While James Bond is best known as one of the best secret agents in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service who achieved the rank of 007, he’s also become known for the use of unique gadgets that have evolved with the technology over the years. Even Daniel Craig’s version of the character added a few new additions to the arsenal, though his franchise was mostly stripped of gadgets.
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Earlier versions of Bond took frequent use of the unique devices provided to 007 by the Q Branch, the well-equipped gadgeteers who added quite a few pieces of useful technology to James Bond’s wardrobe, arsenal, and even garage. We’ll be taking a closer look at a few of the best gadgets used by James Bond over his long cinematic history.
10 His Signature Weapon Was Given An Advanced Upgrade With A Palm-Print Reader
James Bond’s go-to weapon was given a high-tech modern upgrade for the Daniel Craig era of the character that first appeared in 2012’s Skyfall. The Walther PPK/S 9mm that had become the signature weapon of James Bond was finally upgraded by Q Branch with a simple yet effective addition.
The handgrip of the Walther was modified with a palm-print reader keyed to Bond’s handprint, meaning nobody but Bond or other approved hands could fire the gun. It made it pointless to steal an agent’s weapon and served as a great showcase of the kind of enhancements that can be found in Bond’s inventory during the more recent era.
9 Bond Used Exploding Toothpaste Called Dentonite In 1989’s License To Kill
The title of 1989’s License to Kill refers to the special designation given to 00 agents that gave them the authority to use lethal force, though in the movie James Bond actually loses that title when he is suspended from MI6.
Timothy Dalton reprised his role as James Bond as the character went to war against a drug lord to help his long-time ally Felix Leiter from the CIA. While Dalton’s Bond wasn’t super dependent on gadgets, the explosive toothpaste called Dentonite proved very handy and serves as one of Bond’s most spoof-able but still effective gadgets.
8 007 Has Used Different Forms Of X-Ray Specs That Continue To Improve
While x-ray specs have always seemed like a fantasy device found in the back of old comic books, James Bond was able to make the technology a reality for use in the spy game. While there were some devices like the x-ray document scanner concealed within a cigarette case that toyed with the technology, it wasn’t quite perfected until the 90s.
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Pierce Brosnan’s version of James Bond used an upgraded version of the x-ray specs in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough. He used the x-ray specs to scan the room and detect hidden weapons while also identifying lingerie in detail for reasons only Bond knows.
7 Bond Has Used A Few Different Gadget Rings Over The Years
James Bond has always been a classy and fashionable spy, which has sometimes extended to the jewelry he’s chosen to wear while working. Q Branch has made it easy over the years with a few different gadget rings with different functions that have saved the day on more than one occasion.
1985’s A View To A Kill hid a camera inside of a signet ring, while 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever manipulated casino slot machines with an electro-magnetic ring. The most useful in a dangerous situation was the Single Digit Sonic Agitator, which emitted a high-pitched frequency capable of shattering even bulletproof glass.
6 Q Branch Has Put Missiles In Cigarette Rocket Launchers And Ghetto Blasters
While Q Branch created a number of devices that were designed to keep 00 agents safer while in action, they also created a number of high-tech offensive weapons that were miniaturized to make them more effective in spy scenarios.
A stereo boom box was modified to house a missile launching system known as a “Ghetto Blaster,” though it was only seen in 1987’s The Living Daylights and not actually used by Bond. However, he did use special cigarette darts that fired a rocket-powered projectile in 1967’s You Only Live Twice.
5 James Bond Kept A Trick Up His Sleeve With His Wrist-Mounted Dart Gun
1979’s Moonraker starred Roger Moore as James B0nd as he traveled to space in order to stop a plot to poison and exterminate humanity and replace it with the chosen few that were saved aboard a satellite space station.
Bond revealed a new trick up his sleeve from Q Branch with his wrist-mounted dart gun, which used sensors to detect neural impulses in order to fire poison or armor-piercing darts. It’s a useful weapon that should be a standard issue for all agents, despite only being seen in Moonraker.
4 He Gained A Remote-Controlled Car Connected To An Upgraded Cell Phone
Pierce Brosnan’s time as James Bond ushered in a new era of high-tech gadgets that showcased advancements in technology, from invisible car cloaks to something as simple as an advanced cell phone. Bond movies had featured advanced communications devices years before cell phones were ever available, so it was only fitting that Q then put his own spin on the mobile device.
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Bond is outfitted with an Ericsson JB988 Phone in Tomorrow Never Dies that is capable of quite a few things, including advanced keypad cracking as well as a built-in taser. The cell phone was also the remote control unit for Bond’s advanced BMW that came with all the usual bells and whistles all at the control of his thumbs thanks to his smarter-than-smart phone.
3 Bond Used A Rappeling Belt And Grappling Pistol In 1995’s Goldeneye
Brosnan’s first outing as Bond in 1995’s Goldeneye kept his Q Branch outfitting fairly functional, moving away from some of the more outlandish gear the character had used in some of the previous installments.
One of the most useful features that appeared in a couple of different ways was his grappling gun, which he used during his opening infiltration of the Byelomorye dam. However, it was the later use of a specially-designed rappeling belt that miniaturized the grappling gun tech into a belt buckle pinion that really made the gadget fit for a spy.
2 007 Has Worn A Few Different Well-Equipped Watches Over The Years
One of the first gadgets ever used by James Bond was a Geiger counter that was built into his watch in 1965’s Thunderball, which was only the first in a long line of tricked-out watches that saved the British secret agent’s life on more than one occasion.
1983’s Never Say Never Again featured a Rolex with a laser cutting tool, which was replicated in Goldeneye with an Omega Seamaster. In 1973’s Live and Let Die, Bond wore a Rolex Submariner that contained a bullet-deflecting electromagnet and a handy saw blade. 2021’s No Time To Die gave the Daniel Craig version his own advanced watch that emitted a tech-destroying EMP.
1 Sean Connery’s James Bond Used An Actual Jetpack In 1965’s Thunderball
1965’s Thunderball proved to be one of the most financially successful and popular Bond movies from the classic series, and it also featured one of the best gadgets ever seen in the franchise. James Bond is forced to escape a completed mission using a jetpack, which might seem outlandish in 1965.
However, production used a real jetpack known as the Bell Rocket Belt, a low-power propulsion device that was developed for the U.S. Army. While its capabilities were exaggerated for the movie, the jetpack remains one of James Bond’s greatest gadgets. The jetpack made a brief reappearance in Die Another Day as Brosnan’s Bond made his way through the Q Branch warehouse.
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About The Author
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Entertainment reporter, writer, and all-around geek, Scoot Allan has written for print and online media sources like Geek Magazine, GeekExchange, GrizzlyBomb, WhatCulture, RoguePlanet.tv and the Urban 30 before joining CBR, ScreenRant, GameRant and The Gamer as a staff writer. He enjoys salad but prefers french fries.
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