Fall in love with your tool watches again. Swap out the bracelet and a Nato watch straps on, you’ll be amazed at how fresh and different your watch looks on our premium grade nato straps.
A fantastic and inexpensive way to freshen up your wristwatch is to put a nato watch strap on it. You can slap on a nato strap on a £30 Timex Weekender or a £4000 Omega Speedmaster Planet Ocean. NATO straps are versatile and inexpensive; most watch owners amass an extensive collection to throw on any watch for any occasion.
A nato watch strap is a fantastic investment, they last forever, and they’re so easy to slip on and slip off. Some of our premium NATO straps are sleek enough to be worn smart.
How did NATO watch straps get their name?
Contrary to what people might presume from the name, nato straps weren’t invented or named after the NATO alliance. The word NATO came from the stock number G1098 from the NATO form in the ministry of defence. G1098 was a bit of a mouthful, so soldiers started to refer to it as a NATO strap. The rest was history.
What is a NATO strap, and how is it used?
A nato strap is a one-piece nylon strap that slips over the spring bar under the caseback and back over the other spring bar. Its purpose is to provide redundancy; if one of the spring bars were to fail (break), the watch wouldn’t fall off the wrist and remaining hanging on your wrist by the one remaining spring bar.
You may be wondering what good is a wristwatch that is left flapping around on your wrist? Consider the usefulness of this under diving conditions. If your watch gets snagged underwater, causing a spring bar to break. The watch would slip off your wrist and go dive bombing right to the bottom of the sea before you could notice it.
The nato strap’s other qualities are comfortable for extended use, waterproof, lightweight, nonreflective, inexpensive, suitable for hot weather, making them ideal for military use.
Modern nato watch straps have moved away from their functional cosmetics. They come in a dazzling array of colours, country flag natos, bond natos, plain natos, and NATOs in premium ‘HD’ fabrics. HD because they are natos woven in ultra-thin threads to give them a seatbelt like texture.
Can any watch use a NATO strap?
The colour choices of NATO straps make them versatile; NATO straps suit just about any tool or casual watch. They seem to go best with divers, field watches, and pilot watches with a conventional lug system. NATOs need a watch to have standard width lugs such as an 18mm, 20mm or 22mm lug. An Oris Aquis with its integrated lug system would not work with a nato.
It is considered a crime to put a nato on a dress watch! If we find out you’ve ordered a nato to put on a Rolex Datejust, we will cancel your order!
NATO straps are not suitable for dress watches because they start to fray a little on the ends and the belt buckle holes. They develop a patina from wear and form a more rugged appearance over time. Besides, a nato strap on a dress watch looks odd.
Swiss watch companies endorsing nato strap
Swiss watch companies have decided to bank in on the popularity of nato straps, and the likes Omega, Tudor, Oris produce their nato straps, retailing £200+ apiece. Both Omega and Oris produce watches where the primary strap is a nato, case in point Oris 65, and Omega Titanium Seamaster. One has to wonder whether it is worth paying a small fortune for an inexpensive nato strap. We have the highest quality natos selling here for £15.
As a watch enthusiast myself, I would always advise anyone who wants to buy a swiss watch to go for the steel bracelet option and then purchase an aftermarket NATO to put on. The steel bracelet is tough & expensive to buy later on. The bracelet gives the watch the highest resell value. Natos, whether branded or not, are all the same and can be easily replaced. [read article]
Unbranded NATOs but the same quality as swiss brands
Why spend £150-£200 on a designer nato strap when you can buy the quality nato strap from us for £15? Why pay all that extra for a signed buckle and a middleman tax.
We buy direct from the factory where the strap gets made, and we sell direct to the public here in the UK (and EU). Our prices are the lowest you’ll find for the quality of the product. We’re a small business owned by watch enthusiasts who spend hours every day ogling at watch forums, Instagram, and watch youtube channels. Watches and NATO straps are our passion.
All the colors, hardware, materials are hand-picked by us.
As watch enthusiasts, we know the feeling of ordering watches/straps and eagerly waiting for the delivery, which is why we send all orders out first class on the same day of the order. If we can get the straps in your hands the following day, we sleep well.