Want to take your watch from nice to “wow” when it comes to sporty appeal? Try on a NATO strap and you may never go back. Essentially, a NATO strap is a military-style strap that can be slipped through the watch lugs, looped under the caseback and out the other lug to attachto the wrist as a single piece of fabric or leather instead of the traditional watch strap that has two sides and closes with a buckle.
Today’s NATO straps are most often made of nylon, canvas or leather (sometimes other materials, as well) that is rugged and can be removed from the watchcase easily, and be cleaned or replaced. These straps close via traditional hole-and-pin style buckles, so there is no worry about loss or breakage.
In the military field, nylon straps are used because they are inexpensive and durable. These one-piece military straps were first used in both America and Britain during World War II, when they were standard issue for a wristwatch. (The British Royal Air Force even referred to the straps as RAF straps.)
NATO straps often have stripes with a military-inspired motif. Camo-colored straps are also popular for NATO straps. The look, color and material choice is all a personal taste, but a NATO strap will transform your watch.