Strap up with the NATO – Nato Straps for your watch10:33 am
Most of us are picky when it comes to choosing a watch with the ‘perfect’ strap but how often do we stumble upon a watch with a strap can be changed whenever you want, without having to go to a watch store or repairman to have it replaced? You might have never heard of the term “NATO Straps” before but we’re more than sure you’ve definitely seen one. Yes NATO straps are a part of a rage that has taken the watch industry by storm in recent years.
It wouldn’t be fair to call this accessory a ‘cheap addition’, however, NATO straps are a trending item in the watch industry and can be found not only on a Swatch but even on a Rolex Submariner. Some watch enthusiasts may even dismiss the idea of putting a Rs. 1000 strap on an expensive timepiece, but ask any connoisseur and they’ll tell you that NATOs are a fun, functional and quickly interchangeable way to show off your watch.
While the straps have become fairly ubiquitous, their origin can be traced back in time.First things first, they were never a part of the NATO forces in Europe! They were, in fact, commissioned by the British Ministry of Defense in 1973:
These straps were meant to meet a very specific criteria for watches designed for soldiers, coming in a single gray color and were obviously not meant for civilians. But times have changed:
What brought the NATO strap to fame was it being spotted on Sean Connery’s wrist, in James Bond’s Goldfinger. The strap was notable because of its navy blue color with red and green stripes, fairly unusual for that time because one didn’t expect a Rolex to adorn a strap made of fabric. But alas, it became famous and many watch enthusiasts started labeling the strap as the “Bond NATO”.
The strap has made a return in the latest upcoming James Bond Movie, “Spectre”.
So apart from being just another fabric strap, what puts the NATO apart from the rest?
No doubt that the strap makes the watch really light. Mariners, armed forces, professional pilots, F1 racers, all prefer a NATO strap watch which thus makes it best suited for people on the move.
Gives your watch a Military-style cred and an individual identity
These can be fit on almost any watch, so you can give your old, maybe neglected timepiece a military twist! With so many colors and designs to choose from, the uniqueness of the watch is entirely in your hands.
Doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket
Most NATO straps are very affordable, but the price isn’t always a true indicator of its quality.They come in varying degrees of quality and a good one will last you for many years.Do make sure you check the quality of the strap before purchasing it!
Change them with ease
And because they are NATO straps, it is very simple to change them without tools or fear of damaging the watch, which means you can change your strap on a daily basis to suit your mood and wardrobe.
Once you get the hang of strap changing, you’ll find your options are endless and you’ll be changing straps to match your clothes or suit your activities. Thought of adding one to your prized Seamaster or TAG? The possibilities are endless. NATO strap watches are of course a personal choice, but if you do chose to be a part of this colorful – military rage, you can be rest assured your watch will never go out of fashion.
Features Writer, The Watch Guide
Rahul is a watch and sports lover currently living in New Delhi. Having worked as a journalist and a copywriter previously, he is now thrilled to be a part of a team that loves, lives and breathes wristwatches. After joining Ethos and The Watch Guide team, his interest for the world of horology grew and is now completely and hopelessly hooked on watches.