This photo above may not look like much, but it represents a step towards our vision for the brand. On first look, it looks like 10 identical Chromexcel Signature straps. If you look for more than a moment, you will notice that there are two different lengths. If you look even closer, you will notice that there are five different widths. This is a big deal - let me explain.
Delugs' vision is to bring high quality watch straps that you usually get from bespoke leathercrafters, and sell them at a medium price point. Bespoke leathercrafters (the good ones, at least) are able to do almost anything with a piece of leather. They can customise any aspect of the strap, since it is made entirely from scratch. However, most people don't really need their straps to be "bespoke". You don't need the strap to be made in a special shape - all you want is the standard watch strap look. You don't need a unique lug size - all you require is something that can fit on your watch lug. You don't need a single hole on the strap that fits your wrist perfectly to show that the strap is bespoke - all you are looking for is multiple holes in a standard configuration. All you really want is the same quality of material and craftsmanship offered by these bespoke leathercrafters, at a more reasonable price. You want straps made from brand name leather. You want the smaller details to be taken care of. You want the assurance that each strap was carefully crafted and not mass produced. And that is the premise that Delugs was started on.
So how did we aim to meet this need? By focusing on the things that matter to watch enthusiasts.
- Ensure that the leather and materials we use are second to none.
- Having a strict requirement on the craftsmanship and being careful about our quality control.
- Crafting the straps in bulk to lower cost of each individual strap.
- Offering the straps in the lug width and size that most people would be looking for, so that it is available in stock for purchase without any waiting time.
By focusing on these four aspects, we are confident that we can meet the needs of majority of the watch lovers out there. We've known this from the start, and we have been focusing on the first 2 points (leather and craftsmanship) since our inception. However, with so many different widths and lengths that people require, and the high material and labour cost of our products, we have not had the guts to craft our straps in bulk, making each model and colour in a wide range of sizes and lengths. We have been offering them in a made-to-order fashion, only stocking some of the models. But this results in long wait times for you, and the long administrative tail of managing the various MTO orders. Well, that changes today.
Thanks to all your support and purchases in the past year, it has given us the confidence that our straps are well-liked and present a good value for you. It signifies that our leather and craftsmanship has met the expectation you've had. This has allowed us to make the decision to invest more in this business, to go full speed ahead and really work towards achieving points 3 and 4 above. Hence, with this Horween Chromexcel Signature strap launch, we have decided to go ahead and stock up the strap in 5 different widths (18-16, 19-16, 20-18, 21-18, 22-20) and 2 different sizes (Medium at 115mm/70mm, and Small at 105mm/65mm). Any order placed for these straps can now be mailed out immediately, without the usual 1 month wait time we've had for made-to-order straps. We believe the sizes and widths would fits 80% of you out there.
Going forward, we will work towards stocking all these widths and sizes for our existing models and best sellers (Shell Cordovan Signature, Barenia Signature, Buttero Signature, Waxed Camouflage Signature). For new straps that we are releasing, they will all come in this 5-width-2-sizes configuration. And for those belonging to the 20% and still looking to make straps in custom sizes, that option will definitely still exist for all our products.
It's a big risk for us, but one that we are willing to take knowing that we have the whole Delugs family supporting us. We strongly believe this is a step in the right direction, not just for our business but for our loyal supporters who want to have the best straps for their watches.