(Re)Creating The Original Bond NATO
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  1. #1
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    (Re)Creating The Original Bond NATO

    First time post for me, but I got so much out of the forums here when I was searching for what I wanted to build I thought I'd pay some of it back with a simple mod.

    Given that the original Bond strap wasn't a NATO at all, but a pass-through, I went looking for one in the seat-belt variety and couldn't find it. Being a Marine, when we didn't have something we'd create it, so that's what I decided to do. I had to start with a high-quality strap in the original Bond colors, and Cincy Strap Works fit the bill. Here's how it looked loaded onto an 8926 Invicta (yep, the original was a Rolex and if anyone is giving one of those away, be happy to be your charity case )-
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    Now right off the bat, there was something wrong with this for me. I've a few other NATOs and as we know there's a bunch of ways to wear them - and the Vintage Bond NATO from Cincy Strap works is a high-quality build (If I was going back into combat, I'd want one of their straps on my wrist). However, I was going for more of the original Bond look from back in the golden years- (appropriately sized to the watch, of course)
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    And the fold-over of the traditional NATO wasn't doing it for me. Wanting to try a few things before I went to modding a perfectly good strap. I tried some alternate folds, but there were still two problems. First, the thickness of two bands under the watch itself. The traditional NATO wear passes two straps under the watch body-
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    While that may not be a big deal for many, I was taught to slimline every piece of gear I owned (so it wouldn't get caught on something in the middle of a patrol, etc.) I knew the single-strap pass through would lower the watch off my wrist just a bit-
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    And the only way to wear a traditional NATO witha single pass-through under the watch would be to fold the extra piece/buckle under the band itself when wearing it. In that case, instead of having two straps under the watch, I'd have them under my wrist:
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    On a super-thin strap, that may be enough, but the added dimensions under the wrist and the extra buckle under main main clasp presented the same problem, lifting the watch off of my wrist just enough to be noticeable:
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    So, after experimenting with the second buckle's placement, I decided it would be worthwhile to re-create the pass-through strap that Bond originally wore. To do that, we'd have to go into surgery on that extra piece-
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    And afterwards, clean up any loose ends:
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    But now, I have the pass-through strap in the original Bond color scheme I was after. Low-profile, classy as Mr. Connery himself wore (if not more so, given the strap actually fits the band size). The Rolex itself will come in the future, I'm sure.
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    And a simple tuck back under the wrist to secure the excess strap (again, don't want to be a 'strap-hanger'):
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    And the effect is complete. Until someone starts making a Zulu pass-through strap in vintage Bond colors out of high-quality seatbelt material, we have to make do. Hope the journey was as fun for you to read as it was for me to make.
    ihutch1942 likes this.

  2. #2
    Member odd_and_vintage_fan's Avatar
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    Re: (Re)Creating The Original Bond NATO

    https://www.cheapestnatostraps.com/c...iant=307020449

    I've had the grey/black version of this for years on my beater G-Shock. It's been through heck and back and I can't find fault with it. I especially like the fabric keeper instead of the metal loops.

    Is the seatbelt material that much nicer on the wrist?

    Edit: Welcome to the forum, btw!

  3. #3
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    Re: (Re)Creating The Original Bond NATO

    I have the grey/black from Archer straps in the seat belt material, and it's soft enough to sleep in. Haven't tried to fabric keeper on a NATO yet, may have to be my next one.
    I bought a cheap NATO off the bay from international_nato and the material was rough - some folks might not be bothered by that but I know the feel of quality and it usually doesn't feel like canvas. If you haven't tried a seatbelt NATO, I recommend them!

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  5. #4
    Sponsor CrownAndBuckle's Avatar
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    Re: (Re)Creating The Original Bond NATO

    Nice write up. If you tuck both layers of the strap within the inside of the keepers, the strap will wear even slimmer underneath your wrist (rather than going "outside" the second keeper).

  6. #5
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    Re: (Re)Creating The Original Bond NATO

    Could have just gotten a 3-Ring Zulu in those colors.

    That's what I have sitting on my CWard Trident GMT at the moment.

  7. #6
    Member Chromejob's Avatar
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    (Re)Creating The Original Bond NATO

    I went through this safari several years ago. Perhaps my DIY thread can be of some help.

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f222/ma...ap-833573.html

    BTW, don’t use a DE razor blade, you could get seriously hurt. Get a military style surgical prep blade (also called “stitch cutter”) from CountyComm, or use an Xacto knife.

    MK II Kingston "Bond"; Key West "Pussy Galore"; Nassau 3-6-9. O&W M4, M5. Orient EV09, ER1S (2010 STI Series I). Seikos: SKXA47K (2005), 7T32-6M59 (1991), H558-5009 (1985), 7A48-7000 (my precious! 1985), 7009-4040 (1980?), 6117-6410 (1974). Steinhart Ocean Black DLC MilSub mod. Tissot TXL Digital7.

  8. #7
    Sponsor CrownAndBuckle's Avatar
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    Re: (Re)Creating The Original Bond NATO

    Scissors work just fine for cutting off the second layer.

  9. #8
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    Re: (Re)Creating The Original Bond NATO

    The original Goldfinger strap was nothing special. Anyone in the UK aged above 50 will remember going into their local Army and Navy Stores (or Yeomans...or any of thousands of 'Army Stores' throughout the UK in the 60's and 70's) and canvas and nylon single piece watch straps watch straps where everywhere, some came on cards of about a dozen others where thrown in buckets by their hundred. There was literally hundreds of different colours available.
    Most people in the UK (especially kids at the time) didn't have anything close to a high end watch but wore Timex's or Ingersoll's maybe a Smiths (not sure but was they all the same company?) with poor straps that broke easily, so nearly everyone bought a new strap from the local Army Store for pennies that could be quickly fitted with no tools in seconds. That's why the Bond Sub raises no eyebrows in the UK (to those over 50) as nearly everyone had a watch on a strap like that (especially the kids). The same canvas and nylon strap material also came as S belts (snake belts), luggage straps, camera straps, and numerous other types of straps and belts. Nothing mythical or Regimental about it, these straps and hundreds of similar designs where ubiquitous in the UK at the time.
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  10. #9
    Member Chromejob's Avatar
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    Re: (Re)Creating The Original Bond NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by CrownAndBuckle View Post
    Scissors work just fine for cutting off the second layer.
    A razor or surgical prep blade will make cleaner work of it, without the grinding or compression that a pair of even fine scissors will introduce. ;)

    MK II Kingston "Bond"; Key West "Pussy Galore"; Nassau 3-6-9. O&W M4, M5. Orient EV09, ER1S (2010 STI Series I). Seikos: SKXA47K (2005), 7T32-6M59 (1991), H558-5009 (1985), 7A48-7000 (my precious! 1985), 7009-4040 (1980?), 6117-6410 (1974). Steinhart Ocean Black DLC MilSub mod. Tissot TXL Digital7.

  11. #10
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    Re: (Re)Creating The Original Bond NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Chromejob View Post
    A razor or surgical prep blade will make cleaner work of it, without the grinding or compression that a pair of even fine scissors will introduce. ;)
    We cut nylon every day, and I respectfully disagree. Razors introduce much more fraying into the cut, and it is much more tedious (and dangerous) to use a razor. Any pair of household scissors will make easy work of a nylon watch strap.

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