The Nato strap is one of the most popular watchband systems in use across the globe today. Traditionally, the Nato strap was made from weaved nylon, but in today’s fashionable consumer climate, these daily worn designer-made items are being produced in many different materials. If you are shopping for a Nato strap, there are a plethora of brands and designs to choose from, so your decision can be quite a vexing one.
There is a very interesting story about how the Nato strap was developed, and it has gone down in folk-law as gospel. The Nato strap, as the story goes, was developed for the troops in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to wear on the battlefields of the world. This story has been the long-standing historical view of the origins of this strap, but, unfortunately, it is not quite correct.
The “Nato” in the Nato strap actually stands for “NSN” (NATO stocking number), which is simply a reference system used to document products by the NATO alliance. This is sad, because the original story is a far better one, so in keeping with the flavor of folk-law legends, let’s stick to it.
Here are the 15 Best Nato straps to suit your requirements.
Crown and Buckle have been producing high-quality leather and Nato straps for some years now, but this new release is probably the best Nato strap on the market today. Utilizing the “Seatbelt” style weaving process, this strap looks and feels “high-end.” The Supreme comes in a choice of 9 different colors, and the hardware that Crown & Buckle have chosen puts the Nato strap way ahead of its closest competitors.
This durable and smooth-to-the-touch band is thin, with beveled edges for extreme comfort, but also extremely sturdy. The Crown & Buckle range of straps is certainly varied, with sizes from 16 – 24 millimeters, and it comes in standard, medium, or heavy-duty options. The Supreme is undoubtedly C&B’s best Nato strap to date.
Based on the standard G10 design, the Maratac Mil-Nato is not only a quality strap but also the least expensive Nato on the market. Even though they have managed to keep the price of this high-quality strap down, they certainly have not wavered on the quality. The exceptionally tight nylon weave used for the Mil-Nato is as soft as some of its counterparts, but it is extremely comfortable on the wrist.
The clever people at Maratec took the UK Ministry of Defence specifications for watch bands, then improved on the giving us the Mil-Nato range of products. The hardware that has been chosen for this range is non-magnetic stainless steel that, while not being the highest quality, is still woven into place quite solidly, so failure won’t be a problem. These straps were designed to take military punishment, so street use shouldn’t be an issue.
As the name suggests, the Moose Strap Company is a Canadian-based business that specializes in premium watch straps on a budget. This particular product, the Premium Slim, is exactly that, an ultra-thin but sturdily designed band that is incredibly comfortable. With a choice of 13 colors, it shouldn’t be too hard to find one that suits your needs or desires. The only thing that may make some consumers think twice is the bulkiness of their buckles, although to some this may, indeed, be an attraction. If it is comfort and style you are looking for, at a budget price, then the Moose Strap Premium Slim is going to impress you.
For over 47 years, the CWC Company has been manufacturing and supplying military issue watches and bands to not only the public but also the UK military forces. Their latest series, the Phoneix G10, is probably the epitome of what a Nato band is supposed to be. These designs are thin but densely woven, giving their texture a slightly rough feeling, but don’t let that phase you, as soon you will not even notice that you are wearing it.
The UK manufacturer is extremely proud of their heritage, so proud, in fact, that they even have a model called the 007. Given the history and pedigree of this company, the credibility of the Phoenix just cannot be overlooked.
This young company (it’s only 3 years old) has developed quite a cult following by those consumers that use online shopping as their preferred way of purchasing. Founded by a returned army veteran, whose tenure in Iraq had ended, the Toxic Nation brand was developed through his frustration at his own online experiences. The N80 ShizNit is an incredibly dense and durable band that is another one that uses the seatbelt-style weave. This gives the band an incredibly comfortable feel with a texture that is remarkably smooth. The high-quality finished buckles are a little bulky, but that is not really a problem if that is the style that you are looking for.
Again, the seatbelt style weave is being used here on the BluShark premium watch bands. The AlphaShark range features high-quality styling, with rectangular holes and flat stainless steel keepers, giving the band an overall look exceptional build. In general, the band is quite comfortable and impressively smooth, with exceptionally made buckles and a choice of 27 different color styles. The only limitation to the AlphaShark collection is their size options, as you only have a range from 18 to 24 millimeters to choose from.
Proudly patriotic, the Worn & Wound brand will tell you all day that they are made in the USA. As they state on their website, “A new strap can be a great way to fall in love with an older watch,” and the design of the ADPT range certainly emphasizes this feeling. The quality of this nylon strap really is noticeable, and the orange stitching just gives the band that extra look of high fashion. The strap itself is quite thick and dense and will certainly be a very hard-wearing addition to your watchband collection. The only issue to cause a little concern is that the buckles seem a little unsteady, which is quite surprising considering the quality of the rest of the strap.
The definition of a Nato strap states that a second piece of material passes underneath the watch, so technically, the Haveston Invasion A2 is not really a Nato strap. But having stated that, it is still an extremely attractive option when in the market for one of these products. This band has a very attractive soft texture with a high-quality professional weave coupled to what are probably the best buckles available on the market.
This strap also presents the option of being adjustable, which quite a few of its competitors do not offer. The striped design, which was apparently inspired by the paint scheme on Allied aircraft used during the D-Day invasion of World War 2, is also an extremely attractive feature, and the sliding keeper makes this band exceptionally comfortable.
The makers of this nicely designed strap have obviously kept to the modest philosophy of keeping it simple. The silky design of the Infantry comes in a multitude of colors and features the unusual choice of black hardware instead of the usual sliver. The other notable difference with the infantry is that you also have a choice of thickness of either 20 or 22 millimeters, giving you the option of a comfort level that suits your individual needs. The other attraction that will catch your eye is the nice pricing of these bands, a pleasant surprise indeed.
The first thing that you will notice about the StrapsCo Dessari Woodland is the material it is manufactured from. Unlike most Nato styled bands that are made primarily from nylon, this band is fabricated from vintage Italian leather. This not only gives the band an incredibly stylish look and feel but, sadly, also a higher-end price tag. If the cost is not an issue for you, then these handcrafted and beautifully made works of art are definitely there for the more discerning of consumers. Nato straps were probably never designed as pieces of fashion, but the people at StrapsCo have decided that this is an old-fashioned way of thinking.
Victorinox has been around since 1884 and is synonymous with the Swiss army knife. A young man named Karl Elsener had an idea to combine a multi-functional tool into one unit and so, this iconic device was born. Today, the Victorinox Company has branched out and manufactures many things, including Nato straps.
As most of today’s timepiece aficionados know, horology is the study of time, and the Victorinox management has taken this subject very seriously. Their extremely high-quality Nato strap is very simple in design, utilizing a single color, black, with stainless steel hardware to create what is the classic looking Nato strap. If there is a name and design that you can rely on, it’s the Victorinox Original Nato Strap.
I guess if you are going to enter into an extremely competitive market, then you had better come up with a point-of-difference that is going to set you apart from your rivals, and that is what the Hodinkee group have done. This strap, as the name suggests, is made completely out of Kangaroo leather (yes, there is such a thing), except for the high-quality buckles and keepers. They chose Kangaroo leather because of its strength when made so thinly. This unique material will certainly make your watch stand out from the crowd, but be aware; it comes at a price and is one of the most expensive Nato straps on the market today. The bottom line is simple: individuality is an expense worth taking, so why not grab it with both hands?
There is not much that has not already been said about the Omega brand. Their logo is legendary in watch-making circles, so it is only reasonable to think that they would also offer one of the finest Nato straps available. James Bond has a soft spot for the Omega brand, and so will you. The stylish design and quality of their products are unsurpassed, and the little details that are incorporated are so subtle that they are hardly noticed. Things like the unique shape of the keepers, and the subtly embossed logo on the buckle make these straps not only fashionable but practical as well. Now here comes the spoiler: You will have to pay a premium to be in the same company as our dear friend 007.
There have been many impressive things come out of Chicago, and the David Lane Horween label is no exception. Using the best quality American leather, the company have placed one of the world’s best Nato straps into an eager market place. Again the use of the highest grade materials puts the strap at the higher priced end of the market, but the sheer elegance of these straps makes it well worth putting a little strain on your credit card. Style, sophistication, and beauty – three things that set the David Lane Horween collection just that little bit ahead of the rest.