SKU Code: NAT20SS/ELA/BL
Some military forces have been using elasticated nylon straps for some years but we realized that if we were to produce the same type of material and then fit the bands with NATO pattern fasteners they would work very well as an alternative to standard NATO straps because they can be taken off without undoing the buckles this has benefits in various ways but as was pointed out when we supplied them to some Royal Marines this could be extremely beneficial if the strap became caught or snagged on something.
In terms of appearance these straps look very similar to a standard NATO strap and the length at 28 cm is virtually identical.
Although these straps are elastic they are still very much a classic NATO watchband made from fast drying ballistic nylon webbing the only difference is that the elastic material has been mixed with the nylon. This high tech material is ideally suited for use in military watch straps because it is robust, comfortable and long lasting. The watch straps themselves are perfect for all extreme activities because the design characteristics reduce the risk of losing a watch to virtually zero, this is because the design of the strap means the watch is held securely at two different points making it virtually impossible for it to come off the wrist.
The history of the NATO strap is interesting and started out with the single grey 20mm band around 40 years ago and has expanded from there initially to RAF Blue, Black, and Navy Blue then to the James Bond pattern strap and Olive Green and from there we have made more and more variants in regimental colors, Search and Rescue SAR (which is an orange strap) and an unbelievable range of different designs in national colors, police unit colors and various camouflage options for specific situations. The straps are also frequently used by military units outside the UK and also purchased by serving military to use on a wide variety of military watches.
Currently we manufacture 167 different variants in all sorts of colors. The majority of these different straps are made for retail sale but some custom straps are sold via various procurement contracts. This strap is simply a further evolution of the original strap which we have sold for decades.
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. The current specification data sheet can be downloaded at NATO Strap Current Spec although this specification is not totally set in stone it is pretty much still the exact design that is specified when we make straps although most bulk contracts insist on them being stitched around the buckles.
We have supplied the original nylon straps for over twenty years to a large range of clients ranging from serving military personnel, Police, emergency services, exploration units, Search and Rescue, oil and gas companies, marine salvage and exploration business and also companies operating in tropical or desert locations. The reality is that nothing beats a NATO strap because they are ideally suited for all these organizations because they can be easily washed and they will dry in minutes and do not rot like leather or split like silicon.
NATO straps are also ideal for watches made by all leading military contractors as well as robust civilian watches such as Seiko, Rolex, Breitling and Pulsar to list just a few.
Please Note: Although currently we only make our new range of elasticated/stretch NATO straps in 20mm width many of our customers have informed us they will work perfectly well on watches with 18mm lugs and having tried them on some of our models of this size they seem to be fine.