Even though the NATO strap has been the choice of professionals for more than 40 years, it has taken some time for it to capture the imagination of the masses and to achieve mainstream popularity. The steel bracelet and the leather strap have ruled supreme to date, but something is brewing.
Enoksen Watch Company offers at least one NATO strap with each of our watch models. We believe that nothing beats a NATO strap because it is ideally suited for an active lifestyle, yet retaining an elegance, which makes it suitable for everyday use.
The straps are made from fast drying ballistic nylon webbing that allows it to be easily washed and dry within minutes and therefore widely regarded as very low maintenance. This means that the NATO strap will not rot or break like the leather and silicon conventional straps that have been more popular in the past.
The grey NATO strap was the first colour used by the UK Ministry of Defence and all other NATO straps trace their origins back to this particular variant. The high tech, ballistic nylon webbing is ideally suited for use in military watchstraps due to its robustness, comfortability and resilience.
The watchstraps themselves are perfect for all extreme activities. The design characteristics reduce the risk of losing a watch to virtually zero due to its design meaning the watch is held securely at two different points, making it difficult for it to come off the wrist.
The history of the NATO strap started with the admiralty grey 20mm band in 1973 and has since expanded from grey to RAF Blue, Black, and Navy Blue, then to the James Bond dark grey/light grey pattern strap as well as Olive Green. Following these, a large number of variants in regimental colours, such as Search and Rescue SAR (bright orange) and different designs in national colours, police unit colours and various camouflage options for specific situations.
The straps are also frequently used by military units around the world having a large fan base among serving military to use on a wide variety of military watches.
The original specification of what we today term "the NATO strap" was laid down by the UK Ministry of Defence and was called Defence Standard 66-47 Issue 2 Publication Date 30 March 2001. The specifications which preceded this were Def Stan 66-47 Issue 1 dated 13 November 1992 and two earlier standards, Def Stan 66-15 (Part 1) Issue 1 – Strap (Nylon) dated 30 November 1973 and Def Stan 66-15 (Part 2) Issue 1 – Strap (Leather/Nylon) dated 31 January 1974.