This year marks the 50th anniversary of our favorite secret agent and his long-time partner in hardware Q. And with upcoming movie Skyfall, a cameo appearance at the 2012 London Olympic Games, and a 24-hour movie channel, 007 is still a hot commodity.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of James Bond, here are my top 14 picks for best-ever gadgets:
1. Aston Martin DB5 – Goldfinger. The clear winner for James Bond enthusiasts everywhere, and the prototype for all other 007 cars. The Aston Martin in Goldfinger was kitted out with bulletproof glass, oil slick generators, a smoke screen, revolving license plates, machine guns, tire shredders, and a nifty passenger ejection seat.
2. Bond’s Rolex – Live and Let Die. This watch was equipped with a tiny circular saw in the watch face which 007 used to get out of a bind (pun intended). It was also electromagnetic which made it great for retrieving out-of-reach metal objects and unzipping the dresses of female co-stars.
3. Scaramanga’s Golden Gun – The Man With The Golden Gun. This gun was assembled from a pen, a cigarette lighter and a cuff-link. Fantastic engineering with one drawback – it could only fire a single bullet.
4. Laser – The Man With The Golden Gun. After harnessing the energy of the sun, Scaramanga used the Solex Agitator to direct power into a laser, which he then used to destroy Bond’s plane.
5. Wrist-Mounted Dart Gun – Moonraker. This deadly dart gun was made from depleted uranium and utilized pressurized gas to fire cyanide darts at the bad guys.
6. Pocket-Sized Speed Boat – The World Is Not Enough. A prototype hydroboat good in water, good on land – as long as Pierce Brosnan is at the helm.
7. Bond’s Omega Watch – GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough. This Swiss Army Knife of watches appeared in several Bond movies and came equipped with a laser beam cutter, a remote detonator, a grappling hook, a micro filament cable and a mine disarmer.
8. Ericsson Cell Phone – Tomorrow Never Dies. A stun gun come fingerprint reader come household toolkit which also drove Bond’s BMW through a parking garage without inflicting a single scratch on the paint work.
9. Bell-Textron Jet Pack – Thunderball. Two foldable fuel tanks strapped to Bond’s back. Originally designed by Bell Aerosystems, the jetpack had a flying time of 20 seconds using hydrogen peroxide fuel. The jet pack scene in Thunderball was overdubbed with the sound of fire extinguishers for a more dramatic feel.
10. The Lotus Esprit – The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only. The Lotus Esprit could transform into a submarine, complete with sonar, retractable wheels/fins, periscope, surface-to-air missiles, harpoons and mines. The Lotus also had a self-destruct “anti-theft” function.
11. TV Wristwatch – Octopussy. The closest I’ve come to this Seiko wristwatch with a video display is the tiny iPod I strap around my wrist when I go running. It’s surprising this bit of Bond tech never really caught on.
12. Assassin’s Briefcase – From Russia with Love. Complete with pop-out knives, tear gas disguised as baby powder (because whipping out a bottle of baby powder in a crisis is not suspicious at all), a rifle plus ammo, and 50 gold sovereigns.
13. Oddjob’s Hat – Goldfinger. Sold for $120,000 at Christie’s back in 1998. Useful for decapitating the odd statue after a frustrating round of golf and great for terminating beautiful women as well. Not so good around live power cables however.
14. Jaws’ Teeth – The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. OK, so these choppers are not really a gadget per say – but they can sure make a cable car ride exciting, as well as coming in super-handy for opening champagne bottles with your girlfriend.
What are your favorite James Bond gadgets?