The Breitling Watch Source Forums

Nato Straps
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Author:  jnelson3097 [ Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:10 am ]
Post subject:  Nato Straps

I'm just looking for a general consensus on what everything thinks of Nato straps. I've gone back and forth on getting some lately since they seem relatively inexpensive but that's one of my concerns. I'm just wondering how durable they are and if there is any risk of the watch falling off or anything crazy like that. I know having the watch fall off may sound crazy, but when I think about strapping a watch worth several thousand dollars on a $15 strap, it gets me a little nervous. I've already got the blue aero racer rubber strap for my SOHCII that I can switch up from the mesh once in awhile but I just think there are some fun colorful options for the summer which could be interesting on that watch. The other watch I'd love another option for would be my Skyracer since the fit of the rubber strap can be tricky at times.

I'd just like to hear everyone's experiences with Natos and if I'm over thinking this, just tell me. Also, if there are any sites that you recommend for buying Natos, please feel free to pass those along as well.

Author:  Damnfoolman [ Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nato Straps


I've had a few NATO Straps over the years, and have found them to be seriously durable.

I've had a 22mm and 24mm Both excellent. I've used them on all sorts, Navitimer World, Emergency, B1 All with no issues.

The only thing is, is to make sure the springbars are most definitely properly located when the strap has been changed.

I would not say they are the most comfortable to wear tbh, but the huge range of colours was the draw for me.

I guess it's a leap of faith if you try one or not. Worked out fine for me.

Hope this helps.


Author:  Scott [ Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nato Straps

I first tried a NATO about 35 years ago. I thought it was bulky and scratchy. I still won't wear the traditional NATO style but there are now a lot of variations. Maybe this existed and I didn't know it then but for me a single pass through band made a huge difference. There are also a number of different fabrics or hybrid fabrics which feel more comfortable. I don't think the security issue is any different from a leather strap, as noted above the spring bars are what matter.

I am, coincidentally, looking at straps for my Zenith. I have been looking around a little but just this week, the Dink-affiliated podcast, The Grey NATO, how to cast this week specifically address to straps. They identified a couple of NATO and NATO - like straps from different manufacturers that I am investigating.

I where am I nylon single pass through on the weekends and lightness of it is really enjoyable, particularly as it grows hotter in the desert.

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Author:  Scott [ Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nato Straps

Ok, so much for voice posting. Grammatical disaster that the above is, I think it's generally understandable.

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Author:  zak57 [ Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nato Straps

I have several one piece natos and generally find them comfortable. As for security, I’ve never had a failure but anyway, with a one piece strap you won’t lose your watch if one side fails unlike a two piece strap.

Author:  buddman [ Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nato Straps

The whole point of a Nato is that it is more secure than a 2 piece strap or bracelet, because if one springbar breaks, the watch won't fall off because the strap is continuous. That's why the military uses them. Any old nato is perfectly secure. Although they are not Nato straps (i.e. the 2 piece of fabric securing the watch) I like the new one piece straps from Crown and Buckle (they call them Chevron). I have the blue/black/red on on my Rolex GMT.

Author:  TomP [ Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nato Straps

I tried them without persuading myself in a number of cases; I generally thought that the watch looked better on the original bracelet (Aerospace, most Rolexes). The one I've stuck with on nato is an Omega SMP 300, as the original bracelet doesn't have an adjustable clasp and I just can't it comfortable for more than a few minutes. The Omega nato is (very) expensive for what it is, but it is very good looking and comfortable.

But on the security anxiety, as others have said, the very idea of the nato is to be more secure than the alternatives since one springbar preserves the loop.

Author:  Driver8 [ Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nato Straps

As others have said they're designed to be more secure than a two-piece strap, so security shouldn't be an issue at all.

However, (and this is JMO) I personally can't stand Natos. I've tried them a few times but I find them too thin, the long end that needs looping back on itself always just looks untidy, and all Natos just look cheap to me (no matter who makes them).

Author:  natesen [ Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nato Straps

I'm with Driver on this one. I can't stand natos. I think they look cheap and I really dislike the loop by the case. I think it looks bulky.

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Author:  Altair [ Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nato Straps

Very durable, its just a matter of getting used to the look and the extra bit that must be looped back.

That said, Oris makes hybrid Nato straps that don't suffer the usual issue of extra fabric. They might fit your needs. Heres a few pictures:

As for quality, Tudor make some insanely great Nato straps, interesting story behind them:

Unfortunately since both are OEM the prices go up significantely!

Author:  jnelson3097 [ Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nato Straps

I've gone back and forth and even with the cheap prices, I don't think I can see myself buying one anytime soon. I like the look, but just can't commit to buying one.

Author:  surf4hours [ Fri May 17, 2019 10:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nato Straps

I've been on a NATO kick as of late. The current straps are much softer and conforming than from years past. The "seat belt" weave is very nice. Any NATO can be made into a single pass by cutting off the short section. I use a box cutter for that. The key is to seal the threads with heat (nylon is plastic afterall and melts easily). I run the tip of a soldering iron over the cut ends and it seals it back up. That also can fix any fraying areas. If your NATO is too long for your liking, you can make it short with the same technique. A quarter coin serves as a great template to recreate the curved end. I love being able to change up the look of the watch with a new color in just a few seconds. Go for it, you'll get hooked!




Author:  jnelson3097 [ Fri May 17, 2019 6:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nato Straps

I still like the look of the strap from the Ocean Conservancy model but if Breitling is anything like Omega and charges $185 or so for the strap, I’m going to pass. I really like the mesh bracelet and I’ve got the blue rubber aero classic to mix it up.

Author:  delta40 [ Sat May 18, 2019 12:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nato Straps

Never had a nato just don't like the look
And to thin.

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Author:  TomP [ Sun May 19, 2019 9:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nato Straps

I love the look and feel of natos - the pics above are a good advertisement for them - and have been playing with (an expensive but well-made Omega) one on my Seamaster lately. But my biggest reservation with them is simply practical. I'm fairly fussy and it doesn't take much to make me feel that a nato is grubby - a sweaty day, resting it on a sticky table, a stray blob of mayo etc etc. And in that case it's much easier to rinse a bracelet in soapy water, and have it dry and mint again in moments, than to clean a fabric nato. I dislike leather straps for the same reason.

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