Grand Seiko is a brand that I adore very much, the level of finishing at this price point is simply unmatched. For many years I have been looking for the perfect Grand Seiko, and this Omiwatari is as close as it gets. It has the rather rare 9R31 hand wind Spring Drive movement which allows for insane accuracy that rivals or surpasses many quartz movements. It not only moves the power reserve to the movement side for an uncluttered dial but is beautifully finished as well. I feel thickness is typically the Achilles’ heel for Grand Seiko, but I’m very happy to see the Omiwatari is housed in the curvy and slim Elegance case, measuring at 10.2mm high. Then there’s the star of the show, the Omiwatari dial, which is the Japanese term describing where the Gods walk across the ice at the frozen Lake Suwa. It is a brand new ice themed dial after the famous Snowflake, and it is such a treat to explore the subtle textures on the dial. The proportions of the Omiwatari would suggest a dress watch, but as we will see it can be dressed up or down very nicely!
The Tudor Black Bay 58 is one of the most beloved watches in the community today. From the 39mm case size to its beautifully balanced dial, this vintage-inspired modern diver is ready for any occasion. What makes the versatile watch even better is its capabilities to look good on and off its steel bracelet. Here are five examples that strap a new look onto the timepiece.
The SBGH273 is arguably one of the most beautiful pieces by Grand Seiko. Having owned it for a little shy of a year, one thing I have never experimented is swapping out its bracelet with leather straps.
However, this reluctance is not unfounded. In fact, the process of strap changing has always been a daunting process for me. As someone who often second guesses himself, my mind was constantly overwhelmed with catastrophic thinking when it comes to strap changing and I was in constant fear of damaging my watch. This has in turn placed an indefinite hold on my desire to experiment with new straps for all of my watches.
Thanks to the straps by Delugs, I have developed a whole new perspective on strap changing. Not only have I finally acknowledged the ease and accessibility of the process especially with the quick release mechanism that is available across Delugs straps, but I have also learned just how big of a role straps can play in strengthening and revitalizing the love and appreciation I have for the SBGH273. I hope my strap guide will be informative and potentially helpful for others who are like me.
The Chronomaster Sport in white is a beast of a watch with a beast of a movement. Ceramic bezel, 100m of water resistance, beautiful tri-color dial, and 60 hours of power reserve with a high-frequency automatic chronograph that is capable of measuring down to 1/10th of a second. With smaller 6.25 inch wrists, I was slightly worried about this watch due to its size. As you’ll see from the photos, however, this watch wears like a dream. In my opinion it wears like a 40mm thanks to the shorter lug-to-lug length, and I find it hard to believe it’s any thicker than 12mm. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Chronomaster and its bracelet go together like Rolex and never-ending waitlists. But what if I told you this engineering marvel not only can speak on leather, but even sing? If you’re a sports watch guy like me, you’re probably a fan of high quality bracelets and maybe even integrated rubber straps. While those are great, a high quality leather strap can give your watch an entirely new look and feel. I’m here to help you transform your Chronomaster with some beautiful recommendations from the ready-stock selection at Delugs.
Imagine being caught in a blizzard with snowdrifts and white-out conditions. That’s what I perceive when I look closely at my Grand Seiko SBGJ201. A piece that is also referred to as the Mt. Iwate patterned dial as each fine detail represents the ridged snowy contours of the mountain which is visible from where these watches are produced.
The Mt. Iwate-GMT houses a very notable case from Grand Seiko’s history which is the Grammar of Design by Taro Tanaka. The belief behind the style is known to constitute a luxurious product by using shapes, lines, different facets and top-notch polishing.
Having said that, I sometimes find this piece too dressy in certain conditions. Dressing it down is always a challenge as I don’t want to compromise the sophisticated appeal the SBGJ201 possesses. The bracelet, although comfortable and exquisitely finished, lacks a bit of versatility to my liking.
It is now time to explore strap options that can offer this piece a casual look without compromising the quality of style and grace.
(I am sharing this guide with the hope of supplementing one’s thoughts that choosing a strap for a watch will not just change its looks but also personalize the piece making a strong link with the owner - Thanks to Delugs for offering a vast selection!)
As a collector, there are a few things that you will always think of when you think of Grand Seiko. One of them is the Grammar of Design, exemplified best by the 44GS case. The 44GS case side has two distinct flanks which are amazing canvases for the Zaratsu polishing that Grand Seiko is known for.
The other thing that Grand Seiko is known for are its movements. It has amongst the best High Accuracy Quartz movements (9F), its innovative Spring Drive movement (9R) and of course its mechanical movements (9S).
The SBGW289 is a celebratory piece by Grand Seiko and is the first time that the 44GS case is being done in a smaller 36.5mm diameter, and by housing the manually wound 9S movement, has amazing proportions to boot. Then there’s that dial that only Grand Seiko will do – a silvery pink hue that is meant to evoke the Japanese Cherry Blossoms peaking through the frost at the start of spring. This combination really hit the spot, and I just had to add it to the collection.
Now, the vintage 44GS watches have always been on straps, and so it was only a matter of time before someone would see if straps would work on this new small-cased 44GS. Let’s go right ahead and show some possible combinations featuring some carefully selected Delugs straps!
I like classic things, but I enjoy classic things with a twist of personalization. That’s why I always enjoy changing straps for a traditional, classic timepiece, to make it my own, yet still stay classic.
The Breguet Classique line is always considered as a gentlemen’s pure dress watch, and I actually see them only with black or brown alligator straps most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, it might be the ‘right’ way to wear it, but I think it can definitely be dressed down, with different types of straps.
For this strap guide, I’m featuring my newly acquired Breguet Classique ref,3330, a yellow gold case watch with a silver guilloche dial, typical Breguet style. For your reference, ref.3330 is measured in 36mm, with a lug width of 18mm. Although it is equipped with screw spring bars, you can still use quick release spring bars if you like to change strap daily like me. Another thing that worth mentioning is that the OEM folding clasp is in 16mm, so 18-16 straps are perfectly fine if you want to switch to OEM folding clasp.
As fellow watch enthusiasts know all too well, the strap can make or break the look of our watches. But more importantly it’s also the go-to way to add a new look, increase versatility or rekindle the love we have for a timepiece.
In my opinion, the MR01 by Baltic Watches is a great example of this. The watch plays mostly in dress watch territory but, depending on how it is worn, can easily give off a modern or playful vibe. However, the OEM strap is quite frankly the weakest part of an otherwise stunningly beautiful watch and I changed it immediately upon arrival.
With the upcoming drop of the long awaited second batch of the MR01 I can imagine a lot of you will do the same thing, so I tried to show a variety of possible combinations that range from classic looks to a less formal approach, picking up the broad versatility the watch has to offer.
The Grand Seiko SBGA211 “Snowflake” was a watch I admired as I started my watch journey in late 2019. It stood out with that pure white dial, subtle texture and blued seconds hand.
Fast forward two years and many watches later (yes the watch bug bit hard) and I found myself in a Grand Seiko authorized dealer for the first time during a weekend getaway. Seeing pictures of Grand Seiko is one thing, but experiencing them in the metal is a must. The dial details, Zaratsu finishing and light play are incredible. After trying several models, the “Snowflake” stood above the rest to me due in part to the beautiful white textured dial (which I believe is one of the best). Another key factor was being mesmerized by the blued seconds hand smoothly gliding over the white backdrop. I understand why it continues being a classic in Grand Seiko’s lineup years later.
I quickly found the “Snowflake” is a versatile watch deserving of a good strap, or two, or five. Like the diverse nature of the straps, I attempted to showcase them in a variety of settings. I hope you enjoy this guide as much as I enjoyed putting it together!
The Tudor Prince Date-Day (Ref: 76214) might be one of the classiest value for money options that one can get when first dipping one’s toes into the under S$5,000 price range. Not only does it come with all the quality guarantees that a renown company like Tudor offers, it also gives you a touch of precious metal with the white gold bezel and an actually interesting linen-esque dial, something that Rolex and Tudor gave up for years up until recently. The one downside of this piece is that despite being in production for the Hong Kong market up until 2020, the watch design harks from a time vintage times which brings with it a flimsy bracelet that will stretch relatively easily. The silver lining is that this watch is a strap monster, and that allows you to play with the wide range of strap options that Delugs has to offer. From a classic formal black Cordovan to a more casual Waxy brown to an occasion useful maroon Crazy Horse, the monochrome dial lends itself to virtually any strap that you are willing to try. So without further ado, lets get into it.
The SBGM221 is one of those watches that I instantly fell in love with. The creamy dial is much more complex than it would seem, going from a cappuccino brown to almost a porcelain egg shell. Whereas some watches are offered on strap and bracelet, this one was never meant to be on anything but leather. This, and the neutral dial makes it the prototypical ‘Strap Monster’.
A watch too dressy to be a sports watch, and too sporty to be a dress watch, it is the perfect business casual piece that can be dressed up or dressed down based on the strap. I anticipated the watch to take on a more casual or formal countenance with different straps, but what I didn’t expect when playing with the different options, was how much the dial changes with the strap colours.
While bracelet watches are all the craze these days, strap watches have always been my preference due to the ability to completely transform the look of a watch by changing the strap. The FP Journe Chronometre Bleu is probably the favourite strap watch that I have in my staple. The Chronometre Bleu’s ever-changing blue dial paired with the dark grey tantalum case means that it will look great with anything from a three piece suit to a shorts and t-shirt ensemble. It also truly deserves the title of a ‘strap monster’ since it handles straps of any colour or material that you throw at it with flying colours. As with all FP Journe watches, the Chronometre Bleu requires curved lug straps, which is normally quite challenging to find in the market. However, Delugs offers great curved lug straps in a variety of materials, which allows me to constantly change the look of this watch.
It was only December 2016 when I really started this hobby and stumbled across a Dutch watch forum and the Zenith El Primero. From the moment I saw that tricolore dial I was hooked. Who needs a Speedmaster when a beauty like the El Primero exists right? Soon my search started to get that grail and then it happened, the size, 42mm... A 17cm wrist like mine is not able to pull that off (imho) so I moved on feeling a bit sad as I truly loved those colorful sub dials. Half a year or so went by and I became a frequent contributer on that Dutch watch forum when on a certain day someone posted a wristshot of an El Primero. I had no idea, the Zenith was also available in 38mm! Feeling ecstatic the hunt was on again. Not much later a 1 year old El Primero was put up for sale at the forum. Without hestitation I sent the guy a message and the next day I drove down to pick it up. Stunning!
That particular El Primero turned out to be quite a strap monster. I enjoyed it a lot over the years and put all kinds of straps on it. Up to half a year ago. A watch buddy asked if I was interested in his spot on the waitinglist for the new El Primero Original. This newer version is closer to the original ZEP and I took the offer. The new OG (full ref: 03.3200.3600/69.C902) has, in my opinion, a nicer case and the dial is just looking a bit fresher. And don't forget that new El Primero movement boasting 1/10th of a second precision and time measurement. What's not to like about it!
Delugs approached me for a strap guide and of course as a 'strap guy' I had to play along. Enjoy!
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Geographic Sector dial was my first nice watch and as I felt I only ever needed one, I wanted to get a versatile one. Easy to both dress up or down, I’ve constantly changed the straps on it to suit my outfit and occasion and here are a few of my favourites.
Grand Seiko is a watch brand I am very fond of. It is well known for its nature-inspired dial work, its incredible case-finishing and also innovative movements. To me one technology Grand Seiko has that allows it to stand out amongst its peers is definitely the Spring Drive technology. Nowhere else will you find a sweep so smooth that there is absolutely no step in its movement even in slow-motion – truly mesmerizing. So, when the new 9RA2 with 5-day power reserve was announced, it was only going to be a matter of time before I would add one into the collection. When the original Hi-Beat White Birch came out, I found it a bit too flashy for my personal tastes, so when the subtler Spring Drive SLGA009 was released at the start of 2022, I just had to add this to my collection. With its much subtler dial texture, this watch has all the makings of being great with straps. So without further ado, allow me to showcase a few Delugs pairings that I believe allow this watch to truly shine!
In my journey of watch collecting, I find that a new set of straps can dramatically change the look and feel of your watch. Sometimes it’s almost like getting a new watch, except in the case of the Jaeger Le-Coultre Reverso Duo Face Small Seconds, you get two, new watches. In this guide I’ll be sharing my choices for five straps for nine different combinations of looks.
When Cartier revealed the new colorful Tank Must collection, I knew I had to get one. These minimalist pieces are similar to the Must de Cartier watches from the 80s that I simply adore. The smaller case and the minimal dial make this watch elegant and timeless. However, after purchasing this blue Tank, I wanted to see what it would look like with different straps. To my amazement, this piece is quite versatile, but before I dive into the various straps that I chose, let’s go with the basic information. The case size is 33.7 mm x 25.5 mm, and the lug width is 19mm. For reference, my wrist is 16.5cm/6.5,” and all straps are 19mm lug width. The OEM buckle can be fitted to these straps. The dial is a beautiful darker blue with a lacquer finish. And because it is a Tank, it has the signature cabochon crown.
Vacheron Constantin needs no introduction. The company had already celebrated its centennial anniversary before some of today’s most well-known watch brands even existed. So when the opportunity to pick up the quintessential Vacheron dress watch came up last year and I began weighing the pros and cons, I had one fear: I worried that I might not wear it enough due to how formal it is--for context, these typically come on black alligator straps. The thing about well-designed dress watches, however, is that they can easily be dressed up or down with a quick strap change. Follow along as I explore several options on the formality spectrum.