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What Is A NATO Watch Strap?

What Is A NATO Watch Strap?

Introduced by The British Ministry of Defence in 1973, the NATO watch strap is a one piece watch strap but secured to the watch in two separate points. It works by a single piece of material (nylon, leather or rubber) slipping between the watch face’s lugs, under the case back, and securing the watch by a buckle. 

With a NATO strap fitted, your watch is guaranteed to be more safe and secure than any other type of strap. The design of the NATO strap means should one spring bar fail then the second spring bar will keep the watch attached to the strap.  

The 3 Different Types Of NATO Watch Straps 

Nylon NATO Watch Straps

NATO watch straps are typically made from woven Nylon, and are a great alternative to a leather watch strap or metal bracelet.

This type of NATO strap is incredibly popular for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they are considered to be one of the most comfortable watch straps available. They are also durable, water resistant, affordable, and come in a wide array of colours and designs to suit any unique taste. They’re simple enough for even the most inexperienced watch owner to change out. Thus, the NATO strap is a great way to switch up the look and feel of your watch. 

NATO Watch Strap with Polished Buckle and Keepers

What Is A NATO Watch Strap?

These nylon NATO watch straps are comfortable, breathable and a great alternative to the metal bracelet or leather strap on your watch. 

At Watch Obsession, we stock a wide variety of nylon NATO straps so you can choose from hundreds of colours, styles and patterns to suit your individual taste and occasion. 


Leather NATO Watch Straps 

What Is A NATO style Watch Strap?

Leather NATO straps are another popular type of NATO strap.

High quality leather can give your NATO strap a smart, luxurious feel and can be worn for any occasion. This type of strap is simple enough that the watch will look great with a T-shirt and jeans, yet it’s still professional enough to wear to the office with a suit and tie.

TANNER BATES Leather NATO Watch Strap with Polished Hardware

What Is A NATO Strap?

Hand finished leather NATO strap by Tanner Bates, cut from naturally tanned leather then dyed along the edges, giving it a distinctive tonal finish along the sides. The hardware is then put in place and hand stitched using a durable woven thread. 

Please note: all of our NATO leather watch straps are genuine leather and must be properly maintained. Learn how to care for a leather watch strap here. For guidance on how to soften a leather watch strap, take a look at this blog. 

Rubber NATO Watch Straps 

Rubber NATO watch straps reap the benefits of the classic NATO strap, but with added superior aquatic qualities - ideal for pairing with diving watches. 

Bonetto Cinturini 328 Premium Rubber NATO Watch Strap

What Is A NATO Watch Strap?

A twist on the venerable NATO military band, this Italian-made Bonetto Cinturini watch strap is a seamless combination of premium quality material and a tried and true, comfortable form-factor. The strap has a novel all-rubber construction for peerless water resistance and a supple, comfortable fit upon the wrist, while a specially reinforced section around the holes greatly enhances its resistance to wear-and-tear. 

The Bonetto Cinturini 328 is available with a choice of polished, or sandblasted matt hardware, allowing you to subtly customise the strap's accent.


Shop our luxury watches, watch straps and watch tools and accessories on our website. 

Written by Kate, for WatchObsession UK.

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