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Friday, 05 May 2023 23:39

Leatherman Tread Tempo

Written by

Most folks think of multitools as plier based tools that have an assortment of functions. In fact the company Leatherman has become synonymous with the word multitool; similar to how Kleenex is being used to define tissues. Leatherman had a big inspiration back in 2015 and released a multitool which was very different than the standard modeling. Current CEO Ben Rivera had a run in with the security at Disneyland and told him he couldn't bring in his Wave multitool. This got the gears turning and this helped develop a new type of multitool; wearable.

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Following the success of the original Tread tool is the long awaited Tread Tempo. The Tempo was originally slated for launch along with the original Tread but the watch didn't do well in internal testing. So the Tempo got put on the back burner to simmer while they focused on Tread sales. Due to it's delayed launch people have been purchasing third party adapters from various places online to add standard watches to the Tread platform. Tim Leatherman admired people's resourcefulness and admitted that people in his own shop had made adapters in house. It was obvious they would have a hit when the Tempo was finally released.

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Thanks to a friend of mine I got the opportunity to check out the Tempo and I'm happy to report it's worth the wait. Opening the packaging is something like those Russian dolls that stack inside one another. Packaging is something they obviously spent good money on and you can tell you've just purchased a high quality product. At the heart of the decorative boxing is a clamshell box that contains your Tempo, manual and extra links that you can add or swap with current ones on your Tempo.

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First off I'm very impressed, you can tell they wanted to keep the industrial look of the Tread. The watch is quite large and its body is brushed stainless steel, same as the band. Leatherman wanted to make sure this thing could take a beating, remain stylish and built it with materials that would last. The watch is Swiss movement and runs off ronda 715 movement. I couldn't find much info about that type of movement but found it's accurate and recommended over others.  The watch is also water resistant up to 200 meters, perfectly ok for a swim or perhaps shallow diving. Not sure why someone would want this on thier wrist in the water. The large hand are easy to read and has markers that glow when exposed to bright light. The face also has the date on the face, which is nice because I'm always needing to write dates on my paperwork. The Tempo also features a bezel that rotates, great for those that use this function like divers.

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On the back side of the watch is a link removal tool. This T- shaped tool is held in place by a retention tab and comes in handy when you need to change out links on your Tempo. One neat addition to the tool is the diamond file on the rear. It may not be big but could come in hand with small burrs and untidy fingernails. Underneath the link tool is the manufacturing date of your Tempo. I don't recall the Tread having one but it's nice to see Leatherman doing this.

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The Tempo first and foremost is a watch but also doubles as a innovative multitool. Like the Tread, the Tempo features 30 different tools which are part of the watch band. There's an assortment of screwdrivers, Allen, hex/ box and other goodies. I'm a huge fan of the Tread series and they have gotten me out of trouble on more than one occasion. The Tempo was never designed to be a replacement for a full size or mid-sized multitool. I think of mine as a light duty tool or maybe a compliment to my regular tool. Made of stainless steel as opposed to tool steel and having stubby drivers the tool isn't made for high torque.  I'll often carry wear it and a pocket knife and feel like I can handle most of what comes my way.

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Since the Tempo is more watch like and less like a standard Tread, Leatherman redesigned the clasp and adjacent tools. The new clasp is similar to a watch clasp in which it has an adjustment link. Your standard Tread can only be adjusted by one inch links or one half inch link. The new Tempo has two screws that can be moved to make the Tempo more comfortable. This new design has also given us a redesigned bottle opener that can pop tops when the Tempo is still on your wrist. It was a main complaint of consumers that they had to remove the tool in order to open a cold one.  Opposite of the new clasp is a line cutter/rescue hook and a scribe/glass breaker. These changes are not huge but make the Tempo more enjoyable and easy to use.

 In conclusion I love the new Tempo,  it's everything the Tread is with addition of a stylish timepiece. Some people think this line of tools is nothing but man jewelry; I feel they are quite functional but not a replacement for a standard Leatherman. Price is steep but I can tell Leatherman feels that it's justified. Watch comes with a two year movement warranty, five year battery and the band is standard twenty five warranty.

David Bowen

As Co Founder of Multitool.org David has been a multitool enthusaist since the 90's.  David has always been fascinated with the design inginuity and uselfulness of multitools.

David is always looking forward to what's new in the industry and how the humble multitool continues to evolve as it radically changes and improves the lives of users.

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