The so-called NATO watch strap is a very popular and understandable thing now. But we, catering to the curious, allowed ourselves to be distracted by this trivial "accessory" and hope that we will tell you something new and interesting.
In fact, it would be more correct to call these fabric straps G10: in 1973, the definition of "Strap, wristwatch" appeared in the British standard of the Ministry of Defense (DefStan) 66-15; if you happen to be in their military service, you could get an SWW (Strap, Wrist Watch) by filling out form G1098 or G10 for short. NATO stock number, if intelligence is right: Army and Navy #6645-99-124-2986 and Air Force #6645-99-527-7059. The G10s are uniform in their color - "Admiralty Grey" - and size, including the width. They are all nylon.
The strap is designed to pass under the spring bars between the lugs of the case and under it so that if one of the bars breaks, the watch will remain secured. The strap is longer than usual and allows you to wear the watch over a wetsuit when diving, for example, or over a flight jacket - an incredibly versatile item.
The fact that the world is filled with a variety of different versions of the original NATO idea is blamed, of course, on Sean Connery, who in the very first James Bond film Dr. No”, walked with a Rolex Submariner on a narrow striped nylon strap of “regimental” coloring, and thus instantly set the vector of fashion development for this initially nondescript device.
The big brands have recently taken notice of this cheap item, and following Daniel Wellington to make it a cooler statement piece than the other watches that come with it, only the lazy didn't bother to offer an extra NATO strap in addition to the standard leather one. A little later, many manufacturers, gripped by vintage fever, decided to abandon leather altogether and offer only fabric options, Omega built an entire campaign around their striped ones.
Watches for several thousand or tens of thousands of euros on inexpensive fabric straps, which are supplied by their owners, are not at all uncommon - many people want to look not only rich, but young and fashionable. Judging is not our business, and in favor of such decisions, we can safely say that NATO straps, by their nature, are stronger, which means that your ticking charm is screwed to you more reliably. And reliability, this is important - read our criminal chronicles - whole gangs of robbers make a living by tearing watches from the hands of honest citizens.
Wristwatch with NATO strap: