Wristwatches are no longer just timepieces; they’ve become a lot more. They’re fashionable, impressionable, and irresistible fashion accessories. Among the things that make watches stand out are their straps.
There are many different types of watch straps, but one that has remained iconic over the years is the NATO watch strap. And given that you’re here, you may have come across or have been thinking about them recently. This classic strap has stood the test of time as a stylish and ever-fresh component of wristwatches.
Sure, they’re excellent to have, but how can you choose the best one for your watch?
How To Choose A NATO Strap
You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking about the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation when you hear the term NATO straps. It’s easy to associate the robust, functional, and outdoor appeal of the NATO watch strap with the military alliance of 1949.
However, NATO straps have nothing to do with any military alliance. They were standard watch straps issued to soldiers by the British military in the 70s. The name NATO is derived from the stocking number used for the straps. As part of military gear, NATOs were designed to match military uniforms. They were issued as 20mm grey nylon straps with chrome-plated brass buckles and keepers.
Because they were only available in the military, the only way they gained attention is through films and other forms of entertainment media. Particularly, this strap’s popularity can be attributed to the James Bond movie, Goldfinger, where Sean Connery rocked the navy blue with red and green stripes. From then on, the rest, as they say, is history.
Now, NATO straps come in different styles and sizes. Some common styles include the military straps, James Bond-style, and the nylon style. It’s probably safe to say, therefore, there’s a NATO strap suitable for any watch design, provided it has the basic make-up discussed earlier.
If you want to stick to the original NATO features, it may be best to consider the material used in your strap selection. True, NATO straps do not deviate much from nylon fabric, but you could, nonetheless, find a strap made of other materials like leather. They may, however, not give you the same appeal and easy maintenance you get from nylon straps.
The best way to rock your NATO straps with your premium watch is to try the following tips:
1. Use Colours That Go With Your Outfits
Over the years, watches have evolved from mere tools for showing time, to fashion accessories that give character and style. Along with this evolution was the transformation of NATO straps.
These straps have been made compatible with any watch, and they can be easily installed. They also now come in a variety of styles and colours for any look or occasion. What makes them especially cool is that they’re so affordable you can choose any colour to go with any outfit.
NATO straps can come in plain colours or striped with three different colours. For a dapper and professional look, you could go with a solid plan colour. If you want to go fun and casual, you could pick the stripped James Bond NATO. Just remember to match your strap colours with your clothes, at least.
Choosing the right strap colour is a great way to add flavour and excitement to your premium watch. The right colour can bring vitality and utility that’s better than your sweaty and bulky typical single colour leather or iron bands. And it greatly helps that NATO straps are versatile enough to suit any watch, from a thirty-dollar watch to a thousand-dollar piece. And you could change it anytime you feel like restyling your watch.
2. Match Your Strap With Your Shoes
NATO straps are a great way to accessorize, but you don’t want them to steal the show from the rest of your outfit. Try to blend them modestly with your clothes. If you’re wearing a red pair of shoes, for example, you could try a blue and red striped NATO strap. That way, there can be a nice blend of style for any occasion.
Also, even if most watches will look good with NATO straps, you need to ensure that your watch has removable spring bars and a straight strap connection. You would need to remove the removable spring bars and reattach them on their own for you to be able to install NATO straps. A NATO watch strap should also line up straight against the watch’s face for the best comfort and style. It doesn’t matter if the strap matches your shoes if you can’t wear it with your watch after all.
3. Get Straps That Go With Casual Outfits
If you knew how a NATO strap is made, you’d fall in love with its durability and comfort. A NATO watch strap is made of high-tech nylon material that is tough and robust. It’s designed to give comfort and utility for everyday use.
Because of its design and materials, NATO straps easily complement jeans, shorts, and t-shirts. If you’re into solid neutral-coloured dresses, you could try striped NATOs to add a bit of flair to your look.
4. Go Formal With NATOs
Although NATO watch straps will almost always add a bit of casual flare, you could still wear them to your important board meeting or any other formal event. You just have to remember the golden rule: match, match, match.
Most classic metal watches and those with bracelet-style straps will be perfect for fitting NATO straps. If, on the other hand, you’re using customized watches with straps that are glued on or hard moulded, then they may not be ideal for your NATO straps. Smartwatches with heartbeat sensors may also not work with NATO straps as the straps will cover the bottom face of the watch.
Now that you know a thing or two about NATO straps, it’s time to go on and pimp up your premium watch. Remember, the choice you make should complement your style and taste. The bands must compliment the rest of your clothing. To be sure you get it right, you could get a couple of straps. They are so affordable you could get one for each outfit if you like.