Even though the calendar says it's still spring we are definitely enjoying summer weather here in New England. It's all rather pleasant though and I would take a little heat and humidity over cold and snow any day.
Well, today I have a brand new item to present. This project actually started nearly a decade ago and over the years I have mulled it over in my mind many times. My early attempts were kind of clumsy and I was never satisfied with the product, nor could I see a way to make it happen. So it was one of those things that ended up on the back burner and I kept thinking that someday I would get it working. Well, that day has finally arrived!
First I should say that I am a watch guy. I have been involved with the hobby for many years and I adore mechanical wrist watches of many types, especially those from the many great German and Swiss makers. Being as obsessed as I am with them, I wanted to create a wearable tool that would feel comfortable on the wrist, offer a variety of simple functions, have an interesting fiddle factor and allow for simple personalization. I wanted a tool that would be more like a refined and easy wearing wrist watch rather than a bizarre mega bracelet for Conan the Barbarian or Amazonian Women from Venus. Of course such a tool also needs to look cool. Furthermore, as a diehard mechanical wristwatch fan, I am not going to stop wearing my favorite timepieces, therefore having a smaller and less obtrusive design means I can comfortably wear my SportWrench on my other, dominate wrist. This combination of conflicting factors and competing needs presents quite an interesting puzzle and it's been a lot of fun making an attempt at the challenge.
Today I have the first of the SportWrench series to offer you. The tool is relatively small, about 1.75" long by 1.2" wide. That translates to roughly 30mm wide by 45.5mm lug to lug for all you watch nerds. The finished effect is very much like a thin tonneau shaped dress watch.
The fixed bar style lug width is 22mm and you can endlessly personalize this tool with any standard 22mm Nato or Zulu style strap of which there are literally hundreds out there to choose from. I will provide a high quality nylon 3 ring Zulu style strap with your SportWrench, sourced from Europe. But if you go to Nato Strap Company, Worn and Wound, Crown and Buckle, Panatime, cheapestnatostraps.com or any other of the great suppliers out there you can find other colors and styles to play around with if you wish to change up the look. And changing the look is half the fun of the hobby in my opinion, as changing straps is like getting a new pair of shoes for your watch.
Anyhow, the SportWrench tools are made of my exclusive .200" thick Krinkle Texture Titanium so they have a bit of unique character built right into the material. Features include a 1/4 hex opening, a 1/4-1/2" SAE wrench set, an O2 wrench for medical/first responders, a cap lifter and dedicated 5/16" wrench. The cap lifter is short so there is not a tremendous amount of leverage, therefore it is a "two popper" rather than a single pop lifter. I do recommend removing the tool from your wrist before opening a beverage because otherwise you might cut yourself on a sharp bottle cap edge, ask me how I found that out!
A few words about nylon Zulu straps for the newbies...for years I couldn't seem to make them fit correctly on my wrist. But one day I started fiddling around and I discovered that there is a sweet spot on the strap. Once you find that, the watch (or tool) will feel just right. Suddenly even very large and surprisingly heavy watches can be a pleasure to wear and the whole package will look and feel perfectly balanced. With that in mind I have set these tools up so they are close to where they should be on the strap but you may need to nudge them along in one direction or another to find your personal sweet spot...easy to do as the ribbed texture on these straps allows for simple micro adjustment.
Also, you may find the strap to be slightly itchy to the underside of your wrist at first. When they make these straps the strips of material are cut off the roll with a hot knife, sewn with a tough nylon thread and the holes are laser drilled. Usually the itchy area is at the sewn or cutoff parts near the buckle end. If you spend a few minutes investigating with your finger you will always find a tiny sharp edge or stiff thread knot that is poking out and that is your culprit. Take a simple Bic lighter and, using the edge of the flame, very slowly and gently melt the offending sharp bit (it doesn't take much) and then immediately smooth it over with your finger. Or you can take a little sandpaper and smooth the sharp edge off but generally I find the flame smoothing method to be best. And don't worry, you won't burn your finger! Now, I have gone over most of these straps already so you don't have to but I mention it because you might find a few that need further touchup.
Oh yeah, SportWrench tools are completely waterproof to 12,000 meters, hehe...
The SportWrench tools will start at $95 plus shipping for these most basic ones. The batch is quite small so it's obviously going to be a one per customer sale please. Up the road I may have more complicated models and finishes and the prices will adjust accordingly...also, an 8-12mm metric version of this same configuration will be done in a day or two so you might want to keep that in mind if you are an international customer...thanks for stopping in today everyone and have a great weekend!
First wave is gone, metrics coming soon, thank you everyone! :)