I recently ordered a few NATOs from BluShark. I ordered:
1. AlphaShark (the most Premium NATO) in bristish khaki
2. Standard NATO (with premium hardware) in Army Green and Mocha.
Shortly after ordering I received a message from Joe (the proprietor) stating that they were out of Army Green in brushed hardware and gave me a few a few options for alternatives including Army Green in the Or a line or simply polished hardware. I choose the orca line but Jow kindly stated that he would include the standard with polished too free of charge. This is really great customer service.
When i I just received the package after coming home from vacation there was actually a second additional free strap which appears to be admiralty grey. So I ended up with 5 BlueShark NATOs which appear the be covering every range of BluSharks let me just say that I am impressed with the quality of nylon, construction, and the customer service. Not to mention prices are very reasonable too.
so l my initial impressions and when I get some time I will follow up with the images.
First lets start with the Alpha line. Lately all the hype is been around seat belt NATOs and the fact that these are so comfortable to wear and dress up the NATO just a tad with the little sheen that is in the NATOs. Several vendors have done a good job of introducing these to the market at competive prices and attractive quality. The Alpha line definitely competes with these and has a great feel to the nylon. It's soft to touch and feels great on the skin. Compared to the seat belt material I think the seat belt is slightly more comfortable just due to the patter of the weave. However, the Alpha doesn't have that glossy finish. Frankly I don't care for the sheen on my NATOs and the Alpha doesn't have this. Plus the range of colors in theAlpha is something to crave from other vendors. The color of the khaki I received is spectacular and is going to fit nieces with my collection. The hardware on the Alpha appears to be the same as the premium hardware on all the straps I received. I selected the brushed finish and I will state that I think that BluSharks hardware is great and I'd probably state that I think that either Blu or Toxic has the best hardware and when I compare the two side by side they may actually be identical.
Next the Orca. The Orca is the extra thick strap and appears to have a different weave pattern than the standard. The Orca didn't seem much thicker than the standard but the weave pattern gives a nice look to the watch and I think I prefer it over the standard. The softness of the nylon is not the Alpha but it is well above many other brands. In fact I'd say that both the Orca and the standard are so good that I am not sure if the seat belt or Alpha premium is worth the extra dough. I'd probably rather have the extra couple of straps than the increased softness of seat belt or alpha.
Last the standard. I pretty much captured the standard in my comments on the Orca but again the quality of the standard is top notch. They are a little more expensive than some other brands but for thus of us looking for superior quality and great customer service than BluShark is a must try.
Thanks to to the community for reccomending them and steering me to this purchase. Money well spent especially considering I ended up with five for the price of three.
Your freindly neighborhood watch fiend...CastorTroy