By: Bobby Kardaras
The versatile functionality, interchangeable features, and comfort make NATO Straps an awesome accessory for any watch wearer. While the subject of putting a simple, inexpensive nylon watchband is widely debated on watch forums, many watch beginners and experts have been seen wearing NATO Straps with inexpensive Casio’s as well as expensive Rolexes. Furthermore, NATO Straps are an iconic accessory worn by none other than James Bond, our favorite, timeless secret agent. Lets have a look into how this whole NATO Strap thing started…
1964 - James Bond Goldfinger
In 1964, before NATO Straps were even known as NATO Straps, James Bond Goldfinger was released. It was in this film where we first saw a young Sean Connery wearing a Rolex Submariner 6538 with a single-piece green, red, and blue nylon striped watchband. Why the nylon watchband? In the opening scene of the movie we see Bond wearing his watch over his diving suit (wet suit) – a function that is almost exclusive to NATO Straps. In 2015 the secret agent is still wearing NATO Strap variant on his wrist – a black and grey nylon strap with an Omega Seamaster.
1970's - British Special Forces
The first modern NATO Straps made with two pieces of nylon were first seen in the 1970’s. These were first issued by the Ministry of Defense (MOD) to the British Special Forces who were required to complete a G-1098 form (G-10 for short) to be issued the NATO Strap. The issued straps were admiral grey in color, 20mm in width, and featured chrome-plated brass hardware. The long length allowed the troops to wear their watch over their uniforms - similar to how Bond wore his rolex over his diving suit. Over time, different regiments wore NATO straps of various colors and designs representing their unique regimental colors. NATO straps are primarily used by the military due to their durability and their fail-safe features – namely the second piece of nylon that loops under the watch protects it from falling in the event of a spring-bar failure.
The G-10 NATO Strap from NATO Strap Collections - an homage to the original admiral grey NATO Strap worn by the British Special Forces in the 1970's.
Where does the Term 'NATO' come from?
The term NATO strap for this watch bands comes from the fact that they have a NATO Stock Number (NSN) which is a 13-digit alphanumeric code used to identify all standardized material items of supply. All of the specifications and requirements of the strap can be found on the Ministry of Defence Defence Standard 66-47 Issue document.
Today, NATO Strap Collections has a wide range of NATO straps for every occasion, and for every watch. We offer many different colors, hardware choices (Polished Silver, PVD Black, Gold), and sizes (18mm, 20mm, 22mm, and 24) in both NATO and Zulu buckles. We’ve had the pleasure of sending NATO Straps to our customers worldwide and want to have one of our products in every watch enthusiasts collection. These nylon watchbands are not only practical, but also allow the wearer to make a conscious choice about their fashion preferences.
Come to Nato Strap Collections to see what works for you.