My scout sent me an image of this unusual pair of vise-grips/locking pliers. She quizzed me on why they look so different from other locking pliers on the market:
It looks expensive and very purposefully designed, and the jaws are obviously meant to hold a specific object, as opposed to being general-purpose. But why is there a hexagonal threaded sleeve replacing the knurled knob and mostly enclosing the exposed threads that we typically see? Is that easier to turn with gloves on? Is this designed for some special climate?
In the end I couldn't guess what the application was, and she sent the link. These are made by Parshwa Corporation, an India-based manufacturer of orthopedic surgical instruments. I guess the sleeker surfaces of the tool's components make it easier for the autoclave to do its thing. And it's a great example of how form-follows-function has accidentally yielded an unintentionally beautiful object.