What is a NATO and where did it originate? Are you ready to dive into the history of a NATO strap with us? We're ready to dispense the myths and discover the truth.
Most people believe NATO straps are associated with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This organization was created in 1949 by the United States, Canada and several European countries to provide security against the Soviet Union. So the assumption is these straps were worn by NATO forces and that’s that. But, that is not actually the case.
NATO straps do trace their history within the military lines. Most soldiers used wrist watches and relied upon a sturdy strap to keep the timepiece in place during battle.
Soldiers first used leather bands were not ideal for exertion causing sweat and moisture. Thus, a tougher fabric was sought after. The US military issued a canvas like strap at the end of WWII (desperately needed in the battles occurring in Asia and the Pacific). This was basically a prototype NATO strap.
The first “NATO” made its debut as the “G10” in the British Ministry of Defence Standard in 1973. In order to get a strap, soldiers needed to complete a G1098 form or G10 for short. These nylon straps were made in admiral gray with chrome-plated brass buckle and keepers. After the initial release, the NATO strap was modified to represent different British military regiments.
An interesting note: many individuals believed the most iconic NATO strap derived from the James Bond films with the watch worn by Sean Connery - particularly in Goldfinger. However, the nylon strap worn was not the NATO design. The striped band on the Rolex Submariner did create a wave of excitement and to this day, there is a “Bond NATO.”
There are actually two “Bond NATOs.” One is the accurate striped olive and edged in red on black nylon. But, there is also a second “Bond NATO” where the two stripes are gray due to the poor lighting of the movie. It was difficult to determine the actual coloring of the stripes.
(Side note: Bezel and Barrel offer both of these styles as well as a colorful array of soft military nylon bands with a NATO-like design here).
As consumers, we desire the level of military manufacturing with its demand for the highest standard of performance, durability and reliability. With the requirement to survive all sorts of obstacles, military specs and manufacturing set the bar for adventure gear. NATO straps are specifically designed to create extra security for keeping your watch safe and in place as well as accommodating all wrist sizes.
Highly versatile and interchangeable, if you wear a NATO, you are probably a “strap guy.” So, don’t forget to check out Everest’s Swiss-Made straps for your Rolex, Tudor and/or Panerai! Discover more about our curved end technology and what makes Everest unique with our strap collection lines here.
Thank you for joining us as we dove into the history of NATO!