What is a NATO strap and how to wear one
Even if you don’t know what a NATO strap is, chances are you’ve seen one. NATO'S are one-piece straps that slip between the spring bars of your watch. These popular straps are made in a variety of different materials, they’re fun and and an easily interchangeable way to give your watch a different look.
NATO straps date back to the 1970s and their roots come from the British Ministry of Defence. These straps were issued to any soldiers who requested one. In order to get one, a soldier had to fill out a requisition form known as a G1098 or “G10” for short. The term NATO strap is a shortened version of NATO Stocking Number (NSN).
NATOS were perfect for the battlefield as they were not only functional they were also secure because if one spring bar were to pop out of the watch the strap would hold the other side of the watch safely in place. Also, The longer length made it possible to fit over any military uniform.
Our handcrafted one-piece straps are our own interpretation of the NATO and we’re here to show you, how to attach it to your watch and how you go about wearing one.
Installing a NATO strap is super easy and can be done in one of two ways.
Step 1: You can slip your NATO strap through the spring bars between the lugs at the top of your watch and again from behind the watch at the lower spring bars. That's it! You're done. However, do this ONLY if the strap will easily slip through this clearance. If there is any bit of tension or drap STOP and DO NOT proceed as this will damage your NATO strap. If this is the case for you, move on to step 1a below.
Step 1a: If your NATO is too thick to slip through the spring bars easily, then simply remove them by gripping the ridges at the ends of the spring bar using a removal tool and pulling inward til each spring bar pops out. Next, you rest the NATO behind the watch case and re-install each spring bar behind the strap. Super easy. You will need to remove the spring bars again to remove the NATO strap.
Step 2: Slip your NATO through the buckle and keepers like you would with any watch strap. The difference here is that your NATO strap will most likely have a bit of excess tail. The extra length is doubled over and tucked into the keepers. That's how NATO's have been worn historically worn from the time they were created.