Original NATO strap was born in 1973 to meet British Minister Of Defense (MOD) need to providean extremely resistant watch strap to Bristish Army.
The aim of British MOD was to design a watch strap which could face any situation. The goal was to get free from problems encountered with straps of that time : humidity issues on leather in tropical climate, risky steel watchband reflection on a military mission, low reliability of rubber straps, watch loss risks because of lugs rupture (including buckle lug) ...
Here are the main characteristics of the very strict requirements which clearly show MOD objective to obtain an efficient strap without any weakness :
- grey woven nylon of 1.2 mmthickness (color "Admiral Grey"), - made of a unique nylon ribbon, - one piece buckle without lug (irremovable),
- heat-welded buckle and loops, - end of strap and holes heat-sealed, - 20 mm width (lug width of military watches of that time),
- 280 mm length (to be put on thick diving suits of Royal Navy).
Extracts of British Minister Of Defense (MOD) requirements
NATO straps was born.
This strap was called NATO strap because it had a NATO stock (or NSN number) allocated to the item, as we can see in the Table below.
NATO strap is also called G10 strap. It got this name because of the form (G10) which Britih army uses for requisition of the straps (and other items) from the stores.
NATO strap reference in NATO stock (ITEM NO 1)
Here are 2 photos of NATO straps on mission with the Royal Navy :
Mo Crang, bond-disposal expert diver from Royal Navy (MilSub on NATO strap)
NATO strap at the end of a mission
Then colors and stripes appeared with regimental NATO straps.
These are more civil than military because Britih regiments never had them for service. They just had the opportunity to get some in some dispensary.
Below the colors they could obtain (non official on a military point of vue).
NATO straps has now become a key accessory for watch lovers, but also a fashion item due to its spirit and style.
They are now available in a wide range of colours that you can find here on my site : high quality straps at reasonnable prices.