When it comes to multitools, few brands have the reputation of Leatherman. It has been packing huge capabilities into small packages for more than 20 years, but is facing stiff competition from a raft of new competitors angling for its crown. Having expanded its offerings to include a range of wearable multitools in recent years, Leatherman has used Outdoor Retailer to introduce another timely addition.
Having debuted the Tread bracelet/multitool hybrid two years ago, Leatherman has now paired it with a watch. The company says the delay between bracelet and watch was due to the watch face initially being prone to breaking when using the band as a screwdriver or wrench. The solution was to add moving clasps between the band and a beefed up timepiece chassis, which our man on the ground likened to a sort of "full watch suspension."
The band is made up stainless steel links housing a range of tools, combined with a watch with a precision quartz movement. The watch has a one-way rotating bezel, while the hands and hour markers glow in the dark. Leatherman says the face is covered in sapphire crystal for scratch resistance, and the curved face is designed to improve visibility in bright sunshine.
The multi-functional Tread band comes with six tools, including a 3/32-in screwdriver, a 6-mm (0.23-in) hex drive, and a range of different sized square drives. There are also three more interchangeable links included in the box: two different sized box wrenches, and a pozi-drive screwdriver head.
The Tread Tempo is water resistant up to 200 m (656 ft) and shouldn't send the TSA into a tailspin. Then again, the TSA changes its rules so frequently that might not mean much. Black and stainless steel models will be available, with prices starting at US$575.
The other wearable multitool in the Leatherman kit debuting at Outdoor Retailer is the Tread LT, a narrower and lighter version of the conventional Tread bracelet. Users are still able to rearrange the links, which are made of injection molded metal. Even the clasp has a function – it's perhaps the most important tool of all, a bottle opener.
Also included in the box is a 3/32-in screwdriver, a cutting hook, 4-mm (0.16-in) and 6-mm (0.23-in) hex drives, two box wrenches, two square drives and a #2 pozi-drive. Like the watch above, it's available in stainless steel and black, with prices starting at $175.
"I began wearing prototypes myself to test comfort and usability, and to ask for feedback," says Ben Rivera, president and CEO of Leatherman Tool Group. "Folks immediately associated the design with a watch and asked, where's the watch? It took us a little longer to perfect the watch version, but we're glad to finally deliver it to our avid fans."