Has it already been 49 years? Sigh. This week in 1963 saw the release of "Dr. No" in the U.S., as Ian Fleming's super-spy James Bond made his debut for American audiences with the immortal Sean Connery playing the role of 007. (The film had already premiered in the U.K. in October of 1962.)
Beyond his surfeit of charm and dash, Bond was also something of an early adopter when it came to cars, weapons, and gadgets. Fair to say that the myriad tech toys supplied to Bond by the British Secret Service's "Q Branch" labs rate among coolest to ever make their way to the silver screen. Here are a few of our favorite 007 accessories.
Bond's briefcase was no standard issue business accessory. His special agent briefcase contained a folding AR-7 .22-caliber survival rifle with infrared telescope, 50 gold sovereigns, and a tear gas cartridge disguised as talcum powder, set to discharge when the briefcase was opened incorrectly, along with ammo, and a throwing knife.
The Q-Branch edition of the Aston Martin DB5 became Bond's signature vehicle. Stylish, high-tech, and wickedly lethal, the vehicle went through many iterations over the years. Originally it was equipped with revolving license plates, tire-slashing spinner hubcaps, a rear bulletproof shield, machine guns hidden behind the headlights, rear smoke screen and oil slick defenses, and of course, a passenger ejector seat.
Bond's Rolex Submariner was modified with an electromagnet that, in theory, was capable of deflect a bullet. It also featured a spinning bezel which acted as a rotating saw that once enabled Bond to cut his rope restraints and escape a pool full of man-eating sharks.
Another one of the awesome Q-Branch customized vehicles, the Lotus Esprit could quickly convert from land use to underwater submarine use. The Esprit was equipped with an underwater smoke screen to elude enemy craft, machine guns under the headlights, surface to air missiles, torpedoes, landmines.
Bond's safecracker from 1969's "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was a device that would examine the lock, figure out its combination and open the safe. Interestingly, it was also a photocopier that could allow for easy copying of secret documents to minimize the chance of the owner learning of the break-in from missing documents.
Q's prototype gyrojet rocket guns used a small rocket-propelled projectile rather than conventional ammunition. A few of these exist in real-life -- a small batch was produced and the concept was tested by U.S. and British military forces, but the design never caught on.