Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! On this shiok Saturday, I’m taking a look at the latest offerings from local strap label, Delugs.
Delugs offers great hand-made straps for under S$100, and is one of my favourite local strap labels. In fact, I’ve previously reviewed their straps here, and here. They regularly introduce new styles as well, and kindly sent me four of their latest slim straps – Babele, Nubuck, Pueblo, and Russian Hatch Grain – for review. Let’s see if they are any good!
Delugs – Youtube Video
For those who want to see some hands-on footage of the strap, do check out my Youtube review below!
Why I love Delugs
Before I start examining the various straps in detail, I want to highlight why I love Delugs’ straps so much.
Firstly, all of Delugs’ straps are actually handmade. The artisanal nature of their straps is most evident in the brand’s distinctive diagonal saddle-stitching, a trademark feature on all of their straps. As compared to machine-stitching, saddle-stitching is stronger and more durable – if one thread breaks, the other threads will still hold together, unlike machine-stitching which will unravel completely.
Secondly, all of Delugs’ straps featured hand-painted edges. Edge finishing – whereby strap artisans painstakingly paint and smooths the sides of the strap – ensures that the strap looks gorgeous from all angles.
Thirdly, Delugs uses Zermatt leather to line all their watch straps. To the uninitiated, Zermatt is a luxurious, hypoallergenic leather used by big brands such as Hermes to line leather products like bags, watch straps, etc. It’s supple and soft to the touch, and resistant to both sweat and water. To me, the lining is the most important aspect of a strap as it is the portion that comes into contact with your skin, so it’s paramount that it feels nice and premium. None of those terrible cardboard-like linings with Delugs’ straps!
Finally, all of Delugs’ straps come with quick-release spring bars, allowing you to easily swap straps without the use of a spring bar tool. For a strap lover like me who loves to change up the straps on my watches, quick-release spring bars are fantastic. Furthermore, this also means that you won’t scratch the lugs of your watch by accident!
The first strap Delugs sent me is their new Babele watch strap.
The Babele watch strap is one of Delugs’ slim straps. Babale leather is vegetable-tanned leather from the Tempesti tannery in Italy, with a look and feel that greatly resembles fabric. In particular, this Jean Grey colourway (which I paired on my UNDONE Type XX) evokes the aesthetics and texture of denim.
I really like the look of the Babele strap, especially in this Jean Grey colourway. I’ve reviewed multiple denim straps before, and I would say that this has the best texture of the lot. I really like its subtlety – its unique texture only reveals itself upon closer inspection. The strap is quite versatile as well, and will pair nicely with almost all styles of watches.
On the wrist, the Babele strap wears very comfortably due to its Zermatt lining and its slim nature. It’s best paired with a slimmer watch, such as the UNDONE Type XX. The length is great as well for my Asian 7 inch wrist. If you’re looking for a textured strap, the Babele strap is a great option that won’t break the bank.
Next, let’s take a look at their Nubuck strap.
Like the Babele strap, Delugs’ Nubuck strap is a slim strap that feels great to the touch. The Nubuck strap is supple and flexible, but still with a tad more structure as compared to their suede straps. As compared to suede leather, Nubuck leather is crafted from the outer layer of the calfskin. As such, Nubuck is more durable and stronger than suede leather, and often more expensive as a result.
I love the velvet-like texture of Delugs’ nubuck straps. While suede straps come across as more casual, Nubuck has a more premium feel to it, yet without being as formal as an alligator strap would. It’s the perfect balance of casual and formal, and will work well with a wide variety of watches.
I love the minimalist feel of the strap as well. In my opinion, the Delugs’ Nubuck strap pairs best with a “cleaner” watch, such as the vintage-inspired Herve Alvia. It’s a strap that serves to highlight the inherent beauty of the watch, instead of stealing the show.
For those that want a strap with a unique texture and a rustic look, then the Delugs’ Pueblo strap is for you.
Pueblo leather comes from the Italian tannery, Badalassi Carlo, which is a member of the Genuine Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather Consortium. It is fashioned from the shoulder of the hide, and thus possesses superb strength and durability.
Pueblo leather is known for having a distinctive look, possessing fantastic depth in colour and will patina beautifully over time, resulting in a lovely vintage look. There’s a unique rustic patterning that is reminiscent of the texture of suede leather, though Pueblo leather feels smoother to the touch and comes across as more sophisticated in comparison.
I believe Delugs’ Pueblo straps pair best with vintage or vintage-inspired watches. Here, I paired it with the Eza 1972 Limited Edition, and found it to be a perfect match. It’s also quite slim, and should complement dress watches beautifully too.
Last but not least, Delugs also sent me their Russian Hatch Grain watch strap.
Delugs’ sources its Russian Hatch Grain leather from the esteemed Horween tannery from Chicago, USA. Historically known as one of the finest leather in the world, Russian calf leather undergoes a laborious tanning process, and is used to create some of the most sought-after bespoke shoes and leather products in the world.
The Russian Hatch Grain strap has a texture that’s similar to Epsom, though in a more subtle execution. Yet, it is definitely pronounced, and I would say it’s the most aesthetically striking one out of the four straps that I’ve reviewed today. It reminds me of expensive cushions and dress shoes – there’s a royal feel to the strap. It’s one that has an innate character, and should pair well with a watch that’s busier or “loud”.
In addition, the Russian Hatch Grain strap is very supple and feels amazing on the wrist. There’s no break-in period required. Once again, it’s a pretty slim strap, and will pair well with vintage/dress watches. Here, I’ve paired the Russian Hatch Grain strap on my Arcturus LC-1, and I think it’s a match made in heaven. The regal nature of the strap accentuates the Art Deco nature of the watch beautifully.
Conclusion – so Delugs’ 2020 straps “shiok” or not?
I absolutely love all four straps that Delugs’ sent me. In this particular instance, there’s nothing that I can find fault with. The straps are superbly constructed (great leather, Zermatt lining, hand-stitched and hand-dyed, quick-release spring bars, etc), and the textures of the straps are simply phenomenal. The price is great as well – all four straps can be had for just $68 USD/ ~S$92 after the promo code below. At the sub-S$100 price point, it’s hard enough to find a handmade strap, much less one that is as well constructed as these. Furthermore, I would also like to praise Delugs for their consistency. I have over a dozen Delugs straps, and all of them came in great condition. There’s a ton of different leather variants and colour choices available too, so there’s definitely something for everyone here. Perhaps the only “weakness” is that these straps are all pretty slim, so they may not be appropriate for big bulky watches – if you’re looking for something for your Panerai or your Hublot, you might want to look elsewhere. (Delugs has since launched a line of chunkier straps for Panerai watches here.)
For those interested, the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” will grant you 15% off your first order from Delugs! After the discount, the four straps reviewed today can be had for $68 USD/ ~S$92 each, which is a steal, in my opinion. Kudos to Delugs for being able to deliver such quality at an affordable price point – their straps are even cheaper than off-the-rack Hirsch straps! It’s been great to see this local strap label going from strength to strength. I can honestly say that these batch of straps are substantially better than some of Delugs’ earlier offerings. I can’t wait to see what the brand introduces next for 2021!
View Delugs’ full range of offerings here.
View Part 1 of my Delugs review here.
View Part 2 of my Delugs review here.
Update: The promo code expired in 2020, and is no longer active.
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned.
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.