Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! On this shiok Sunday, I’m reviewing several new straps from local strapmaker, Delugs.
I’ve previously reviewed some of Delugs’ straps. If you haven’t already yet done so, you can read the review here. Delugs have been working hard at offering more strap options to customers, and sent some of their new offerings for me to review. Let’s take a look!
The first strap that Delugs sent me was their Horween Chromexcel strap.
Horween is perhaps one of the most famous names in leather. Founded in 1905, Horween Leather Company is one of the oldest tanneries in the United States. Well known for their high level of quality, consistency and innovation, their leathers today are still hand made using traditional techniques and equipment with modern day updates in the process. For those wondering, Chromexcel is a type of leather that is specific and exclusive to Horween. It is characterized by a rich pull up effect which is the temporary lightening of colours when folded or flexed. A 89 steps process over 28 days, it is highly supervised as various naturally occurring materials such as hides, retannages from tree barks and more comes together, increasing complexity when achieving uniformity and consistency. After the initial chrome-based tannage, the hides undergoes vegetable retanning using Horween’s guarded recipe before being hot stuffed with a special blend of oils, waxes and greases which is responsible for the pull up effect. Lastly, the hides are hand-rubbed with coats of aniline finish for an even staining. This combination tanning imparts the leather the best of its qualities, making them soft, supple, durable, mouldable for comfort and the ability to develop a great patina over time.
I love the pull-up effect of the Horween Chromexcel leather. As the leather stretches, the colour changes. This is due to the movement of the oil and wax inside the leather. What results is a leather strap that wears and ages beautifully, with a rustic and vintage vibe. It’s textured and sophisticated, and yet also exudes a vintage vibe that pairs terrifically well with my Longines Heritage 1945. Also, due to the high percentage of wax, any scratches can also be easily buffed out with just a simple brushing or friction from rubbing. Being full grain leather, the strap will also patina over time, developing a rich hue over time. I love that I’m able to see the individual grains of the leather on the strap. Elsewhere, the stitching is pretty nice too – I like the fact that it’s done in a diagonal fashion, which gives the strap a more artisanal feel and look.
The leather lining used on the interior of the strap feels comfortable on the skin, and is a far cry from the cardboardy texture found on cheaper straps. The strap loops are stitched as well, which makes it much more durable than those that are simply glued. The straps also come with quick-release spring bars, which I absolutely love – it makes changing straps so much easier.
Overall, I really like the Horween Chromexcel strap. The natural tan colour is lovely, and I can’t wait for the strap to change colour after some use. It’s a strap that packs a nice rustic vintage punch, yet remains dressy and sophisticated. It’s very well constructed as well, and I have to say that this is one of my favourite straps I’ve personally reviewed thus far. I should also point out that there are mutliple colourways available – all of them look great, and I wish I’m able to get my hands on all of them!
Next up is the Tan Barenia strap, which is priced similarly to the Horween Chromexcel strap.
Delugs uses Barenia leather from the Haas tannery in France, which is the same leather used by Apple for their Apple Watch straps (though at a much steeper price), as well as Hermes in their iconic Birkin bags. Barenia leather is known for their suppleness, but also their durability – there’s a reason why it’s used to make Hermes bags!
As compared to the Horween Chromexcel strap – which featured a textured, pull-up look – the Barenia leather strap has a very smooth surface with just a tad bit of gloss. While the grains of the leather aren’t as obvious to the eye as they were on the Horween Chromexcel strap, the grains still reveal themselves upon closer inspection. Personally, I think of the Barenia leather strap as the classic leather strap – it’s what come to mind when I think of a leather strap. As such, it is immensely versatile, and should suit a wide variety of watches, from dive watches to dress watches, field watch to pilot watches, and everything in between. Just like on the Horween strap, I still like the diagonal stitching found on the Barenia strap here – I think it’s something of a Delugs’ signature!
Just like the Horween strap, the inner lining of the Barenia strap remains comfortable and feels premium to the touch. There’s also the stitched strap loops and quick-release spring bars for enhanced durability and convenience. Again, these are aspects present on all Delugs straps.
I would say that I appreciated the qualities of the Barenia strap, especially its versatility. While the Horween Chromexcel straps are more eye-catching, the Barenia strap comes across as the quintessential leather strap that would suit most, if not all, types of watches well. As seen from the wrist shot above, it serves as the perfect complement for one’s watch to really shine.
Delugs also sent me their new Epsom Slim strap for review.
Epsom leather straps have been booming in popularity recently, and Delugs is now offering their own variant! Epsom is a specific type of leather from the Tanneries Du Puy in France, and is well-known for its quality, wide range of colours and durability. Like Barania leather, Epsom leather is also used by Hermes in their products.
I absolutely love the texture of Epsom leather. There’s a scaly-like look to the leather that reminds one of alligator/crocodile straps, though the texture here is definitely more subtle. At just 2mm, it’s extremely soft and comfortable on the wrist, with little to no break-in period required. Like with the previous straps, I also like the diagonal stitching on the strap.
As with the previous straps, the inner lining of the Epsom strap feels nice on the skin, with stitched strap loops and quick-release spring bars present for enhanced durability and convenience.
The Epsom Slim strap from Delugs is lovely, and it pairs wonderfully with a dress watch. However, I do think that at $95 USD/ ~S$129, it is a tad too pricey for my liking. In comparison, NomadWatchStraps sells their Epsom strap for just S$39, while Vario sells their lovely Vintage Italian leather strap – with a texture similar to Epsom – for just $38 USD/ ~S$51. Granted, Delugs’ Epsom strap is handcrafted, and is 1mm slimmer as compared to the abovementioned alternatives, but I don’t think that justifies the vast price difference. Nevertheless, Delugs does offer significantly more colour options than NomadWatchStraps or Vario, so if you’re on the hunt for funkier colours like light blue or bamboo green, Delugs may have just the thing for you.
Last but not least, Delugs also offer custom exotic straps – alligator, lizard and stingray! Of the three, an alligator strap is perhaps the most versatile, and they sent one over to me to review.
It’s arguable that there’s no strap more desirable than an exotic alligator. It’s definitely one of the most popular styles of straps, and instantly jazzes up almost any watch. An alligator strap oozes class, and is also highly durable.
An genuine alligator strap stands head and shoulders above those embossed alligator straps that one usually finds on more affordable watches, such as on Orients and Seikos. There’s a depth and detail to the texture of an genuine alligator strap that cannot be replicated by embossing. There’s a really nice gloss to Delugs’ alligator strap too that is absolutely lovely. In addition, one can customise the style, leather colour, stitch colour as well as the sizing of the alligator strap!
Once again, the inner lining feels premium to the touch, the strap loops are stitched for greater durability, and the presence of quick-release spring bars means that changing straps should be an ease!
At $155 USD/ ~S$209, I think Delugs’ custom alligator strap is a great value proposition. Custom alligator straps usually costs $300+, and at S$209 Delugs’ alligator straps are – to my knowledge – the most affordable customisable alligator straps on the market today. In fact, it’s already cheaper than most off-the-rack alligator straps. If you’re looking for a custom alligator strap, Delugs is a great option that won’t break the bank!
Conclusion – so Delugs “shiok” or not?
Definitely yes. I really enjoyed the straps from Delugs – in fact, I enjoyed these more than the previous ones! The custom Alligator strap is great bang-for-buck, the Barenia strap is classic and versatile, whilst the Horween Chromexcel strap is just simply stunning. Even the Epsom strap is beautiful is its own right, though just a little overpriced in my opinion. But on a whole, I really enjoyed the second batch of Delugs’ straps, with all four straps elevating the watches which I paired them on. It’s great to see Delugs going from strength to strength and offering an increasing array of options. I can’t wait to see what they do next – museum calf leather straps would be nice – but I would say that their future is certainly bright!
For those interested, the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” will grant you 10% off all products from Delugs! After the discount, the Horween Chromexcel and Barenia straps would cost just S$97, the Epsom leather strap would cost S$116, and the custom alligator strap would set one back a mere S$187! With the exception of the Epsom leather strap, I think those are incredibly reasonable prices – cheaper than their off-the-rack Hirsch counterparts!
Note: As all of Delugs’ straps are handcrafted, and lead time is around a month.
View Delugs’ full range of offerings here.
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!