As a Navy Commander, James Bond is well versed in the sub-aquatic and has used numerous underwater gadgets in his five decades onscreen, two of the most famous being the ‘Breathers’ seen originally in 1965’s Thunderball, and then revisited in a revised form in 2002’s Die Another Day .While not the same prop, they share a common heritage and this set showcases their evolution. Both replicas in one set designed to honor and celebrate the art of the 007 film prop!
Issued to Bond, played by Sean Connery in the Bahamas the prop is famously used by 007 to infiltrate Largo's lair through the shark infested pool. Utterly convincing on screen the prop was simply held in Connery's mouth while he held his breath. The prop was created by the EON prop team at Pinewood studios in England, manufactured from a mixture of custom-made machined parts and some pre-existing items, including the micro-sized gas canisters that were used to carbonate the contents of a soda siphon, a staple in most 1960’s British households before the advent of widely available prepackaged soda. Often referred to as a rebreather, this prop is never actually named in the film. Q simply says 'In the Event of a rebreather not being available you can use this device'
Die Another Day Breather
With direct homage to Thunderball we see the original Thunderball breather prop in the early part of the film in drawer in 007's MI6 office. Bond, this time played by Pierce Brosnan, is issued a new updated version of the breather. Once again it is used later in the film to enter an enemy lair undetected. Mirroring history again, the prop was also made by the EON prop team at Pinewood studios, once again using a mixture of found parts alongside custom-made parts. The canisters this time were actually keychains in the style of miniature air tanks, manufactured by a sub aqua supply company to store full-sized air tank ‘O’ rings. These where re-purposed and added to a central aluminum body. This prop was fitted with a more comfortable rubber mouthpiece from a commercially sourced snorkel.
The Factory Entertainment Breather Evolution Set prop replicas were created after exhaustive and careful study of surviving props in the EON Productions archives and reference materials such as blueprints, photographs and reference documents. Both replicas are an exact and precise copy of each original prop. Grateful thanks is extended to Pete and Jeff for their assistance and input with this project.
Each finely crafted breather replica set comes with a museum quality display stand, acrylic cover, numbered limited edition plaque, COA, and detailed prop story booklet.