Welcome back to this series on watch straps. As someone who loves watches, I cannot stress the importance of choosing a good strap for your watch.
Just like when you are buying a smartphone (OPPO for example), it is a must to buy the casing and screen protector. You cannot complete your shopping experience without these two items. It is the same with watches. Click here to read about leather straps. Today, I will talk about the up and coming NATO strap.
WHAT IS A NATO STRAP
A NATO strap is a strap which is made out of nylon. Daniel Wellington is the one who made the red, white and blue nylon strap design popular in recent years.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE NATO STRAP
It is easy to recognize a NATO strap. It is one long piece of nylon, usually, 20mm thick. This longer nylon piece will go pass underneath the watch by passing through the two lugs at both ends of the watch. The shorter piece fixes to one end of longer nylon piece.
Another end of the shorter piece is free to move. It usually has a metal buckle at one end. To fasten, pull the longer piece of the nylon through the buckle of the shorter nylon piece at opposite ends.
HISTORY OF NATO STRAP
NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It is a group of countries which agrees to help each other if external parties attack them.
Click here to read more about NATO.
However, NATO did not invent the term “NATO strap”. In fact, it is the British Ministry of Defense Standard responsible for introducing the term NATO. Originally, the British MoD will give each soldier one chronograph complete with a set of one leather strap. (Wow. I wished the Malaysian Army will give each of us one chronograph)
Stuhrling Original Monaco 3903 Men’s Chronograph
The younger soldiers noticed that their older and longer serving members wearing these NATO straps. So they asked, “Where can I get this straps?”. The answer is always ” Go fill out the G10 form.”
The G10 form, nickname for G1098 is a requisition form for requesting the NATO strap. In fact, the name G10 strap is the original name for these nylon straps. The term NATO is just a short form for the NATO stocking number (NSN).
WHY NATO STRAP
Let’s admit it. Leather straps look good on any men’s wrist, regardless if it is a cheap Casio watch or an expensive Thomas Sabo’s “Rebel Urban”. However, it is not practical.
EACHE rally strap
Leather requires a lot of maintenance if you want your leather strap to last long. It is very bad with extreme heat and moisture/ water. Back when I was not very educated about watches, I did not know how to take care of my leather strap.
Thomas Sabo Rebel Urban with Miyota OS2A Movement
Similarly, the British soldiers who fought on the battlefield also experienced the same situation as above. The battlefield is usually hot, humid, and sometimes accompanied by rain, thunderstorms and other extreme environments. In these situations, leather will always fail.
Therefore, the NATO strap becomes popular to replace leathers as it is very practical, durable, cheap and is weather/water resistant. In the next post, I will do a comparison between NATO and ZULU strap, which a lot of people tend to get confused between these two.