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Reality Check: The Bond Gadgets


Robert Wallace wrote the book on spy gadgets. The book is called Spycraft, and he penned it after spending four years in the lab as the director of the CIA’s Office of Technical Service. “OTS is America’s Q,” Wallace says. “It makes all the gadgets used for espionage, from audio bugs to false documents to tracking devices.” Here’s his dossier on 007’s doodads.

Rocket disguised as a cigarette You Only Live Twice (1967) “We actually had a .22-caliber single-shot cigarette pistol developed during WWII. It didn’t have much gunpowder, so to be most effective it would have to be up against the opponent.”

Rolex that conceals a superstrong magnet and a rotating sawLive and Let Die (1973) “The principle of concealing functions is very possible. We had a fountain pen that worked to write, but it also had an ultraminiature camera inside. As for a magnet that powerful in the watch, that might actually be beyond the laws of physics.”

Little Nellie, a tiny armed helicopter that can be broken down to fit in four trunksYou Only Live Twice (1967) “In the ’50s OTS developed an inflatable rubber airplane. You opened and used the air pump contained in the kit to blow the thing up.”

Pen with a built-in grenadeGoldenEye (1995) “You can disguise a grenade in just about anything, and you could put enough explosives in a pen to do some damage.”