NATO straps can be seen almost anywhere you go. They come in all sizes, shapes, and models, but there are more to them than just being a piece of textile. They have a history, and different types should be worn for different occasions.
The watch strap industry is a fast developing market that has evolved a lot over the years, and grown explosive-like, over a very short period of time – and the NATO strap market in particular. This is a sign that the interest and demand for different watch straps is bigger than ever.
Today, there are different types of NATO straps on the market. More correctly, there is a tremendous amount of NATO straps on the market – and because there are so many to choose from, it can be difficult to know which straps you should choose for your watch, for which occasion
In this article, we’ll give you our recommendations on some of the most popular NATO straps, talk about the history of the strap, how it was born, and how you can wear them yourself.
All you Need To Know About NATO Watch Straps
You probably know what a NATO strap is. Or, at least have seen one. These are the most popular and widely-used additional straps among all watch straps models you can choose from.
However, if you don’t know what a NATO strap is, let’s take a look at the history of them.
NATO straps are made of nylon cords and come in all types of colors and patterns. The strap also has a very basic buckle that lets you lock the watch to your wrist.
The history of NATO straps
NATO straps have quite a lot of history and their official birth can be traced down to an exact period in the history.
The word “NATO” comes is a shortening of “NATO Stocking Number (NSN)”
The NATO straps debuted in 1973 where British soldiers had to fill out a form and then go to their nearest supplier to be handed one.
Because the NATO straps were going to be worn in tough conditions, they needed to have some clever functions that would make sure the watch was sitting at the right spot at all times. This is why, even to this day, NATO straps has an extra keeper, so that if one spring bar would fail, the watch would still be secured. The second “keeper” which allows you to put the strap through a second time also limits how much the watch can move on the wrist, making sure it stays where it needs to be.
The NATO strap we use today has not changed a lot, considering that a lot of years have passed since its debut. Of course, there are NATO straps that have gone its own and used all-black buckles or even 18kt gold buckles, yet still, for the most part, the NATO straps that are being sold today are actually very similar to the debuting ones in 1973.
A big difference though is that the NATO straps are available in countless of different colors and patterns, so you can be sure to find a strap that looks good on your watch, compared to when they were launched, when you could only get them in one color.
NATOs are straps that go well with almost any watch. They can be seen on the cheapest gas station watches, they can be seen on every Rolex model you can imagine, and they can also be seen on the most expensive Patek Philippes. It really is a strap for everyone.
NATO straps are a fun and easy way to give your watch a new look and personality. They are easy to change, and also cheap to buy. Thereby, buying a few straps in different colors and patterns is really a great way to give your watch a new life, and make it easy to match with your daily outfits.
When building your collection of NATO-straps, you should pick a few different ones for the most common occasions you wear them to. If you want to keep it more discrete, a strap in a discrete color such as black or navy blue is a great choice. Based on the watch you’re wearing the strap on, it can make for a really stylish combo if you match the color of the strap with something on the watch. For example, if you’re wearing a watch with red hands, matching that with a red NATO strap can really enhance your whole look. When you want to go completely bright and bold with your outfit, you can put on a NATO in bright colors or with some unique striped. Which you choose really comes down to what occasion you’re going to, and how you’re feeling.
Here are our NATO-strap recommendations:
A conservative navy blue strap that goes well with any watch and occasion. Get it here!
A bright and bold NATO strap that will add interest to whatever you’re wearing and handsomely offset your watch. Get it here!
The iconic James Bond NATO strap. A must have in every watch enthusiast’s strap collection.
Get it here!
Why NATO straps have become popular
First of all, the safety aspect.
If a spring bar were to break, and you are wearing your watch on a bracelet, it would drown instantly to the floor, most likely denting the watch, and potentially also break the glass.
Depending on what type of watch you have, how high you drop it from, and what type of material the bedding is made of, the damage will vary, however, it’s safe to say that your watch will be damaged if the spring bar were to break and you wore it on a bracelet. Imagine that if you had a $50,000 Patek Philippe. In this case, the NATO strap works as a very cheap insurance, because if one spring would break, the watch will still be attached to your wrist thanks to the second safety loop.
Another reason why NATO straps are so incredibly popular is that they are durable. NATO straps are normally made of a material that doesn’t mind getting wet or dirty (nylon), and if they would, they can easily be washed. Also, some people are afraid of getting their new bracelet scratched, and might also choose a NATO for this reason.
Thirdly, NATO straps are much cheaper than most other types of straps. Because they are cheap, a lot of people can get many of them, and in that way match the strap with the daily outfit.
The last reason why NATO straps have become so popular is that they are so easy to match with your daily style. NATO straps go well with basically any outfit because there are so many to choose from.
Explore the whole range of NATO straps to see if you find some straps you like.