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The Delugs Story

Our Beginnings

2016: We started off as leathercrafters. Working with all kinds of leather, day in and day out. Fussing over the tools of the trades, experimenting with new crafting techniques. Crafting straps, belts, wallets, pouches, purses, clutches, bags. Honing our craft, developing patterns, and creating handmade pieces that are as pretty as they are functional.

We were also watch collectors. Starting with a modest Seiko, our love for mechanical timepieces quickly blossomed into an addiction a hobby. Admiring the finishing of the case and movement, watching the balance wheel rotate back and forth, and marvelling at how all that engineering fits into something so tiny that sits on your wrist.

The common thread in our love for leathercrafting and mechanical timepieces was obvious. Amidst all the technological advancements, in the world where almost anything and everything can be done on a computer, there was something romantic about the idea of creating something with your bare hands, or winding the crown and watching the watch spring into life.

The Idea for Delugs

2018: As we started making more leather watch straps for personal use and for fellow collectors, we realised that many collectors were strapping their treasured timepieces with poorly made straps that, frankly, did not deserve to be paired with such a beautiful watch. Most collectors thought that this was how leather watch straps were - that after a few months of use, the leather will start to peel and crack, and you would just have to buy another strap to replace it.

While doing our market research on the leather strap market, we realised that there was a gap, and an opportunity, for us to do something different. On the one hand, you have the large watch accessories and strap brands, offering ready made straps at low prices but using leather and construction of questionable quality. And on the other, you have the artisanal leathercrafters. These crafters know the best leather and materials available on the market. They know the construction method that is the most durable, the "best". They are able to custom make anything - any material, any size. But because of the skill needed and complexity in making watch straps, these straps were often extremely expensive with long wait-time of a few months.

So we thought to ourselves - how can we best bring our experience and knowledge in leathercrafting to deliver value to the watch community? Can we train a group of leathercrafters to craft the straps like traditional leathercrafters do, but make the straps in large enough quantities to justify getting specialised tools and equipment, developing new processes and procedures? By specialising in leather watch straps, we would dramatically increase productivity in handcrafting a leather strap, and hence be able to offer these high-quality straps at much lower costs.

Thus began the story of Delugs.

The New Standard

Delugs was launched in 2018 with a small, curated collection of leather straps, made using the best leather that we knew - Shell Cordovan, Chromexcel, Buttero, Epsom. Sales was slow to begin with, but as more people began to buy, use and experience what a quality strap truly felt like, word quickly spread in chat groups, communities and on social media.

Starting with mostly Made-to-Order straps, we rapidly expanded our offering of ready stock handcrafted straps, removing the typical waiting time of weeks or months. We provided a range of width and sizes that most people weren't used to seeing, catering to the needs of almost all watch collectors. We brought in new leather that the larger watch community had never been exposed to - Babele, Pueblo, Waxy, Russian Hatch Grain.

Beyond our products, we also aspired to provide an online shopping experience that was enjoyable and fun. Through our Instagram, we showed people how straps could elevate the look of a watch, educated people about leathercrafting and offered a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes that many people were curious about. We offered lifetime warranty on our products with a generous returns policy. We ship worldwide via courier to ensure that you get your straps within a week or less, even quicker than domestic shipping. We launched the Delugs Design Competition to test your creativity and challenge the skills our crafters. We created our Custom Strap Builder to allow you to easily place your custom strap order online. We launched our Strap Finder to get around the problem of not knowing how exactly your watch would look with different straps.

Our Core Values

1. Customer First

 

We will always place you, the customer, at the forefront of our minds. A supportive customer base is like oxygen to any business - the business can survive for a while without the support of its customers, but not for long. We will not sabotage our long-term relationship with you, in order to gain one extra sale. While we might be a brand, the individuals behind this brand are also a consumers, and know what poor customer service feels like.

 

We will also be responsive to any question or comment that you may have. You can also reach us via multiple channels (Instagram, Whatsapp, email), whichever suits you best. Because we recognise that as a relatively young brand, working in a space where the products are not straightforward (Does your strap fit my watch? How do I order a custom strap?), you will have questions about how this will work. And we are here to answer those questions.

 

2. Quality Always

 

We will always strive to deliver the best possible products. We take pride in our craft, in our straps, in our business. We will use only top quality material and leather, and we will not take shortcuts in how we craft. It may save us some money, but you can definitely tell the difference in quality. If we're going to do something, we are going to do it well.

 

We will also design our products thoughtfully, and not just put something out for sale just because we can make a quick buck. We will study what's on the market, find out what is good and bad about it, and make improvements to the design so that we are providing a better product than what is already on the market.

 

3. Fair Prices

 

We will price our products fairly, based on our costs and the prices of other comparable products. While this means that we will not price our products at exorbitant levels (even though our quality and offering does allow us to do so), we will also not undercut ourselves. While low prices is good for the consumer in the short run, in the long run, this is unsustainable to any business, and hence the watch community will have one less brand to purchase from.

 

Profits allow us to continue investing in research and development, developing new straps, new accessories, new tools, and also allow us to invest in our leathercrafters. It allows us to think big, and imagine what else we can offer to the watch community. If you value the work and products that we put out, we hope you will consider showing your support through making a purchase.

 

4. Always Improving

 

As the saying goes, if you're not progressing, you're regressing. So keep moving forward. We are here to build a brand and community, and not just here to make a quick buck. We are committed to the long game, and that means always looking ahead and doing things better.

 

We will always improve. We will always be releasing new products, trying new materials, exploring different techniques. We will be on more channels, creating new media to showcase our products, educating the community, showing and not just telling. We will improve our systems, our processes, our packaging and delivery. And we will do this with your help, feedback and inputs!