February 26, 2024

One of the staples of the iconic James Bond movies is the never-ending collection of gadgets. Q has been providing Bond with ingenious Q-Gadgets since the first films of the series. And as Desmond Llewelyn’s Q said in Licence to Kill, “If it wasn’t for Q-Branch you would have been dead long ago.”

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With over twenty-five Bond films produced to this day, many of the gadgets have found repeated use. And while cars such as the Aston Martin DB5 have been well-documented, what are the most used non-vehicle gadgets in the Bond films?


11 Whistle-Activated Keychain

desmond llewelyn as q shows timothy dalton as james bond 007 the whistle activated keyring keychain in the living daylights

The Living Daylights was Timothy Dalton’s debut film as Bond and Q’s lab was full of great inventions like a couch a revolving couch that captured anyone who sat on it and the rocket-launching ghetto blaster boombox. Q-Provided Bond with a whistle activated keychain, commonly used by people who can’t find their keys.

But Q’s version had special uses if a certain melody was heard. Whistling the first bar of “Rule Brittania” caused it to release stun gas, which was vital in Bond’s escape from a Russian airbase cell. It could also be used a remote explosive by affixing it to metal and doing a wolf whistle.

10 Jetpack

James Bond using a jetpack

One of the absolute coolest gadgets used by Bond, Sean Connery’s 007 used it to escape from the manor of Jacques Bouvard. The jetpack was the actual Bell Rocket Rocket Belt developed by Bell Aerosystems for the US Army. The Army never used it because of its fuel limits only allowing for brief and short flights, as reported by americanrocketman.

The Jetpack made an appearance in 2002’s Die Another Day when Bond mischievously turns it on in Q’s underground lab. Jetpacks also featured heavily in the James Bond video games Agent Under Fire and From Russia With Love.

9 Safe Cracker

james bond's q-branch safe cracker in action in on her majesties secret service

The ability to break into a safe is absolutely vital for a secret agent. Luckily Q has designed numerous safe crackers for different types of safes. For the large safe of Blofeld’s Lawyer Gumbold, Bond used a large case with an automatic safe cracker and built in photocopier.

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But there are smaller options too. In You Only Live Twice a device could hear the clicks of a safe and indicate it with a light. In Moonraker bond’s cigarette case was an X-Ray machine, allowing bond to see the mechanism inside as he put in the combination.

8 Single-Digit Sonic Agitator Ring

pierce brosnan's james bond 007 twists the single digit sonic agitator ring in die another day

Die Another Day was a film loaded with callbacks to previous installments, but it also had some new ideas of its own. John Cleese’s Q gave Bond a nifty new gadget, a simple ring that worked as a sonic agitator unit. It proved quite useful against Toby Stephen’s Gustav Graves.

Twisting the band would initiate a frequency that could shatter any unbreakable glass it came into contact with. Bond used it on a glass floor just as he was going to be executed by Miranda Frost to begin a daring escape. He also used it on his car windshield to recover Jinx in time to resuscitate her.

7 Wrist-Mounted Dart Gun

Moonraker Dart Gun - Coolest James Bond Gadgets

Q developed a discrete and accessible dart gun for Bond’s use in Moonraker. As reported by james bond radio, Roger Moore mischievously complicated Desmond Llewlyn’s dialogue for the scene where Q gave it to Bond. As a demonstration, Bond fired a dart at the rear end of a horse in M’s painting of King William III.

The gadget saved Bond’s life twice in the film. First, he used the armored piercing darts to disrupt the power of an out-of-control centrifuge chamber. Later he used the inside coated darts to defeat Hugo Drax before sending him out into space.

6 Spy Glasses

james bond 007's point of view using the x-ray glasses to see the weapons and undergarments of a henchman and several womens in valentine zukovski's casino in the world is not enough

Spy glasses are a terrific way for agents to get an edge by offering vision-related enhancements. In A View to a Kill, Bond used a pair of adjustable polarizing sunglasses to observe Max Zorin and Stacy Sutton through a tinted window.

More famously however were the X-Ray glasses of The World is Not Enough. These glasses allowed Bond to see what weapons an enemy was carrying and where, though they also revealed a glimpse of ladies’ undergarments. X-Ray and infrared glasses have also appeared in several video games.

5 Bug Detector

Roger Moore holding the bug detector gadget in Live and Let Die

In the early days of Bond, there would sometimes be a scene where Bond examines his hotel room for observation or recording devices. Often times he would scan the room with a bug detector that would indicate where one was. In From Russia With Love, he used one to discover a tap on his phone.

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Roger Moore used bug detectors in his first and last 007 films. In Live and Let Die he found a button on his bed’s headboard was bugged and he found a camera in a statue which he covered with a grape. In A View to a Kill, he examined his room with a bug-detecting electric shaving.

4 Rebreather

sean connery as james bond 007 uses the debreather q-branch gadget during an underwater fight scene in thunderball while an enemy with a scuba tank passes behind him

Bond’s mission in 1965’s Thunderball saw him head for the Bahamas where he would be doing significant underwater work. Luckily Q had just the device for him to use. The rebreather was about the size of a cigar and could be used in absence of a scuba tank to breathe underwater for up to four minutes.

It proved to be absolutely vital as Bond used it multiple times throughout the film. It made its return in 2002’s Die Another Day when Bond infiltrated Gustav Grave’s alleged diamond mine. It was also seen in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace as a tool carried by Jedi Knights.

3 Ericsson JB988 Mobile Phone

Tomorrow Never Dies introduced Bond’s first-ever cellphone gadget and this thing was jam-packed with features! Its built-in functions included a taser, a skeleton key, and a fingerprint scanner & duplicator.

Its best function though was the ability to remote control Bond’s BMW. Bond used this function during the chase scene in the Hotel Atlantic parking structure. The remote control could be used for high-speed and precision turning and could be used to activate rocket launchers and other gadgets.

2 Attaché Case

Desmond Llewelyn as Q shows Sean Connery as James Bond the attache Attaché case from from russia with love and 007 pulls the hidden knife from it

Desmond Llewelyn’s first-ever scene as Q was introducing Bond to the attaché case in From Russia With Love. It contained an AR7 folding sniper rifle, 50 gold sovereigns, a hidden knife, and a tear-gas emitter for anyone who didn’t know the secret way of opening it.

Bond used it throughout the film, especially in his unforgettable fight with Red Grant. Grant was stunned by the gas when opening it and Bond seized the opportunity to fight back with the hidden knife. Bond brought the case with him during Goldfinger, but it was damaged by Goldfinger’s men when examining it.

1 Wristwatch

Wristwatch gadgets have turned up in every era of the James Bond franchise. The discrete everyday accessory makes it perfect for Q-Branch to build in useful functions. The first came in Thunderball when it was used as a Geiger counter.

Breitling, Seiko, Rolex, and Omega brands have all been used by Bond over the years. Common functions include laser cutting, remote detonation, and grappling hooks. They have also been seen to track homing devices and receive messages from MI6. Watch gadgets have frequently turned up in James Bond video games as well, including Goldeneye 64 where it was used as the game’s pause menu.

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