Today, we are extremely proud and excited to finally release a product that has been in the pipeline for a year - the Strap Folio. It is available in two sizes (Small and Large, which stores up to 12 and 72 straps respectively), and in three different colourways (Black, Brown, Grey). Click here to begin shopping, and read on if you would like to learn more about how the Strap Folio was conceptualised and brought to market.
The idea for the Strap Folio came about out of necessity. As Delugs grew, we started carrying 100 different types of straps, each with different widths and sizes. With so many straps in our store (including the many samples that never see the light of day), we wanted to find a way to properly keep the straps, instead of chucking them in a used shoebox like most people do.
As we looked at the range of products on the market today, while there were a number of solutions that could meet some of our requirements, there was nothing that really spoke out to us, that really felt like it ticked all of the boxes. Seeing as there was a gap in the market, we wanted to create our own take on a strap storage solution, and we had four basic requirements that it must fulfil:
- Store. At its core, a strap storage solution must be able to store straps. Looking at our existing customer base, we have customers who just have a handful of straps, while others have over hundreds of straps, and our folio collection must be able to cater to both groups, and anyone in between.
- Protect. Beyond just being a place to store straps, our folio had to protect the straps from marks and scratches. Some of our leather straps, in particular those made from veg-tan leather (learn more here) such as Buttero, Babele, Pueblo etc were more susceptible to marks and scratches, and the folio should provide a way to segregate the straps from one another.
- Organise. With different straps meant to fit different watches, it was important that the folio also provided a way to organise the straps. I'm sure everyone can relate to the experience of accidentally taking a strap for a 19mm lug width watch when the strap was actually 20mm.
- Display. Finally, we wanted a way to display the strap collection in its full glory. We firmly believe that straps are not and should not just be an afterthought - a solid strap collection is just as impressive and fun as a solid watch collection. After all, our straps are all handcrafted and in some ways, are functional pieces of art (just like the watches we put them on). Why hide all that beauty behind an opaque material like canvas?
In addition, we had two other design considerations that we wanted to incorporate:
- Sustainable. We already mail out our leather straps in a beautiful silicon strap sleeve that keeps each strap protected, and we wanted to find a way to re-use those sleeves in our Strap Folio. We also wanted a durable storage solution that could allow you to use and re-use repeatedly without wear and tear.
- Elegant. As with any Delugs product, we prioritise both form and function. We wanted a Folio that was classy, presentable and durable. Something that we could bring to gatherings and proudly place in the middle of the table amidst all the timepieces and not feel out of place.
With those requirements in mind, we set out to design a Strap Folio that could meet all of our requirements. In our heads, we had the idea of two separate components: a leather folio with a metal binder, and separate strap inserts that could be inserted or removed as and when needed. We also wanted to create two different sizes to cater to the different needs of the community - whether you were just starting to build your strap collection, or if you are a huge strap collector, we wanted to have a folio for you.
For the small folio, we wanted to ensure it was compatible with the silicon strap sleeve that we send out all our straps in. Our original sleeve didn't come with any holes to slot it into a metal binder, and so we had to expand the width of the sleeve and add two holes. These two holes were made with additional reinforcement to prevent stretching and wear over time.
For the large folio, we took the same material and concept as the smaller folio, and designed a larger insert from scratch. We wanted to keep the size to A4 to keep the folio to a reasonable size, with each individual slots able to fit up to a 26mm strap. This allowed us to design with two rows of six straps each. WIth two separate rows, all straps could be removed and inserted independently for more flexibility.
Clear or Frosted? One of the decisions that we had to make in designing the inserts was the choice of material - specifically whether we should go with a clear finish or a frosted finish. Overall, we think that the frosted finish looks a little more polished and sophisticated, however it does not give a clear view of the strap within. On the other hand, the clear insert allows you to clearly see all the straps, which was especially useful for the large insert, but it doesn't look as good. Ultimately we went with only having frosted finish for the small insert, and both clear and frosted finish for the large insert.
On the reinforcement of the holes for the small and large insert, you'll notice that we went with just a basic reinforcement for the small insert, and a metal grommet reinforcement for the large insert. For the small insert and folio, we wanted to keep the size as minimal as possible, and adding a metal grommet would add to the width. We also thought that the small folio was more likely used by personal collectors with light usage, while the large folio could be used by watch stores and retailers. We imagine that the large folio being displayed at a shop, with people constantly flipping through the different sheets to look through the strap options, and hence added metal grommets to increase the durability of the large inserts.
Finally, we also wanted to provide a way that you could label the individual slots in the inserts, and we designed stickers that could allow you to label the slots in a non-permanent manner. As we foresee that labelling was more important for the large insert compared to the smaller one, we only provide stickers for the large folio - although they could be purchased separately if you wish to use it for the small folio too.
The design of our Strap Folio was fairly straightforward once the design of the inserts were decided. We wanted the Folio to look like it could be a regular document folio from the outside, something that you could either fit into a backpack, briefcase or just hold it on its own. For our first edition, we decided to go with classic colours of Black with Grey interior, Grey with Navy interior and Brown with Light Brown interior.
We have two different leather options - Calf leather for the black folio for those that are looking for a classic, understated look, and Saffiano leather for the grey and brown folio for a more durable finish. For the interior, we went with the same velvet material used in our Prism case for a premium look and feel.
How Can The Strap Folio Be Used?
In this section, we hope to share some examples of how the Strap Folio can be used, to provide you with some ideas and inspiration on how to get organised.
1. Home Storage
The most obvious way the Strap Folio can be used is to store your straps in a neat and organised way at home. If you have multiple watches with different lug widths, you could get the Strap Folio (Large), with each insert storing straps of a specific lug width. Alternatively, if you are the sort of collector who prefers to keep specific straps for specific watches, you could have one insert per watch that you own.
If you're heading for a meet-up with some friends, just bring along your straps in the Strap Folio for a classy way to display your strap collection. You could even remove all the inserts at the meet-up, and use the empty Strap Folio to lay out the watches.
If you get a pair of the Strap Folio Small and Large, you could store the straps in the Strap Folio (Large), and when it's time to travel, just re-pack the straps that you wish to bring with you on the trip into the Strap Folio (Small).
3. Displays (Mainly for Shops)
If you own a shop that sold straps, you could get the Strap Folio (Large) to store your straps within, and just display the entire Folio. Customers could easily flip through the inserts to look for the strap that they wish to get - with the clear inserts, they could also position the watch head directly over the strap to get an idea of how the pairing would look, without needing to remove the strap from the insert.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does the strap sleeve/inserts that you use to package the strap when its mailed out fit into the Strap Folio (Small)?
- Yes it does! As long as the sleeve that you received has two holes punched into the sides, it will fit into the Strap Folio (Small). Do note that our initial batches of sleeves (estimated for orders placed before Apr 2021) did not have the holes, and hence are not compatible.
- If you have enough sleeves/inserts, you do not need to purchase the Strap Folio (Small) with the inserts.
2. Why does the Strap Folio (Small) not come with sticker labels while the Strap Folio (Large) does?
- With only 12 straps within the Strap Folio (Small), we think that most people using the Strap Folio (Small) is for a small personal strap collection, and they would know the details of each strap. Hence, there is no need to label each one of them. However, with 72 straps in the Strap Folio (Large), we think that stickers would be beneficial to help with labelling what each strap was, especially if the folio was bought to a meet-up or gathering where the straps are being shown to many different people.
- That being said, if you would like to label the inserts in the Strap Folio (Small), you may purchase the stickers separately here.
3. Can I purchase additional inserts?
- Most definitely! Here's the link to purchase the Insert (2) and Insert (12) - either Clear or Frosted.
4. Can the Strap Folio (Small) and (Large) store more than 12 and 72 straps respectively?
- Technically, it is possible to squeeze more than 12 and 72 straps into the folios. However, this may result in the Strap Folio bulging outwards, instead of having a sleek silhouette.
5. I have 30 straps in my collection. Will you be releasing a Strap Folio (Medium)?
- We do not have plans for a Strap Folio (Medium) at the moment. However, if there is enough demand, we can consider such a product.
- You could still purchase the Strap Folio (Large), and instead of storing one pair of strap in each slot, you could store one side of the strap in each slot for greater protection of the strap. This would reduce the capacity to 36 straps (and still give you room to grow the collection in future).
6. I have over 100 straps in my collection. Will you be releasing a Strap Folio (X-Large)?
- We do not have plans for a Strap Folio (X-Large) at the moment. However, if there is enough demand, we can consider such a product.
- We felt that going beyond 72 straps would result in a folio that becomes a little too big, heavy and unwieldy, and hence decided to limit it to 72 straps (which should be plenty for most people anyway).
- We recommend to store the straps across multiple Strap Folio (Large) for better organisation.
7. Will you be releasing additional design of inserts? I would like one that can fit your Elastic Loops or NATO straps.
- We do not have plans for that at the moment, but if you have an idea, feel free to get in touch with us! We would love to see different ideas for inserts - the beauty of our design allows us to be modular with the inserts and make it for different purposes.
- Specifically for longer straps like the Elastic Loop or NATO straps, the only way we could store them in the insert is to fold the strap.
8. Can the inserts be used without the folio?
- Yes! While our folio was designed specifically to fit the inserts, if you don't feel like you need the folio and just wanted to use the insert on their own, you most definitely can. A cheaper option than the folio is just to get a simple ring or carabiner to hold the inserts together. It doesn't look as nice, but it works.
9. Can the Strap Folio be custom made in a different leather or colour?
- We are currently not opening up the Strap Folio for custom order, but that is something that we will look into.
- We might introduce the Strap Folio in more colour options. If you have any suggestions, please let us know!
If you've read up to this point, and think that you would like to get a Strap Folio for your strap collection, you may click here to start shopping.