Which "NATO" strap?

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mickarthur
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Which "NATO" strap?

Post by mickarthur »

I was thinking about ordering the NATO recently offered by CW for the Trident. Since it does not seem to be available from CW, I was looking at the following options:

http://www.broadarrow.net/MI6_1.JPG

The first one is pretty much the same as the CW NATO. I am a little worried about having the extra strap folded over in traditional NATO style.

http://www.broadarrow.net/IMG_0438.JPG

The second one has the same pattern but is not a true NATO in that it is one piece.

Is it a cop-out to get the second one so I don't have to deal with the extra strap fold over issue; should I stick to the "original" NATO (the top link)?

Thanks!
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Re: Which "NATO" strap?

Post by ianblyth »

mickarthur wrote:I am a little worried about having the extra strap folded over in traditional NATO style.
I took mine and cut it so it just went under the keepers. A little flame to gently seal the end and it is much better.

With the fold over "lump"
Image

And without it
Image

Much better although I won't be able to sell it but at the price of a NATO I am not worried.
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Re: Which "NATO" strap?

Post by Loddonite »

You have a number of options.

Rhino or Zulu
Big, tough, massive metal fittings. Needs a big watch and a big wrist to work, if not then OK if you are a Deep-Sea diver, welder or SBS wannabee. :twisted:

NATO/G10
The original and widely available in many colours (including the 'original' Bond' that you highlight). Also available in many qualities. I now buy from Time Factors or TSS, but could be tempted away by peacock colours elsewhere (but, absent a recommendation, would always worry about the quality). I don't think it suits a thick watch, especially one with a proud/protruding caseback because they'll sit so high on the wrist. Tough, cheap and sometimes colourful.

RAF pattern NATO
Same as above but with only one layer of nylon between the watch and the wrist. Less choice.

Nylon webbing strap
Like the second example you provide. Less choice again and I really dislike the nylon keeper, but can work with thicker watches. ... and no foldover.


To me a NATO isn't 'proper' without the foldover. At least you shouldn't have to spend too much to find out if you like it or not.
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Re: Which "NATO" strap?

Post by Aesculapius »

Nice summary! Made me laugh.

Mine are currently all Rhinos. What does that say about me?!
:D

To plagiarise myself somewhat from another thread:

...the four-ring version of the Rhino / Zulu straps follow the same basic principle as the original NATOs but have slightly heavier-duty fittings and slightly thicker nylon webbing for the strap - although mine feel more flexible and easier to wear than a standard NATO. I've had several for years and they're still going strong!

They're now available in more colours and stripes than they once used to be (although you may still have to search for them) and fittings are mostly s/steel although PVD is available for some colours.
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Re: Which "NATO" strap?

Post by Russ-Shettle »

Aesculapius wrote:Nice summary! Made me laugh.

Mine are currently all Rhinos. What does that say about me?!
:D

To plagiarise myself somewhat from another thread:

...the four-ring version of the Rhino / Zulu straps follow the same basic principle as the original NATOs but have slightly heavier-duty fittings and slightly thicker nylon webbing for the strap - although mine feel more flexible and easier to wear than a standard NATO. I've had several for years and they're still going strong!

They're now available in more colours and stripes than they once used to be (although you may still have to search for them) and fittings are mostly s/steel although PVD is available for some colours.
Interesting;

Got a basic question: I'm not familiar with NATO's, if that's to say it correctly. Question is: Are NATO's a brand or a style or both?
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Re: Which "NATO" strap?

Post by mickarthur »

Russ-Shettle wrote:
Aesculapius wrote:Nice summary! Made me laugh.

Mine are currently all Rhinos. What does that say about me?!
:D

To plagiarise myself somewhat from another thread:

...the four-ring version of the Rhino / Zulu straps follow the same basic principle as the original NATOs but have slightly heavier-duty fittings and slightly thicker nylon webbing for the strap - although mine feel more flexible and easier to wear than a standard NATO. I've had several for years and they're still going strong!

They're now available in more colours and stripes than they once used to be (although you may still have to search for them) and fittings are mostly s/steel although PVD is available for some colours.
Interesting;

Got a basic question: I'm not familiar with NATO's, if that's to say it correctly. Question is: Are NATO's a brand or a style or both?
I am pretty sure it's a style made by a few manufacturers.

I just ordered the bond NATO from someone on WUS, so we'll see how it goes. I will post pics when I get the strap.

Thanks everyone!
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Re: Which "NATO" strap?

Post by ianblyth »

Russ-Shettle wrote:Got a basic question: I'm not familiar with NATO's, if that's to say it correctly. Question is: Are NATO's a brand or a style or both?
It is actually a specification originally from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
http://www.mailboxcentres.com/Military_ ... traps.html
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Re: Which "NATO" strap?

Post by Aesculapius »

Agreed.

The basic premise is that the MoD-spec watches didn't use spring-bars but rather they had fixed solid bars between the lugs (don't want to have your watch drop off and get lost on operations because you broke a springbar or snagged your watch and pulled out a springbar). The "NATO"-style strap was therefore designed to work with watches with fixed bars and so had the second layer of strap webbing with the open metal loop at the end to thread the main length of strap through it. Obviously, it's perfectly possible to use a single layer of strap without all that extra gubbins but the second loop fixes the watch in place and prevents it from sliding around the strap. The single-layer straps are also made and, in some cases may be referred to as RAF-style.

The basic spec has since been taken by several manufacturers who have then improved the quality of the nylon webbing (and hugely expanded the range of solid and striped colours), used better welded and stitched construction with more precise finishing of the holes and usually added stainless steel fittings (often blasted +/- black PVD) in place of the original chromed base metal. The Zulu or Rhino versions take the same concept one step further.

There are now lots of places selling NATO-style straps of varying quality — it's just worth having a look around (which inevitably means Google search...!) to find a spec and price that suits you. The racing-stripe designs seem to have proliferated hugely in the last few years; some are just coloured stripes for the sake of having them because they look good but many are also specifically made to match the colours of the webbing "stable belts" worn by UK regiments.

These are examples of regimental versions from an online seller:
http://www.regimentalshop.com/shop/prod ... Regiments/
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Re: Which "NATO" strap?

Post by Russ-Shettle »

ianblyth wrote:
Russ-Shettle wrote:Got a basic question: I'm not familiar with NATO's, if that's to say it correctly. Question is: Are NATO's a brand or a style or both?
It is actually a specification originally from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
http://www.mailboxcentres.com/Military_ ... traps.html
Now that gives it meaning. Pretty cool!
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Re: Which "NATO" strap?

Post by Aesculapius »

I've never bought from them, so this is an observation rather than a recommendation, but Gnomon Watches have one of the craziest ranges of NATO and Zulu straps on their website, covering all ranges of fittings from polished to matte to black PVD and a silly array of stripes and colours! :D

http://www.gnomonwatches.com/Product-view.asp?id=20