A tale of straps: Review of straps paired with the Datograph Perpetual
What does one do after completing a crazy hunt for a watch? He goes crazy hunting for the perfect strap to pair it with. At least, that's what happened to me in the past month.
Lange does a perfect job with its watches, but the default brown strap that came with the Datograph Perpetual never felt "right" to me. Even before I obtained the watch, the more logical choices were grey and blue. So I swapped the brown with my 20mm Barton straps immediately after purchase.
To sum up straps from Barton: value for money, no-frills, gets the job done. And given the price point, one can go crazy getting multiple straps without breaking the bank. However, it would be found wanting if one demands the highest level of craftsmanship and quality.
And that's where Delugs come into the picture.
It took me a while, but I only discovered this brand after starting the strap hunt, which is all the more ironic given that both Delugs and I are from Singapore. Once I chanced upon its website though, there's no turning back. While it's a pity that there's no showroom to view the straps in person, I put my faith in the studio pictures and glowing reviews, and placed an order for a Glossy Grey Crocodile which swiftly arrived within a couple of days.
My trust was not misplaced. Delugs got the shade of grey and the degree of gloss just right, and the strap looks even better in person. The strap is extremely supple, and was an immediate joy on the wrist without a break-in period. The stitch work is immaculate, and the beautiful graining of the crocodile skin is wonderfully presented in the most natural manner. The grey intensifies the monochromatic side of the Datograph Perpetual, making it suitable for dressier occasions.
The lining is crafted with Zermatt leather from Haas tannery, which I understand from Ken, the founder of Delugs, as being specially developed for use as a lining material. The comfort is apparent immediately upon wear, and stays comfortable throughout a day of wear. The exceptional quality is further reflected in the more discreet quick-release spring bar, which is barely noticeable as compared to the Barton shown in the earlier picture.
I rank this above the original strap from Lange, as well as other 3rd party straps I previously purchased from very established European strap makers. I was so pleased with it that I immediately placed a second order for a matte Alligator in Boreal Green.
The second strap was a confirmation of the consistency of Delugs' quality. However, the variance in color brought out a very different side of the Datograph Perpetual. Visually speaking, the Boreal Green is more of cross between dark green and navy blue, and really brings out the blue elements of the watch, namely the blued hands, moonphase display and night indicator.
If I have to quibble, the only thing I wish was available from Delugs is a slightly lighter shade of blue from its current navy blue offerings, which are too dark for my liking. Ironically, the Barton navy blue (right most strap in the following picture) meets my preference better in that aspect. If Ken from Delugs happen to read this and produce a crocodile strap in that shade of blue, I will place my order in an instant.
Thank you for bearing with me in this long read. The honeymoon continues!