Why are NATO straps so popular? I don't get it...
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  1. #1
    Member gillmanjr's Avatar
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    Why are NATO straps so popular? I don't get it...

    Been wondering for some time now why NATO straps seem to be so popular, particularly the 5 ring NATOs. I have tried over and over again to put a few different ones on some of my watches and I just can't understand the appeal, I hate them. I hate the way the rings look around the watch face, I hate the way the buckle sits on the side of the wrist rather than the bottom, and I especially hate the way you have to fold the end of it up and through the ring which makes it look bunched up above the watch. I suppose the only positive is that you won't lose the watch if one of the spring bars breaks, but that is such a rare occurrence that it doesn't seem worth it to me. So why do you guys like the way they look?
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  2. #2
    THG
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    Why are NATO straps so popular? I don't get it...

    To each its own and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Besides the obvious security reason and regardless of the trendiness they seem to have acquired. Natos look especially good on Divers/military influenced watches both new and old. Even big houses have started to pick up on this momentum (tudor, blancpain, omega, tag Heuer, etc) check out baselworld2015 latest...Oh and 5 rings? You're definitely referring to a Zulu strap not Nato. Google it up.

    I'll add some of my watches that, to me, look good (be on nylon or rubber nato) and don't even get me started on perlon straps...:)










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    Last edited by THG; March 25th, 2015 at 17:44.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Why are NATO straps so popular? I don't get it...

    I like the nato/zulu for the same reason THG said, security. I've had spring bars fail and even lost watches due to it. I agree though that they are a bit big and sometimes over power the watch in size, especially smaller watches or like me, smaller wrists. I usually modify my straps though so it fits my smaller wrists better and overall looks good to me.
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  4. #4
    Member WatchObsession's Avatar
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    Re: Why are NATO straps so popular? I don't get it...

    What's to hate about a NATO !!!

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  5. #5
    Member UnknownSekonda's Avatar
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    Re: Why are NATO straps so popular? I don't get it...

    Well everyone has different view of it. Depends the style of the watch. I love nato strap. It is easy to slip on and off matter of few seconds. I have green nato strap because my sekonda 3017 is a chronograph military watch. I been wearing it for years and spring bars broke twice in the past due to me being little abit careless. My nato strap saved my watch twice prevent from hitting the ground and could end worse.

    The nato strap is cheaper, durable and very comfortable to wear and of course it can save your watch anytime.

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    If you don't like nato strap because it is long and way it has bend in the loop. Here the video to how to shorten it.

    Last edited by UnknownSekonda; March 25th, 2015 at 17:35.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Why are NATO straps so popular? I don't get it...

    I've tried multiple brand NATO's, and varying quality and prices. Not only do I find them not aesthetically appealing, but they irritate my wrist. I wear SS or leather only now. Just my .02
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  7. #7
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    Re: Why are NATO straps so popular? I don't get it...

    For one-piece straps I prefer the simpler 3-ring zulu style or just a plain style like the Hodinkee shell cordovan straps. Despite the security advantages of the nato style, I never warmed to the extra hardware and nylon layer. But even with the zulu straps the nylon irritated my wrist when worn snug, and if I loosened them for comfort then the straps looked strange, so I have given up on nylon altogether. However, I did get 2 cotton zulu straps from Suigeneric, and I really like them--very comfortable; most of their straps are nato style, but they released a few zulu straps in collaboration with Crown & Buckle. I am also waiting for a leather nato from Bulang & Sons which I am anxious to try; they use a thinner leather for less bulk, so maybe it will work out.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Why are NATO straps so popular? I don't get it...

    1. Super secure. if a springbar goes, you wont lose your watch.
    2. Durable. Generally made of material that doesnt mind getting wet or dirty.
    3. affordable. Much cheaper than leather straps and bracelets. can get good quality ones for 10 quid.
    4. choice of styles. you can get one to go with almost any watch or outfit. thousands of colors, styles, patterns etc.
    5. taste. many people just like how they look , very utilitarian, spartan, functional.
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  9. #9
    Member Norm S's Avatar
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    Re: Why are NATO straps so popular? I don't get it...

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    To me i think they look great on my sportier watches. Theyre nice and cheap plus super functional. You can change them on the fly. To each their own


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  10. #10
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    Re: Why are NATO straps so popular? I don't get it...

    I love them because it's so easy to change the look of a watch in just a couple of seconds. While I do agree that not every nato fits every watch and every taste, I think that their pros outweigh the cons. Maybe give another combo a try?
    icex731 likes this.

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