by Larry Connelley
If you're familiar with NATO watch straps, you've likely heard that they have an excellent reputation. NATO straps work well with any watch, from a high-end watch, such as a Rolex, to a simple Timex. These straps may seem, at a glance, like nothing out of the ordinary, but the NATO watch strap is known for being an extremely durable, military-grade piece of gear, and is of an excellent quality. In fact, the history of the NATO watch strap is actually quite interesting.
Origins of The Nato Strap
The strap actually did not originate as equipment for NATO troops, but was created for British soldiers. The first NATO came out in 1973. At the time, soldiers had to fill out paperwork to request one, and, once approved, they would pick it up at the supply store that served their unit. One might suspect that the strapís name came from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but the name actually derived from its' NATO Stocking Number (NSN).
The Test Of Time
The NATO strap was a hit. Soon, British soldiers began wearing straps that represented the colors of their regiments. Minor changes have been made to the strapís design since then, but the modifications have stayed true to the strapís purpose, which was to be a functional, durable, and fail-safe piece of gear. The NATO strap has definitely maintained its stellar reputation for durability! Even if you use other straps, it isnít a bad idea to keep a NATO strap on hand as a replacement, or for when you want to change things up.
Benefits Of A NATO Strap
NATO straps are, first and foremost, extremely comfortable. The wearer doesn't have to deal with the 'breaking-in' phase one would have to get through with leather. The strap does not become uncomfortable in hot or cold weather. NATO straps work well for many different watch styles, and, because they are easy to change out, they are quite versatile and offer a wide variety of color options.
Installing A NATO Strap
You can put a NATO strap on any watch. First, youíll want to remove your old strap, and replace the spring bars. Position the NATO strap and watch so that the buckles and watch face are both facing up. Next, feed the longer piece of strap through the watch spring bars, so that the strap goes under the watch. Thread the flat end of the longer strap piece through the metal fastener on the end of the shorter strap, so that there are two layers of strap just beneath the watch face. When you put it on, fold any extra strap back through the fasteners so that it lays flat. Thatís all there is to it!
(Pictured is the Traser Watches - Special Forces Titanium Model with a black nato strap)
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