If you’re a male and into watches you know about NATO straps. I have some watches with bands that I don’t care for or will look cooler with a coordinating NATO. To that end, I went on the hunt for some NATO straps. I found quite a rabbit hole of straps.
NATO strap history
I have to cover a little history. The term NATO has little to do with the international organization. The straps were actually conceived of by the British Ministry of Defense. The term NATO was a shortened version of the term NATO Stocking Number. The stocking number is a 13-digit numeric code used for military supplies and recognized by all NATO countries. The more appropriate, and often recognized term for the strap, is the G10 strap. G10 refers to the form that a British soldier needs to get the straps.
I have a few watches that I want the option to wear a NATO. Each of the watches has a leather strap which is nice for each watch but, they are not my style. As well, in the summer months, a NATO will feel nicer. I started my research by consulting TGV at the Urban Gentry. From what I could gather his recommendation was for WristCandyWatchClub. Further research on TGV’s recommendation did not sit well with me. I looked at Crown & Buckle and Toxic NATOs as well. Every NATO place I looked had some issue – price, quality or number of patterns and options to choose from.
To be honest, I cannot remember how BluShark ended up on my radar. Fact is, BluShark came recommended everywhere I looked (and I did hours of research). If you are trying to decide on a place to pick up a strap, do yourself a favor and type on over to www.blusharkstraps.com.
BluShark strap review
The selection is wide with varying textures from ribbed to silky smooth, thin straps. Also, one can choose different types of hardware such as polished, brushed or black. They offer many deals and discounts which let you can get into a NATO for as little as $12 per strap. For $12 these straps are the best deal going. I opted to buy three and get the fourth and fifth free. With normal shipping, these puppies ended up on my doorstep in three days from the date of order. Service = spot on.
The five straps I ordered came in a sturdy box with each strap packaged in a clear, plastic wrapper. Additionally, a nice logo-adorned cleaning cloth came in the box (see photos below).
To start with, the texture of the Original strap is smooth and very pliable. From the box, the straps go on the wrist like you have worn them 100 times already. The stitching around the nylon buckle and other metal keepers is perfect. There are no loose fibers scratching the wrist. The buckles and keepers themselves are very sturdy and high quality. These are not flimsy pieces of metal that I have found on other nylon straps. The holes for the strap are smooth and welded. As well, the end of the strap has been heat-welded and shows no fraying at all. From the tang to the first hole measures +/- 6.25 inches and to the last hole +/- 9.625 inches.
Here are a few shots of the watches with the new straps.
These are rock solid straps that add certain versatility to most any watch you may have. I’m sure the higher level straps are that much nicer for those that want to spend up some. I give BluShark NATOs a huge thumbs up and I am happy to put them between the lugs of my watches.