Delugs CTS Rubber - A bloodshed review.
Mar 18, 2023,12:41 PM
Here is my review of the new Delugs CTS Rubber strap. I do want to preface this with that I bashed this product when I first saw it. Like, I really went after Delugs on social media calling them out on what I *thought* would be a really shitty strap. I ALSO want to mention that when I got wind that Delugs was making a rubber strap, I was really excited. I really like the Barton Silicon Elite straps but they aren't really "luxury" and they feel a little cheap (it's the stays that are the problem) so I was hoping for a better solution and I thought Delugs could deliver. When I saw the photos I thought, boy was I wrong about Delugs delivering...
Now this strap is about $200CAD plus duty, etc. It ain't cheap. The Barton is about $30 on Amazon. Just for reference.
So the CTS I got is a 22mm navy blue strap and I am going to put it on my SLGA007:
(What a handsome bugger, 'eh?)
So the strap arrived today and I'm all ready to go!
That's right. My tape holder IS badass.
Now a few things: 1) I forgot scissors. 2) The SLGA007 has lug holes so tape wasn't needed... What an amateur.
Oh, someone needs help alright...
As everyone knows, they give you THREE straps because, surly, you'll mess this up and there is no undo button. Or maybe not, more on this later. I was lucky, I didn't mess it up but cutting a strap to make it fit is a stupid, lazy design. When I pointed this out to Delugs, their answer was that Patek does this. Who cares? Because it's what Patek does that makes it good? The Ferrari 458 Italia was notorious for catching on fire, but I guess because it's a Ferrari, other brands should also strive to make cars that catch on fire, right? After all, it IS what Ferrari does.
This starts a theme with this strap, and Delugs. I feel like Delugs is run by "new money". That is to say, their view of luxury is based on what expensive brands do. They have no idea how to discern what an actual luxury is versus just what an expensive product. I picture them all sitting around the Delugs office wearing white T-shirts with VERSACE across the chest, an LV belt and Gucci high-tops, saying, "Bro" progressively more slowly to each other. Ich.
The first thing I noticed is that it's heavy.
Versus the Barton:
Remember when you were 13 years old and you heard that you can tell if it's a real Rolex because "it's heavy"? I guess Delugs thinks "heavy" means "quality". Really, "heavy" just means "heavy". The quality feels fine, I guess. It's rubber so, there you go. Not much to report really. It's about what you would expect. Nothing bad, nothing special.
Now I want to talk about this... Thing.
It's the same style clasp some very "high-end" watches use, namely Richard Mille and (sigh) MB&F. I am familiar with this style of clasp so when I saw this, I knew the problems yet to come... A very true, and sad, story: after getting my LM101, and hating the clasp, I reached out to MB&F to ask if they had a suggestion. They knew my problem well, and right away acknowledged it was a very common complaint and suggested I but the loop and pin buckle. Why not switch your supplier, I can't help but think.
But what's bad about it? Well, the popping on and off as in the video's has all the joy of a slap bracelet to start. It feels stupid unless you are a 13 year old girl in 1991. But maybe that's me. Let's talk about this edge here:
It is REALLY sharp. Really, really sharp. On both sides. And it's right up against your wrist. My MB&F has scrapped my skin raw on warm days. Seriously. It's like having a knife blade pressed up against the bottom on your wrist. It's beyond me how this design is still make. Bevel this blood edge you masochistic idiots!
Anyway, I got the bracelet off my watch and was ready for the next step:
Delugs uses quick-release spring bars, which are AWESOME. Until they aren't. In an effort, I assume, to make the strap as heavy as possible, they made it as thick as possible. As such, the little pin you push to use the quick release is well...
Let's call it "inaccessible". 10 points for thoughtlessness, Delugs. But I got it on the watch and after much cutting (me to the strap, for now) I got it about down to size:
Here's the thing with cutting a strap: it's permanent. It's cold out today, being winter, so I know my wrist is a little smaller than it will be in the 30C, 75% humidity weather of the summer. So the strap is too loose. In the summer it will be probably about right, but right now, it's annoying and, frankly uncomfortable because the watch moves around. Which ALSO makes that sharp edge scrape on the inside of my wrist...
It's on there and it looks... Okay. I guess the design is a personal choice but it is really bland:
So what was I hoping for? I am bashing the strap and clasp, but could I have done better? Frankly, I believe so.
When Apply released the Apple Watch they rethought the strap in the most brilliant way. The silicon strap that Apple makes feels incredible. I'm sure most of you have felt it but THAT'S a luxurious feeling rubber strap. It's solid and dense with nice flexibility and a great textured feel. The way they manage the tail of the strap, without stays, is... Immaculate. Delugs, if you are going to copy someone, copy Apple.
Also, it's $60CAD. What the heck, Delugs?!
Before anyone assumes I have an issue with Delugs, I don't. I actually love their straps (just not this one) and I own many Delugs straps:
I, in fact, really like them, which makes the CTS all the more disappointing.
Now, I know some of you think I am making a mountain out of a molehill here but I've had the strap on my watch for about 2 hours and already it is driving me nuts and I will probably be back to the bracelet before sun-down. The strap is slightly too big (again, because I don't want to over cut as come summer it will be way too tight). I may cut one more section and use the third section for the summer. But that's a terrible solution if you ask me... Strap holes were a perfect solution to a problem that Delugs seems to have re-invented...
Now, I did NOT do this on purpose, but sometimes things work out. After cutting the strap and installing the clasp I went to put the strap on and, you know those wonderful "leaf springs"?
They bite. Badly.
This strap is a total piece of crap. Save your $200. Buy a Barton.
Shame on you Delugs for designing such a half baked, lazy product.
This message has been edited by patrick_y on 2023-03-18 14:54:37