NATO strap compatibility guide

What are NATO straps?

NATO straps are single-pieces of leather or nylon which thread through your watch like a belt.

NATO straps were originally created for the military, but good news is that they work with all types of watches.

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 - your watch can use our NATO straps.

Daniel wellington watch replacement
Daniel wellington replacement strap

Second thing to check - strap connection

If your strap finishes in a straight line it 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.

Metal Watch Strap Replacement

"Smart" Watches with heart rate sensors

NATO straps thread through the back of the watch like a belt and unfortunately because of this - the strap will cover the hear-rate sensor.

Quick Release spring bars

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.

Click here to view our range of spring bars

Metal bracelets

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.

Rolex replacement NATO strap
NATO strap for metal watches

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.

Timex Ironman

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

Still unsure?

If you are still unsure please leave a comment below, or refer to our supported brands page.

Posted on 30 June 2019 by Brad Farleigh

Comments (30)

Galaxy Watch3 (45mm) mystic silver

Hey mate, Im looking for a strap which I can switch out for the leather strap that comes with the watch. Im worried about sweat damage on the leather strap when working out or even when its a bloody hot day. So could you recommend some straps for me. Im pretty sure the galaxy watch 3 has a replaceable strap, not sure if it works with the NATO straps though. The watch has 22m straps, just in case you are wondering. Thanks once again -Tony


Watch Straps Australia Response

Hi Tony, Thanks for reaching out. Because of the way "NATO" straps work they will cover the heart-rate sensor, so if that's a non-negotiable unfortunately you'll need to look for a "two piece" strap (rather than a NATO). I'm also confident that the spring bars will be embedded in your current strap - so to use an after-market strap you'll need to pick up a new set (which you can find here - With all that out of the way, I'm confident that all of my straps will look great on that watch, but you really can't go wrong with my black NATO's (even the ones with the black buckles will look good). Alternatively you could grab this set which has 3 of my most popular seatbelt straps for $70 with free express shipping: Cheers, Brad


Should i use a 18 or 20mm strap for my grandads swiss army watch which measures 19mm between the lugs


Watch Straps Australia Response

Hi Chris, Thanks for reaching out. I would recommend a 20mm strap - you can find more information here: Please note that this only applies to our nylon straps, and if you try squeezing a 20mm leather strap in a 19mm lug width you may end up damaging the sides of the leather. Cheers, Brad

Citizen pro master BN0190-82 and Seiko 5

Hi, it is Brandan, I wills like to ask that I have that 2 watchs which I have already written on title. So I would like to buy 20 mm watch straps for both of them but I am not sure about my citizen. Do you think 20 mm watch strap is working with it? Thanks.


Watch Straps Australia Response

Hi Brandan, You will be able to use the 20mm strap on your Citizen, but because the Citizen has a 22mm lug width you will end up with a gap like this Thanks, Brad

Garmin Fenix 5X

What size for Garmin Fenix 5X?


Watch Straps Australia Response

Hi Geoff, That one will take a 26mm wide strap - however please note that my straps thread behind the watch face so will cover the heart rate sensor. If you would like to continue to use the heart rate sensor you will need to source a 'two piece' strap as shown on the Garmin site - Thanks, Brad

Do casio f91w watches work

Do casio f91w watches work with any of these watch band replacements?


Watch Straps Australia Response

Hi David, My 18mm nylon straps will work with the F91w. Please note that you'll need to choose from our 'standard' nylon range (which is 1.2mm thick) and not our seatbelt or leather straps (which are a lot thicker). Thanks, Brad

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