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The Suavest Gears And Gadgets For The Real-World James Bond

To mark the release of James Bond’s 25th iteration, we highlight the suavest of gears and gadgets set to shake and stir the world of the modern Renaissance man.

By Joyce Yip
October 4, 2021

James Bond has finally graced our cinemas this month, following three postponements from the original November 2019 release date. Titled  No Time to Die, the latest film segues into the silver-screen 007’s 60th anniversary in 2022 as it continues the legacy of one of the world’s highest-grossing movie franchises.  

This blockbuster franchise wouldn’t have received nearly as much global fanfare were it not for the plethora of ingenious gadgets that assisted in the spy’s missions impossible. For Your Eyes Only (1981) brought the beheading spiked umbrella, while The World is Not Enough (1999) delivered the famous bagpipe flamethrower. Less-lethal options also abound throughout the series, from the late Sean Connery’s false fingerprints that helped his undercover disguise to Timothy Dalton’s radioactive Polaroid camera that captured X-rays and shot lasers. 

As we admire Daniel Craig’s latest toys in his fifth (and final) flick as the crafty agent, let’s look at a few real-world, modern-day gadgets to see how close we are to living like Bond. 

UNDER THE SEA 

Inspired by The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)   

Fashioned like a Lotus Esprit S1 sports car in a white wedge shape, the custom-built car-slash-submarine – named the Wet Nellie – escaped enemy bullets underwater after Roger Moore famously asked a confused Barbara Bach, “Can you swim?” Built especially for the film at a cost of around US$100,000 at the time, it was auctioned off and ultimately sold to Tesla founder Elon Musk in 2013 for about US$750,000.  

Though modern-day vehicles have yet to become this amphibious, submarine maker Triton has created the world’s largest personal submarine. The Triton 3300/6 seats up to five guests and their pilot in interiors as sizeable as a six-passenger Cessna. Submersible to a certified depth of 1,000 metres, it boasts Bond-worthy leather club-class seating for first-class views out the 360-degree windows as you gaze into the wild blue yonder. 

FAST AND FURIOUS 

Inspired by Goldfinger (1964)   

Since joining the 007 franchise in its third instalment, Aston Martin has been regarded as the quintessential Bond car and has reappeared in 11 subsequent films. Last year, the British carmaker rebuilt 25 of the timeless DB5 from Goldfinger, each with a price tag of US$3.5 million. 

Again making an appearance in the upcoming No Time to Die is the hybrid supercar Aston Martin Valhalla, which is as functional as it is cutting-edge. Powered by the all-new PHEV powertrain comprising the most advanced and responsive V8 engine ever fitted to an Aston Martin, the Valhalla is supplemented with a 150kW/400V battery hybrid system utilising a pair of E-motors. In terms of structure, Valhalla is built around a new carbon-fibre tub for optimal stiffness with minimal weight penalty.  

Inside, the cockpit room has increased compared to the Aston Martin Valkyrie, though many of its Formula One-inspired hallmarks remain, such as a pared-back cockpit design and the Aston Martin HMI system with central touchscreen display, plus raised footwells for a low hip-to-heel seating position redolent of a racecar.  

HIGH TIME 

Inspired by GoldenEye (1995)  

The Swiss luxury watchmaker joined the 007 family with the Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Ref. 2541.80 on Pierce Brosnan’s wrist, and it’s back for its ninth Bond film with a 42mm platinum gold timepiece: the Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition. It’s full of the agent’s legacy, such as a hidden number 50 within the Super-LumiNova of the 10 o’clock index – a nod to the 50th anniversary of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Find the 007 logo at 7 o’clock on the white enamel minute track as well as the Bond family coat-of-arms at 12 o’clock. Meanwhile, a more lightweight, titanium-on-titanium 42mm Seamaster makes an appearance on Daniel Craig’s wrist in No Time to Die, sporting a slimmer build, a sapphire-crystal glass dome, and a brown tropical aluminium bezel ring and dial. 

 

FLY ME TO THE MOON 

Inspired by Thunderball (1965) 

Sean Connery soaring atop Château d’Anet is perhaps one of the most memorable scenes from his Bond days. While we have yet to invent a propeller so compact, JetPack Aviation has created the world’s first flying motorcycle, which allows for vertical take-off and landing within an area the size of a small parking spot. 

Originally intended for military, government and commercial clients, the groundbreaking speeder – its prototype has just recently passed flight tests and is set for commercial release in 2023 – weighs less than your typical motorcycle but is capable of speeds of up to 250mph, a flight time of 35 minutes and a cruising height of 15,000 feet. Available in ultralight and experimental versions – the former is speed-restricted, while the latter requires a private pilot’s licence – all training will be provided at the JetPack Aviation facility in California. The company is currently taking pre-orders for those looking to take flight. 

NOT JUST ANOTHER BRIEFCASE 

Inspired by From Russia with Love (1963) 

Though only making a brief appearance – admittedly, met with some scepticism from the spy himself – the attaché case in black leather was designed by British luxury manufacturer Swaine Adeney Brigg. It opens up to a plethora of weaponry such as throwing knives, an ArmaLite AR-7 semi-automatic rifle and, of course, gold sovereign coins for when the agent needs to be extra-convincing. 

Fortunately, there’s no need for us to travel with that sort of hardware on us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pack a punch into our carry-ons. Today’s suitcases aren’t just for transporting your underwear from A to B – they’re equipped with charging cables, GPS tracking and more, and can even double as a Wi-Fi hotspot.  

Making its debut earlier this year, Samsara’s latest aluminium suitcase has been hailed as the best smart luggage of the year, for good reason – it’s also a bona fide on-the-go workstation with a flat-top surface complete with a portable USB-C wireless charging dock, a hotspot feature and built-in tracking capabilities that connect to its handy mobile app. Alerts will pop up if the luggage rolls off and when it opens to ensure maximum security.

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