The history of the NATO watch strap
The NATO watch strap has an interesting history to say the least. They’re not just a new fad.
These highly durable watch straps were initially designed for use by soldiers. The earliest version of what we now call the NATO strap was produced shortly after World War I. This early design was widely used by allied military forces in World War II, though they weren’t actually called NATO straps back then.
The current NATO name for the straps was derived from the military alliance that was formed between 29 North American and European countries shortly after the end of World War II. This alliance introduced a standard NATO numbering system for all military equipment, including standard issue watch straps.
The DEFSTAN 66-47/2 reference from 1973 outlining the G10 NATO strap specifications.
Although the NATO watch strap that’s available to everyone today comes in a wide range of stylish colours, sizes and designs, the original military specification strap came in only one colour (admiralty grey). It had a chrome-plated brass buckle and specific length (28 cm), width (2 cm) and thickness (1.2 mm). An early military NATO watch strap is on permanent display at the Australian War Memorial in the "sinking of the Centaur" section.
Over the years, NATO watch strap designs that reflected different military regimental colours were produced. These regimental designs often had striped colours, which led to the development of the popular range of striped designs that are common in NATO watch straps today.
The original NATO watch strap had a very practical and weatherproof design, making it ideal for use in harsh military conditions. Those characteristics that have been retained in the large range of stylish NATO watch straps that are available today.
The James Bond connection
NATO watch straps have been worn by the world’s most popular fictional secret agent, James Bond.
Actor Sean Connery wore one with his Rolex watch when playing the suave Bond character in the Goldfinger film in 1964.
Pussy Galore, Bond’s private pilot who was played by actress Honor Blackman, also wore a NATO strap on her Rolex watch in the movie.
More recently, actor Daniel Craig wore a NATO strap on his Omega watch when he was playing James Bond in the 2015 film in the spy franchise: Spectre.
Our range of NATO watch straps
At Watch Straps Australia, we have a huge range of men’s and women’s NATO watch straps for you to choose from, featuring a variety of stylish designs and sizes. There are plenty of leather or nylon design options available to suit most types of watches, no matter how expensive (or cheap) your watch may be.
NATO watch straps are easy to install and require no special tools. You simply thread the single-piece strap behind your watch face like a belt.
Find the perfect strap to complement your watch online now at Watch Straps Australia! We also offer discounted bundle packs so you can change your strap to create a different look for a different occasion, as well as free shipping on all domestic orders over $50!
Posted on 23 February 2021 by Brad Farleigh