With NATO watch straps, you can never go wrong. These ageless straps have been around since the early seventies when the British first wore them and fast forward to the present day, big watch brands are copping them to go along every one of their latest time piece releases.
What is a NATO- style Watch Strap?
This is a military-inspired watch strap that is fixed strongly to both sides of the watch’s lug bars for extra security and to ensure your watch doesn’t have to fall off. But while the extra security the NATO strap provides hasn’t waned a bit, there have been a few evolutionary trends that distinguish it from what was the norm as far back as the early 1970s.
For example, the G10’s as the NATO Straps are popularly called were originally specified to have a strap width of 20mm but in the modern time, they now come in 18mm, 20mm, 22mm and even 24 mm sizes, it’s aesthetic quality has also gone up a notch.
While the 1973’s original color of the NATO strap was admiralty grey, the straps now come in colors such as black, petite coral, rose gold just to mention a few. An equally important part of the history of NATO Straps is the involvement of Omega.
An article titled ‘The NATO Strap’ in Issue 15 of Omega’s Lifestyle customer magazine as far back as the early 70’s gave useful commentary on the origins of the now modern NATO watch strap. This further confirms the theory that Omega’s active use of the NATO Straps has indeed been a long time coming!
Issue 15 of Omega’s Lifestyle customer magazine cover featuring Daniel Craig in SPECTRE
Here at Strapcode, we have curated one of the best NATO strap collections in the market and we can vouch for the quality of every one of them. This probably is the reason why a big watch brand like OMEGA and a few of their peers like BREMONT has fully integrated NATO Straps to go with a decent number of their timepieces.
With that being said, here are a few classic, modern, and significant Omega watches that follow what I term the perfect match-up – OMEGA Watch featuring a NATO strap.
1. Vintage Omega Geneve Manual Wind
Rare 18mm Blue & Red Stripes NATO watch strap lay on classic Omega Geneve vintage watch quietly
Designed with a gorgeous sunburst silver dial from the 70s, this vintage timepiece keeps great time and is fully functional. It fits just about right with any plain color or strips NATO strap, this time we paired it with our Dark Blue & Red Stripes NATO, which is just perfect for that.
2. Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph Moon watch
Specially picked earth color tones 20mm NATO Watch Strap to enhance the military vibe of the Moon watch
The OMEGA Speedmaster is one of OMEGA’s most iconic timepieces and has been a part of all six lunar missions; you can easily rock with any NATO straps to create an unbeatable combo.
3. The Vintage Omega Seamaster Automatic Crosshair Dial
Classic Omega Seamaster Crosshair paired with a 18mm Black / Khaki NATO Strap
This is a silver tone vintage Omega Seamaster with a crosshair dial. The watch has its original case, dial and crown and goes just well with a multi stripe NATO strap.
4. Vintage OMEGA Speedmaster Mark III Mechanical Chronograph Ref. 176.002
OMEGA Speedmaster Mark 3 modern elegance paired with a Black, Grey & Orange Stripes NATO Bullet Tail Watch Strap
This is the first automatic chronograph caliber of the OMEGA brand, the movement was housed by an aggressively bold-designed watch case which in turn makes it a very important piece.
5. Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial 41 mm Ref. 18.104.22.168.03.001
RAF N7 3-D Woven Nylon Military Green Nato Watch Strap, available in 20mm or 22mm
This model features a blue dial with a date window at the 3 o’clock position and pays tribute to the brand’s maritime legacy. This timepiece goes well with any one of our NATO Straps that come in military green color. It was a watch designed especially for divers and professionals who worked extensively underwater.
6. Omega Ploprof 1200M 22.214.171.124.01.001
Deep Dive Monster Omega Plopro gets into that military vibe with a Forest Green NATO starp
Omega Seamaster PloProf is a big deep-dive monster. It is 55 mm wide by 48 mm tall, definitely a stunning diving watch, and is very noticeable. This Omega Seamaster PloProf actually ranked pretty much at the top of the Omega product line and was extremely expensive, even considering its professional use market. However, the watch was a hit with professionals and consumers alike.
7. Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Co Axial Chronograph 44 mm Ref. 126.96.36.199.03.001
Odd lug size 21mm attention-grabbing NATO strap in Black, White, Blue & Red Stripes with Bullet Tail Watch Strap
This exquisite example of renowned watchmaking pays homage to OMEGA’s dive watch heritage and adventurous pioneering spirit. This 44mm is a great-looking sturdy big watch with a lacquered blue dial with three sub-dials and a polished blue ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel. All chronograph functions in one.
8. Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Master Chronometer 42MM Ref. 188.8.131.52.01.001
A 20mm 3 Rings Zulu NATO strap in Grey, Black & Red stripes paired with rare PVD Black Hardware sit nicely on this Black Dial Omega Seamaster watch
A timepiece spanning 3 decades, this model is crafted from stainless steel with a white color enamel diving scale to fit.
9. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Spectre James Bond Watch Ref. 184.108.40.206.03.004
20mm Black & Yellow NATO strap shines the Omega Aqua Terra SPECTRE
This is an iconic timepiece as OMEGA created this limited watch in anticipation of SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film.
10. Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Moonphase Chronograph 42mm Ref. 3576.50.00
20mm 3M Glow-in-the-Dark NATO Watch Strap. These 3M strips reflect light to make you visible to cars or bikes, high visibility just like glow in the dark.
Similar to the earlier Moonwatch on this list, this has also been on every one of the six lunar missions and comes with a moon phase and a classic date indicator.
Modern Use of NATO Straps
In the past, the military had a monopoly when it came to NATO Straps but not any longer and OMEGA having a wide variety of straps offering on their official website is a testament to that.
But that didn’t just come about by luck. The surge in popularity came via the 1964 film Goldfinger- a sequel of the James Bond Movies. In the movie, Actor Sean Connery who played the role of James Bond wore his RX crown SUB with a NATO Strap. This modern interpretation of the Grey Nato Strap, from Sean Connery’s Nato strap to the latest NATO strap worn by Daniel Craig in SPECTRE and No Time to Die. James Bond movies made the black and grey NATO strap a big hit.
Legendary Grey stripes Bond strap NATO well paired with Omega MoonWatch Moonphase on any occasion
The strap’s unique looks caught the eye of many around the world despite its brief cameo in the movie. This led to the strap becoming more popular with enthusiasts coming to even appreciate it the more. This appreciation has led to people willing to substitute the original metal bracelets that accompany watches with NATO Straps. Of course, an unconventional move like that has led to some backlash from purists but there is just no denying the aesthetic quality and durability of every one of the NATO Straps.
If you are an avid watch lover or a curator of timepieces, it is only normal for you to notice how prevalent the straps are now in the market; if you haven’t, it’s only a matter of time before you do. Seeing OMEGA add NATO Straps to their collection is a testament to its quality and also shows that indeed they are a product of careful and meticulous research, just like all Omega creations.
Written by Victor, images by Toni and others as noted
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