Ed Sheeran endorses straps from S’pore brand Delugs for his ‘priceless’ Patek Philippe watch


Delugs co-founders Kenneth Kuan and Chia Pei Qi personally handed Sheeran the straps backstage before his two sold-out performances. -DELUGS

SINGAPORE: British singing star Ed Sheeran, known for his love of watches, received new straps while he was in Singapore, thanks to home-grown watch strap brand Delugs.

The 33-year-old paired his luxury Patek Philippe timepiece with a navy blue Delugs strap while performing his second show in Singapore at the Capitol Theatre on Feb 17. He played at the National Stadium on Feb 16 to a record crowd of over 60,000.

Delugs co-founders Kenneth Kuan, 30 and Chia Pei Qi, 29, personally handed Sheeran the straps backstage before his two sold-out performances.

Sheeran also made a video posted on Delugs’ Instagram page in which he described the straps as “great”, “fantastic” and that he “loves it”.

Formed in 2018, Delugs specialises in luxury watch straps and accessories, and has a global customer base.

Married couple Kuan and Chia knew that Sheeran was an avid watch collector from seeing videos of his interviews. When they found out in October 2023 that he was coming to Singapore to perform as part of his +-=÷x Tour, they came up with a “crazy idea” to give him some Delugs straps.

They had no idea how to set up a meeting with the star, so they did not think much of the plan until two weeks before he was due to play his first show here. The pair, who were fans of Sheeran’s music, did not get tickets to his concerts, but a number of their staff did.

Chia says that with the deadline looming, they knew they had to take a shot. “Ken and I always have big dreams and crazy ideas. We knew that if we didn’t try, and (Sheeran) came and went, we’re always going to regret it.”

The company then prepared what they thought would be a perfect gift for Sheeran - a case with his +-=÷x Tour logo hand-painted on it. Inside was a curated set of rubber straps, which they knew the singer liked to wear while performing, for his various watch brands and models.

Sheeran has said that he prefers rubber straps because they are comfortable to wear even when he travels to places with humid weather. According to Kuan, the total value of the gift was approximately S$1,500.

On Feb 7, the company made a video posted on TikTok and Instagram, calling on their followers, customers and the global watch community to help them get Sheeran to pick up the gift from their showroom in Ubi.

The crowdsourcing strategy worked. The video eventually reached Sheeran’s United States-based watch dealer, who connected the pop artiste’s team with Delugs.

It was only on the morning of the Feb 16 concert that they finally heard from Sheeran’s team again, with details on the meeting with the singer backstage at the National Stadium.

According to the couple, this was part of a meet-and-greet with others who were also backstage, and their time with Sheeran only lasted about a minute.

Still, they managed to chat briefly with him, pass him the case and a note with details of the straps in it, and took a photo together which they then uploaded on Instagram. They were then ushered to their seats among the audience and watched the concert.

Before they met Sheeran, the couple chatted with members of the singer’s crew, who are also watch collectors. Kuan decided to gift them with straps too, so he met up with them at their hotel the following day at about 11am.

Says Kuan: “When they found out that it was very simple to install our straps, that they did not need any special tools, they got very excited.” They ended up chatting about watches for about an hour.

Soon after they parted, Sheeran’s crew contacted Kuan again, asking if he was free that night to help Sheeran install a Delugs strap on his watch.

At 7.30pm, Kuan and Chia found themselves backstage again, this time at the Capitol Theatre. The day also happened to be Sheeran’s birthday, and they could see that a party had just taken place there.

Says Kuan: “He approached me and said, ‘Ken, I really love what you’re doing, I saw our guys with your straps’.”

This time, the meeting lasted five minutes, and Sheeran showed keen interest in Delugs’ brand story and details of the straps they gifted him the day before. Kuan then helped him to install the strap on the watch that he eventually wore for the Capitol Theatre gig.

That Patek Philippe 5203G World Time timepiece, Mr Kuan says, is “priceless” because the Swiss luxury brand made a special version for Sheeran. It has unique details like the name of his hometown, Framlingham, among the time zones that can be read on the watch.

In an episode of video series Talking Watches by US-based watch website Hodinkee, which was hosted by American singer and fellow watch enthusiast John Mayer, Sheeran described it as “the coolest watch I own”.

Meeting up with Sheeran twice and getting his endorsement felt like a dream for husband and wife. Says Chia: “The whole experience was fascinating.” - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , Delugs , Ed Sheeran , watch , gift

   

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