smuggling ring.