NATO strap compatibility guide
What are NATO straps?
Let's get the important stuff out of the way first! NATO straps were developed by the British Ministry of Defence shortly after World War 1 and offer a few key benefts over 'standard' watch straps.
The main difference between 'standard' straps and 'NATO' straps is that they are one single 'belt' of nylon that threads behind the watch face - unlike a 'standard' strap which is usually two separate pieces.
The graphic below shows the MOD specifications for their G10 NATO strap.
This design feature adds extra security, and means your watch will stay on your wrist in the case that one of the watch pins comes undone. This is why the "NATO strap" style is popular with divers, and was even used by NASA astronauts.
NATO straps are made from ballistic nylon - which makes them breathable, washable and can won't tear or break (it's the same stuff bullet proof vests were made out of!).
As nylon is easily dyed - NATO straps soon became a way for the military personnel to showcase their regimental colours, and in turn - they become a fashion statement and entered the public arena.
Here at Watch Straps Australia we have 1.2mm thick - 280mm long nylon NATO straps (true to the original G10 NATO specification), and we also have leather NATO straps which come in at 1.4mm thick and 280mm long.
How to determine if your watch will work with a NATO strap
Good news is most watches will work with a NATO strap, but we recommend using the guide below before making your purchase.
First thing to check - spring bars
"Spring bars" are small metal pins which are the standard connector for watch straps.
If you can remove the current strap and re-insert the ‘bare’ spring bars (as shown below) - your watch can use our NATO straps.
Second thing to check - strap connection
If you can't work out how to remove the current strap the next thing to check is i your strap finishes in a straight line. If so - this is a good indicator that your watch uses 'spring bars' and can use after-market straps.
This includes watches such as the Tomas Sabo "Glam Spirit" and "Divine" and "Code TS", the Marc Jaobs "classic" range, Rotary "Buckingham" range, and watches from MVMT, The Horse and Daniel Wellington.
"Smart" Watches with heart rate sensors
NATO straps thread through the back of the watch like a belt and unfortunately because of this - NATO straps will cover the hear-rate sensor on all smart watches.
This includes any watch with a heart-rate sensor, such as the Apple Watch, and Garmin smart watches.
If you would like to continue to use the heart-rate sensor, you will need to purchase a non-"NATO" strap.
Do you have "Quick Release" spring bars?
Some watches (such as MVMT and Garmin) have "quick release" spring bars embedded with in the strap.
Quick-release spring bars allow for the quick removal of the strap - but the downside is that they can't be re-used on other straps.
You can tell if you have 'quick release' spring bars by looking for a small toggle at the connection point of your strap and watch face.
If you have "quick release" spring bars
If your watch has 'embedded' quick-release spring bars, you need to purchase an additional set of spring bars before you can use any after-market straps.
If you have metal strap which connects to the watch like the examples below - it's more than likely that our straps will work with your watch.
This includes watches such as the Rolex Submariner, Tag Heuer Careera, Seiko SKX007 and Rotary "Henley" range.
Watches that won't work
The following types of watches will not work with "NATO" straps, and you will need to purchase a replacement strap specific to that watch.
This includes (but is not limited to) - Timex Ironman and Skagen watches.
Plastic straps that seem to mould to the watch
Straps that have a ‘inset’ or protruding section.
Straps that are glued/screwed in to the watch
Review the the table below to see if your watch is compatible with NATO straps.
* Please note that NATO straps will cover the heartrate sensor on smart watches.
|Armani||Most models supported|
|*||Apple Watch*||Our watch straps will work* with Apple watches, however first you will need to purchase an adaptor (there are plenty of options on eBay and etsy such as this). Also note - as Compatible - but single-piece NATO straps cover the back of the watch face it will cover and disable the heart-rate monitor on all smart watches|
|Alessi||Will only work with our standard Compatible - but single-piece NATO straps (our leather straps are too thich to go through the loops in the watch)|
|Bell and Ross||Compatible|
|Casio||Most models supported|
|Casio G-Shock||Gshock watches require adapters for most models|
|Fossil Q Smart Watches*||Compatible - but single-piece NATO straps will cover the heartbeat sensor|
|*||Garmin*||Most Garmins will use our 26mm strap*|
|Guess||Most models supported|
|Hamilton||Most models supported - including Hamilton Jazzmaster, Hamilton Field and Hamilton Khaki.|
|IWC||Most models supported|
|Kapten & Son||Compatible|
|Kate Spade||Most models supported|
|*||LG G*||Compatible - but single-piece NATO straps will cover the heartbeat sensor*|
|*||Pebble*||Compatible - but single-piece NATO straps will cover the heartbeat sensor*|
|Samsung Gear||Compatible - but single-piece NATO straps will cover the heartbeat sensor*|
|*||Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2||Compatible - but single-piece NATO straps will cover the heartbeat sensor on these watches*. Uses a 20mm strap|
|Skagen||Partial support - after-market bands are not usually supported on most models.|
|Timex Marathon||Click here to read more about the Timex marathon watches.|
|Timex Ironman||Most models are not supported - click here to read more about the Timex Ironman watches.|
|Tissot||Most models supported|
|Ticwatch E||Ticwatch E uses a 20mm strap*|
|Tudor||Includes Tudor Black Bay, Tudor Pelagos and Tudor Submariner|