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Thread: French style Nato’s

  1. #1
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    French style Nato’s

    Has anyone had these style nato’s that could offer some info as to how they wear / comfort etc?

    https://www.watchgecko.com/french-st...xoCHYQQAvD_BwE




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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by benwisback View Post
    Has anyone had these style nato’s that could offer some info as to how they wear / comfort etc?

    https://www.watchgecko.com/french-st...xoCHYQQAvD_BwE




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    Ordered one yesterday, dispatch confirmation sent this morning. I'll update after its arrived.
    I've got 4-5 Erika's originals (same basic design) and find them to be the most comfortable strap there is. Hoping that these are in some way comparable.

  3. #3
    They look like a copy of Erika's Original straps. Search for them and you will get lots of mostly positive stuff.

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  4. #4
    Look good , really how much difference can they be on a elastic strap, so many cheaper versions of the Erikas now
    I just brought two from aliexpress for £10 each with delivery https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3303...e1d64c4drNUN2K
    I like the Erikas but overpriced before the 50% recent price rise was €50 but just went up to €75

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balance wheel View Post
    Look good , really how much difference can they be on a elastic strap, so many cheaper versions of the Erikas now
    I just brought two from aliexpress for £10 each with delivery https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3303...e1d64c4drNUN2K
    I like the Erikas but overpriced before the 50% recent price rise was €50 but just went up to €75
    I looked at these yesterday, was only put of by the quoted 20-40 day delivery time (reduced to 5-7 days if you stump up 40 dollars for delivery) Would be interested to hear how long they take to arrive.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Skip View Post
    I looked at these yesterday, was only put of by the quoted 20-40 day delivery time (reduced to 5-7 days if you stump up 40 dollars for delivery) Would be interested to hear how long they take to arrive.
    I’m in no hurry tbh , I had to get a Erikas made for my zrc and the wait was two weeks on that

  7. #7
    I ordered three of the AliExpress black/white specials today to go with the two Erika Originals, one CWC and several generic parachute straps I have already. I find them very comfortable, but struggle to tell the difference between the cheap ones from the expensive ones


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  8. #8
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    I'd like one in 18mm for my new arrival.

    MKII Hawkinge.

    They don't!.


  9. #9
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    I'm interested in the difference between those and the Erika's, I've got an Erika's and I'm interested in the WatchGecko ones.

    I've got a Cheapest NATO Straps paratrooper strap, which is actually pretty good, although not as nice as the Erika's. It has the bonus of being able to fit it to a fixed lug watch (PRS-40 in my case).
    Dave E

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave E View Post
    I'm interested in the difference between those and the Erika's, I've got an Erika's and I'm interested in the WatchGecko ones.

    I've got a Cheapest NATO Straps paratrooper strap, which is actually pretty good, although not as nice as the Erika's. It has the bonus of being able to fit it to a fixed lug watch (PRS-40 in my case).
    I read the reviews on the WatchGecko ones and not all good.


  11. #11
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    I've had both. IMO Erika's are better quality but overpriced. The watch Gecko ones are still pretty decent. I have recently bought some elasticated NATOS which I actually prefer because I like the NATO look. (and the price!)

  12. #12
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P9CLY View Post
    I read the reviews on the WatchGecko ones and not all good.
    I've read them as well, somewhat mixed is what I've seen and I can't make up my mind about them as a result.
    Dave E

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Chilli View Post
    I've had both. IMO Erika's are better quality but overpriced. The watch Gecko ones are still pretty decent. I have recently bought some elasticated NATOS which I actually prefer because I like the NATO look. (and the price!)
    Do you have a link for the elasticated natos please?.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by P9CLY View Post
    Do you have a link for the elasticated natos please?.
    https://georgesstraps.com/collection...tic-nato-strap

    Hopefully that will work.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Chilli View Post
    Yep it worked..

    Thanks.


  16. #16
    Apprentice Jo Hande's Avatar
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    paratrooperstraps french straps

    Does somebody has bought (tested) Cheapestnatostraps: Paratrooper Straps cost: 9.95$ ?
    Are they OK?
    Picture from their website:
    [IMG][/IMG]
    Thanks, Jo

  17. #17
    Tried some of the "cheaper" straps and whilst ok they are not a patch on Erika's.For me it depends on the watch price justifying buying the Erika's. Anyone else notice how expensive they are if you start ticking the options? Approaching £100 for a bit of knicker elastic...

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  18. #18
    I could not recommend. Elastic was thin and caused the watch head to move about when putting on/off - will cause scratches over time.I solved this by looping the excess material under the spring bar as well (doubling thickness) and this solved the issue.This depends on wrist size of course(6.75").Remember that this is single pass and if it unclips the watch will fall unlike other designs which have additional loop of material.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jo Hande View Post
    Does somebody has bought (tested) Cheapestnatostraps: Paratrooper Straps cost: 9.95$ ?
    Are they OK?
    Picture from their website:
    [IMG][/IMG]
    Thanks, Jo
    Sent from my E6653 using TZ-UK mobile app

  19. #19
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    i have 3 watchgecko/zuludiver straps of this type and cant fault them,most comfortable strap ever for me ..
    Last edited by greasemonkey; 29th October 2019 at 09:48. Reason: spelin

  20. #20
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    I've got one of the paratrooper straps, had it a few days and fitted it to my PRS-40. It's OK, to be honest. Definitely thinner and easier to stretch than an Erika's, and the stitching doesn't look as good. They come up pretty long, i shortened mine with scissors and then heat-sealed the end. Overall, though, it's a decent strap for me. Yes, as it's a single pass strap, if it comes undone then the watch will fall of your wrist (unlike an Erika's), but I don't see that being likely to happen, the fastening seems secure.
    Dave E

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  21. #21
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    Wierd, looks like an additional loop on the picture above and not a single pass

  22. #22
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    Got one of the watchgecko straps its better quality that a cheaper one I got for £10 on ebay.

    Haven't owned an erikas, too tight to stump up the extra money for a bit of elastic!

  23. #23
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    I recently got a seatbelt NATO from George's straps and it's brilliant.
    I've a 10% or so discount code somewhere...

  24. #24
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    According to the reviews on the Watchgecko web site, their straps are the same as the ones on AliExpress (just at 2.5 X the price...)

    I've got a few of the AliExpress ones. I compared them with a friend's Erika's Originals, and there was very little, if anything, in it qualitywise. I can't remember how quickly they arrived, but my experience with most stuff I buy from AliExpress is that it gets here within 1 to 2 weeks.

  25. #25
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Chilli View Post
    Wierd, looks like an additional loop on the picture above and not a single pass
    That additional material isn't secured at the end, here's a pic of mine on my PRS-40:


    I've removed some length from it, hence why the end is a touch ragged, but you get the picture I hope.
    Dave E

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave E View Post
    That additional material isn't secured at the end, here's a pic of mine on my PRS-40:


    I've removed some length from it, hence why the end is a touch ragged, but you get the picture I hope.
    Ah, makes sense now

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  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by amcneill View Post
    I could not recommend. Elastic was thin and caused the watch head to move about when putting on/off - will cause scratches over time.I solved this by looping the excess material under the spring bar as well (doubling thickness) and this solved the issue.This depends on wrist size of course(6.75").Remember that this is single pass and if it unclips the watch will fall unlike other designs which have additional loop of material.

    Sent from my E6653 using TZ-UK mobile app
    I have one and found it very comfortable however it did come undone at the buckle a couple of times so I stopped wearing it. Lucky I was able to catch the watch on both occasions before it hit the ground.
    From memory there is a fix for the clasp and I also think they may have changed or amended the clasp since I got mine.

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  28. #28
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by degsey View Post
    I have one and found it very comfortable however it did come undone at the buckle a couple of times so I stopped wearing it. Lucky I was able to catch the watch on both occasions before it hit the ground.
    From memory there is a fix for the clasp and I also think they may have changed or amended the clasp since I got mine.

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    Interesting, I've just had a Google and it looks like they changed the hardware. Mine has a double pass ladder style piece on the 6 o'clock section, where it used to be a single pass, regular clip. That seems to be to avoid the tension giving off on the clasp and it becoming detached. Mine seems pretty secure.
    Dave E

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  29. #29
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    Iv'e bought 2 now and find them excellent. Very comfortable, secure, and adjustable. For the money, unbeatable
    Wearing a green one on my PRS3 Broadarrow as I type.

  30. #30
    Apprentice Jo Hande's Avatar
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    Thanks for the useful comments!
    I think there is nothing wrong to try a cheaper one, and see how it fitts and feels.
    If necessary, I still can buy a more expensive one!
    Jo

  31. #31
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    I've got Erika's, watch gecko and the cheapest nato straps version. Erika's is the best overall, but overpriced. The watch gecko is the weakest of the 3, thinner material so tends to gradually slip through the buckle and loosen. The cheapest nato ones are surprisingly good, they do 2 versions (I prefer the paratrooper).

  32. #32
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    Watch Gecko strap arrived yesterday. Can't fault the service - ordered Sunday evening, despatched Monday morning and delivered Tuesday morning.

    Strap itself is pretty decent for the price. Elastic is a little thinner and metal work not quite as good as an Erika's (at 1/4 of the price I wouldn't expect it to be) Seems perfectly wearable, and the colour is spot on for the watch it was brought for.

    Biggest difference to the Erika's is that Erika will make the strap bespoke for your wrist size, meaning the keeper will be nicely centred on the wrist. For my OCD, this is a big plus!!






  33. #33
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    I'd echo the points above. I also decided to order a WatchGecko one to have a look at. Elastic is thinner than an Erika's, but seems fine. Biggest difference is that they're one size fits all, unlike the Erika's, so it doesn't feel as secure for me given where the clasp sits. It is, however, vastly cheaper than the Erika's. I'm going to wear the WatchGecko today/tomorrow to give it a proper test, though.
    Dave E

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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Chilli View Post
    Thanks for that

  35. #35
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    French style Nato’s

    Thanks for all the info on this thread, really good, I hadn’t been aware of the Erica strap & that being the premium version. I don’t fancy shelling out £60 on a fabric strap at the moment - so will give the Gecko a go, prolly the same as the one Skip put on his Seamaster.

    They look great to me, I love nato straps ease in changing and comfort, but I hate all the extra bulk from the buckles and folds so the French style looks ideal.

    Will try to remember to post a pic of the results!


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    Last edited by benwisback; 1st November 2019 at 07:45.

  36. #36
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    They're now €75?!

    I thought they were overprices at €50 lol
    Quote Originally Posted by Balance wheel View Post
    Look good , really how much difference can they be on a elastic strap, so many cheaper versions of the Erikas now
    I just brought two from aliexpress for £10 each with delivery https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3303...e1d64c4drNUN2K
    I like the Erikas but overpriced before the 50% recent price rise was €50 but just went up to €75
    Sent from my SM-G965F using TZ-UK mobile app

  37. #37
    Got my Ailexpress ones today, less than two weeks from order
    Very nice and look the same as my Erikas to me, I really can’t understand the Erikas thought process as with more cheaper options available she puts a already high price elastic strap up in price by 50%
    Aliexpress sent me two green by accident so if anyone wants to try one shoot me a pm and I will let you have for free , first come first serve uk only

    Also came with spring bar tools not bad deal at all for £20
    Last edited by Balance wheel; 8th November 2019 at 19:33.

  38. #38
    We have a winner congrats stefmcd I will post tomorrow, so please no pms

  39. #39
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    Have always been a little put off by the price of Erikas, but always fancied one, so thanks for the links and feedback guys, I have ordered myself a couple from Aliexpress 👍🏻

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balance wheel View Post
    Got my Ailexpress ones today, less than two weeks from order
    Very nice and look the same as my Erikas to me, I really can’t understand the Erikas thought process as with more cheaper options available she puts a already high price elastic strap up in price by 50%
    Aliexpress sent me two green by accident so if anyone wants to try one shoot me a pm and I will let you have for free , first come first serve uk only

    Also came with spring bar tools not bad deal at all for £20
    Hi

    Think of getting some via AliExpress after reading this thread. Do they fit in the same way as EO ones - so the watch will stay on your wrist if the hook comes undone?

    Cheers

  41. #41
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    https://i.imgur.com/9wxtPtO.jpghttps...om/9wxtPtO.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/Wtqy2ch.jpg
    I have a French strap from NDC. It's cut from parachute elastic, 2 strips are sewn to a GBFO clip (it's not a buckle) at one end.
    The watch is threaded onto the top strip & both strips are pulled through a metal retainer & the clip hooks into the retainer as well.
    The clip is huge & can't come out. Friction holds the retainer in place.
    You adjust the fit & tuck any surplus under the clip.
    If I've done the photos correctly you should see the clip & the elastic in its original usage, retaining the flaps of a French reserve parachute pack (ventral).

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by bambam View Post
    Hi

    Think of getting some via AliExpress after reading this thread. Do they fit in the same way as EO ones - so the watch will stay on your wrist if the hook comes undone?

    Cheers
    Yes exactly the same

  43. #43
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    Ive had some very hit and miss experiences with Ali Express but those NATO straps looks good quality. Can you share the exact link?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil-c-8 View Post
    Ive had some very hit and miss experiences with Ali Express but those NATO straps looks good quality. Can you share the exact link?
    Link may not work but I think the seller is called Old Traveller Store - if you search for the store, or nylon military watch strap you should find them. At least, that is who I have placed my order with.

    First time I've used AliExpress and my welcome discount voucher wasn't applied and I couldn't find a way to make it work. It was only $3 but still.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by bambam View Post
    Link may not work but I think the seller is called Old Traveller Store - if you search for the store, or nylon military watch strap you should find them. At least, that is who I have placed my order with.

    First time I've used AliExpress and my welcome discount voucher wasn't applied and I couldn't find a way to make it work. It was only $3 but still.

    A general search online,or on eBay?.


  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balance wheel View Post
    Yes exactly the same
    How does that work then?

    I've looked at this style of strap before, but been put off by the thought of the watch pinging off if the metal clip gets dislodged.

    Have I misunderstood how they fasten?

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Pagan View Post
    How does that work then?

    I've looked at this style of strap before, but been put off by the thought of the watch pinging off if the metal clip gets dislodged.

    Have I misunderstood how they fasten?
    The watch is attached to the strap , if buckle was undone strap it is still on wrist but with buckle undone it can loosen by making strap longer but I would off thought you would notice before that happened hand in pocket impossible to fall
    I did close clasp a little on mine with a pair of pliers


  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by neil-c-8 View Post
    Ive had some very hit and miss experiences with Ali Express but those NATO straps looks good quality. Can you share the exact link?
    Lots of different sellers but same product https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3301...9-dfa619d01895

  49. #49
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    Have any of the posters who have bought the Ali express version had to pay and import charges/handling fees?

  50. #50
    Master PhilipK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 87 Others View Post
    Have any of the posters who have bought the Ali express version had to pay and import charges/handling fees?
    Yup - I bought 4 straps, which pushed the total order over the threshold and had to pay when they arrived in the UK. Ended up costing me about £12 per strap in total, which is still well below WatchGecko prices (and significantly below EO's).

    Planning to get a few more shortly, but may buy them in lots of 2 or 3 to keep below the threshold.

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