Ah, the NATO strap. It’s a wonderful way to add more excitement to your watch, whether with color or just to differentiate yourself from your dad’s bulky, sweaty and stuffy steel watch band.
For watch owners, the military-inspired NATO strap can convey a sense of adventure, style and ruggedness. Technically speaking, it’s a one-piece strap that slides underneath the case so your skin doesn’t touch the metal. And while we still love a solid metal band, it’s nice to change things up a little. So with that, we bring you the best of the best in NATO straps.
Barton Watch NATO Band
The sky’s the limit on the color combinations from Barton, who offer colorful ballistic nylon straps at varied width (18mm-24mm). Of course, the simplicity of a white band with single black stripe is too classic for us to pass up. This Austin-based (that’s right, Texas) strap-maker offers quality straps at a reasonable price.
BluShark Orca NATO Strap
This NATO strap adds just enough color to bring attention to any timepiece without overwhelming it. The navy blue color—our favorite—works well with nearly all watch colors, particularly orange and gray dials. As with all Orca straps, this one is made with thick 1.5mm high-grade ballistic nylon and stainless steel hardware and come in 20mm and 22mm sizes.
Hodinkee Beige Leather NATO Watch Strap
Hodinkee offers these thin leather NATOs designed with 1940s and ’50s chronographs in mind. They are true vintage-oriented straps that can really set off a watch. They are hand-distressed to give you that pre-war look and blend style and casualness. Classic, rugged, and sturdy? Sign us up.
BARTON Leather NATO Style Watch Strap
These top-grain leather Zulu watch straps represent the business end of Barton’s NATO collection. The leather portrays slightly more sophistication than their nylon counterparts, while still portraying a hint of vintage playfulness. Cleanly designed with minimal bulk and a precise fit, the Brown Leather NATO Style Watch Strap is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Infantry NATO Watch Strap
Simple, durable and affordable, this no-nonsense strap from Infantry features nylon and four stainless steel buckles. Two color options we love—black or green—offer a more subtle look for those not wanting to sport a more vibrant combination. They offer both 20mm and 22mm options.
Crown & Buckle Supreme NATO
This 20mm strap is high-tech. The top-grade ballistic nylon is devoid of any perceptible ridges like a traditional NATO nylon weaving. This means the nylon surface is completely smooth, and the feel in your hand is similar to an automotive seat belt. The 316L stainless steel keepers feature machined beveled corners, and a flat profile, giving them a more angular and rugged look. The result? A comfortable, durable strap with touches that set it apart from the crowd.
The Admiral Z5 NATO Strap with PVD Hardware
This 18mm strap is smooth buckskin shaded leather that blends nicely with the black hardware. It’s a classic color combination that should make any stainless steel watch pop against it.
Clockwork Synergy Classic NATO
If you’re looking for some funny colors and crazy designs, check out Clockwork Synergy Straps. They offer a huge variety of these nylon beauties at a reasonable price that will allow you play around with various styles…including “Pride Rainbow” and one that’s patterned after the state flag of Maryland. Because why not.
Omega NATO Strap
If money isn’t a problem—you’re looking at $180-ish—and you have to have an official Omega NATO strap to match your Omega, head over to their site to see their many offerings. The cool part is that Omega’s website allows you to see how your watch will look with each specific strap. It’s a nice way to sample the options. The straps are made of polyamide, a textile made of synthetic fibers that offers good tensile strength as well as resistance to abrasion.
Apple Spicy Orange Check Woven Nylon
OK, so this isn’t technically a NATO strap, but it’s close enough. And as much as we’re on the fence about “digital” watches, it’s hard to ignore that even they can be enhanced by a great strap. And it’s Apple, so you know it’s going to be good. In fact, every woven nylon band is made from more than 500 threads woven together in a unique, colorful pattern. Monofilaments connect four layers of the weave to create a single durable band with a comfortable, fabric-like feel. This color is available in 38mm and 42mm.
Daniel Wellington Classic Glasgow NATO Strap
Daniel Wellington know their NATO straps, and they deliver up an assortment of colorful options. They offer a classic look that combines a metal, silver-colored link with a comfortable polyester strap. But for our tastes, nothing is as classic as their Glasgow.
Zuludiver Swiss Style Premium NATO Strap
The first stainless steel keeper is movable to help you secure the strap tail exactly as you want it. As with all Swiss-style NATOs, you get a strap that’s simultaneously durable, easily changeable, strong and great for sporting activities. Sizes include 20mm and 22mm. If this colorful royal navy is too flashy for your style, we also love the solid desert sand option as well.
Tanner Goods Nato Watch Strap
This black Cordovan NATO strap is sourced from some of the toughest, most durable leather in Tuscany. Each NATO strap is cut from a single piece from 4/5oz. Cordovan and features matte stainless Zulu keepers and a custom buckle. Each is sewn by hand with waxed thread.
Vintage Bond NATO Watch Strap
“Bond…James Bond.” OK, so maybe you can’t say it, but at least your strap can. The Vintage Bond is the original nylon watch strap worn by James Bond (Sean Connery) in Goldfinger. While the black and gray style worn by Daniel Craig in Spectre has been known as the Bond strap for some time, the black, olive, and red pattern of the Vintage Bond is the original James Bond watch strap. Sizes available in 18mm, 20mm, 22mm, and 24mm.
CIVO Leather Watch Bands Handmade NATO Zulu Military Swiss G10 Style Strap
This soft water buffalo leather is naturally tanned with special oil. And if you scratch up the leather, it just makes it look better. That is, if you enjoy a vintage distressed look like we do. Of course, if distressed isn’t your thing, just rub the leather and the scratches fade away. Available sizes are 20mm and 22mm.
All above images from sourced links.
Courtesy of: Watchient.
Style suggestion: A watch pairs well with some great hiking boots.