If you frequent social media, there’s a good chance that you’ve run across the Delugs rubber CTS straps recently. The brand is making a splash for the summer season and has released some new models and colors. Full disclosure: Delugs sent me a handful of straps for review. Specifically, I requested straps for my Ming watches and Tudor Black Bay 58.

Rubber straps are a funny thing. I don’t wear them often. When I do, it’s typically during summer and involves water. However, if I’m not heading to the water and it’s hot, a rubber strap is often sticky on the wrist. However, FKM rubber has helped the situation and does a nice job of warding off dust. With that in mind, it sounded like fun when Delugs asked us to review some FKM straps with a convenient buckle system.

Choosing Tudor and Ming for the Delugs review

The Delugs site shows several cut-to-size (CTS) straps currently on offer. The brand sells straight- and curved-end straps along with model-specific rubber straps. I chose straps to fit my Tudor Black Bay 58 925 and my collection of Ming watches. The reason is fairly simple. The sterling silver Tudor is one of my favorite watches, and because it’s made of such an oddball metal, it’s fun to pair it with different straps. Plus, the lug holes are far from the case, so not all straps look great. The Ming watches, on the other hand, work best with curved spring bars. Aside from the collection of Jean Rousseau for Ming straps I own, I thought it would be fun to try a third-party strap. I’m happy to discuss the results, the pros, and the cons.

The Delugs CTS system

I received a small padded envelope from Delugs with the straps and buckles. All were beautifully and separately packaged in reusable sleeves or boxes and felt premium. A QR code inside the package leads to an instructional site on how to fit the straps. I particularly liked the line, “We do understand the fear and trepidation of making a permanent modification to your strap, and that’s where this guide comes in.” This describes my exact sentiments when thinking about straps that cannot be “undone.”

Still, I followed the instructions and began cutting segments from each side using a utility knife. As an aside, for all the EDC geeks who share a love of watches, here’s a chance to break out your knife! After some trial and error, I settled on leaving the strap one segment longer on the top side to obtain the perfect fit. The straps connect easily to the spring-loaded butterfly buckle, and each side has one micro-adjustment hole. The process of sizing the strap was common to both styles. Now, let’s discuss the Delugs CTS for each use case.

Ming and the Delugs CTS

If you’ve followed my writing to any degree, you know that I’m a big fan of Ming watches. The brand’s clean, innovative designs almost always tempt me with every new release. I own several of them in different formats and materials, but the pieces I own all share 20mm lug gaps and a need for curved spring bars. Ming has done a nice job developing a bracelet and many strap options. There are even waterproof, rubberized straps that work well in the pool. For a while, though, I’ve wanted an outright sporty rubber strap to pair with these watches, so the Delugs CTS was a nice opportunity.

What I like about these Delugs straps is that they’re incredibly plain. The matte finish and slightly raised edges sum up the details. That works well with the Ming aesthetic because the straps don’t steal from the dial and case design. The straps leave a slight gap between the lug holes and the case, which is consistent with how an OEM Ming strap fits. The quick-release spring bars work nicely and feel solid. Regarding the clasp, I like the secure leaf-spring butterfly closure that omits bulky push buttons and other overblown systems. Its only fault is some unevenness where the two sides come together.

I tried the Delugs straps on several Ming models, ranging from the 18.01 diver to the 22.01 GMT. All looked good because of the smart, simple styling. Plus, it gave me a new, comfortable, and lightweight option. Regarding wear in the heat, we haven’t had loads of warm weather in England so far, but I’ve sized these straps one segment too large. This allows for wrist swelling. When my wrist is smaller, the strap still isn’t floppy, and the rubber is grippy enough without feeling clammy. These are great options that will allow me to wear my Ming watches even more.

Tudor and the Delugs CTS

The Tudor Black Bay 58 925 is one of my favorite go-to watches. I don’t baby it, and it has held up well despite its unorthodox case material. It looks great on all straps, and I’ve even thrown it on a steel Forstner Model J. Delugs makes a specially designed CTS strap for the 58, so I gave it a try. This is a different style of strap from the curved-end model. The strap is over-molded and has a stiff core to provide strength near the lug area. It also conforms exactly to the case design for a seamless fit.

Installing the strap wasn’t easy, and I used a combination of the quick-release tab and a spring bar tool to push the end of the spring bar into place. If that concerns you on a silver watch, perhaps it’s best to stick to the steel models with this strap. Still, once the strap was in place, it looked fantastic and felt even better. This model contains two raised ridges that look nice but tend to show dirt on the lighter gray and white versions that I tried.

Because the Delugs CTS strap for the Black Bay is fitted to the case, it wears more like a cuff or rigid bracelet. That doesn’t mean it’s uncomfortable, but it’s different than the regular curved-end model. I was also concerned that the strap would bow outward from the case because of its stiffness, but this isn’t the case. It conforms well and is pliable just below the lugs. Again, the clasp worked very well and felt great in the pool. It showed slightly more unevenness where the two sides of the clasp meet. I’ve previously worn the Tudor on Tropic-like straps, but the Delugs CTS is a classier option that works nicely in the heat.

Pros and cons

I don’t have a lot of negative comments about the Delugs CTS straps. They’re bona fide options for the watches I chose and will be used in the future. These straps are comfortable, well made, and complement each watch’s design. They’re great in water and in the heat too! Regarding cons, the fear of cutting a strap is easy to get past once the process starts. The uneven edges where the buckle meets may be offputting for some, but it’s the result of torsion from the wrist on either side of the clasp. If it were stiffer or had a firm locking mechanism, the strap wouldn’t be as comfortable. Besides, I didn’t find the edges too sharp, but perhaps they could be rounded off in the future.

On the Tudor models, I’d probably choose a darker color to help ward off any evidence of grime, but soap and water would also solve the issue. Finally, I like to store my watches in flat rolls, which these straps do not allow. That’s a small nit to pick, but it’s worth considering for travel if bringing several watches. Of course, they’re easy enough to remove and, other than on the Tudor, easy to install.

Final thoughts

Then, there’s the price, which could be deemed a challenge for some and perfectly acceptable by others. The Tudor strap sells for €173, and the curved-end straps list for €155. A host of buckle finish choices are included in the price. That’s not inexpensive, but Delugs deals in premium straps and is aiming at competitors like Everest. Besides, the tailored models do require bespoke tooling and work regarding design. These also feel like they’ll last for a long time. In that regard, if you’re looking for a comfortable, classy strap to take on vacation with one of your favorite watches, a Delugs CTS is a worthy choice.