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Thread: NATO vs Single Pass straps

  1. #1

    NATO vs Single Pass straps

    As a long time liker of a NATO or two, it struck me today , whilst fitting a NATO to my new Hamilton RAF Chronograph reissue (or whatever they call it), what is the real benefit of a NATO over a single pass thing. With fixed bars, which a NATO is designed to work with, there is no more chance of the watch falling from the strap if a bar fails in service than with a single pass strap. The extra bit of strap just makes the watch sit higher , as far as I can see. Some say it stops the watch rotating on the strap but most are quite ribbed and that acts to keep the watch in place. Sure to be a good answer to this but I can't really see one .....

  2. #2
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    The extra bit is there to centre the watch on the strap and to stop it sliding off when putting the watch on or off.

  3. #3
    Craftsman
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    I agree with you OP, but personally I prefer a single pass velcro strap instead of a NATO, or a Eulit Perlon if the case is a slim one ...

    In my experience, the watch head does not slide around anyway if you don't have the extra bit of strap underneath.

  4. #4
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    There's no benefit to a NATO in terms of watch "security". I've worn single pass straps (Maratac Zulu being my favourite) for years and much prefer them.

  5. #5
    Thanks for that, my feelings entirely. Also, I don't hold with the idea that it stops the watch slipping off the strap or centralising the watch , mine are invariably mounted as far away from the buckle end loop as possible, so the buchle sits more centrally on the wrist underside. Anyways, interesting to hear the views, thanks all.

    Quote Originally Posted by learningtofly View Post
    There's no benefit to a NATO in terms of watch "security". I've worn single pass straps (Maratac Zulu being my favourite) for years and much prefer them.

  6. #6
    Quite a variety in the various spacings ..

    Sent from my SM-N975F using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Master Filterlab's Avatar
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    I always cut my NATOs to single pass anyway. The G10 bit makes a watch sit too high for my liking.

  8. #8
    Master Geralt's Avatar
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    NATOs are over-engineered so that there is not even a physical possibility of the watch head sliding off the strap. It doesn't matter that it's just about immovable anyway. Without the correct kit, you can guarantee that someone, or several someones, might fail to make a rendezvous, or worse, a misson, by blaming it on a lost watch. The design of a NATO is intended to preclude such scenarios, some of which could be serious at least in the opinion of the MOD. ISTR reading that service personnel may even hang a watch by the buckle for varicose reasons. I could have dreamed that of course.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geralt View Post
    ISTR reading that service personnel may even hang a watch by the buckle for varicose reasons. I could have dreamed that of course.

    Don't think you dreamed it; I read the same thing in a similar thread here a few years ago.

    I don't like the "single pass" variety. On my own wrist the watch tends to flop sideways a bit.

  10. #10
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notnowkato View Post
    Quite a variety in the various spacings ..
    But there are NATOs and NATOs
    I understand where you are coming from and agree to an certain degree but the reason for the flappy bit is as I described.
    The straps you showed are not NATOs (yes pedant) they do not conform to the defstan
    So the geeky answer is to stop the watch slipping of the strap!
    On NATO ‘alike’ straps the flappy bit is pointless if too big for the watch.

  11. #11
    The nicest nato straps I have found come from watchobession. The are £10, great quality and slightly shorter than most so not excessive tail hanging out or to tuck in. They also come in a range of different colours and sizes.
    Last edited by boring_sandwich; 30th November 2022 at 22:24.

  12. #12
    Craftsman TF23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boring_sandwich View Post
    The nicest nato straps I have found come from watchobession. The are £10, great quality and slightly shorter than most so not excessive tail hanging out or to tuck in. They also come in a range of different colours and sizes.
    Haven't tried those, but have tried quite a few. Here are my brief thoughts based on my own experience.

    If you plan on wearing in the original style with extra understrap, and like patina, you'll find it tough to beat a Phoenix.

    If you want a really robust strap which resists fraying and at a reasonable price then definitely try CWC. They do various styles including a range of single pass straps in the 'ribbed' style.

    If you want a really good value strap with a huge variety of options, there's CNS (Cheapest NATO Straps) from Sweden who invariably have a discounted sale on lots of straps. They're decent quality - absolutely nothing wrong with them - but IMO not as good as CWC.

  13. #13
    Master Caruso's Avatar
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    Anyone who owns a PRS-40 will appreciate the extra security of the Nato strap - otherwise they are forever sliding off a single pass strap!

    Having said that most watches with normal springbar to case spacing don't slide off in my experience and I too prefer the single pass.

  14. #14
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filterlab View Post
    I always cut my NATOs to single pass anyway. The G10 bit makes a watch sit too high for my liking.
    +1

    Also, I used to like the way full NATOs looked on the wrist but not anymore, too common. Also, I really like the new elasticated NATOs (not the Marine National) also cut to single pass.
    Last edited by abraxas; 1st December 2022 at 00:18.
    "How did it get so late so soon?" Dr. Seuss

  15. #15
    Master Papa Hotel's Avatar
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    NATO straps, I tend to leave as-is, I'm more inclined to chop the bottom bit off a Zulu as those are usually thicker.

    Although as alluded to above, PRS-40 owners will understand the folly of cutting the bottom bit off a strap... I found out the hard way.

  16. #16
    Not fussed either way as regards original post. My issue with nato is how easily they melt - if you shorten or use a lighter to tidy any loose threads or fraying you will notice this. I would of thought a military standard would of developed whereby the material would of withstood some temperature? I realise this is irrelevant to most of us on the forum though.

    Sent from my SM-A528B using Tapatalk

  17. #17
    Master Papa Hotel's Avatar
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    The application of fire will damage most things. And it's the careful application of heat that allows NATOs to be trimmed easily and neatly, we can't have it both ways.

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