Omega is looking to freshen things up in the dog days of summer with a cool new collection of NATO straps. The famed brand is launching a selection of 8 different NATOs along with an online configurator that lets you see how they look with your Speedmaster or Planet Ocean.
The new OMEGA Nato Strap
The collection includes three five-stripe fabric straps with stainless steel buckles and fitted keepers. Three nylon fabric straps with grey, orange or red border. A brown “Novonappa” leather strap and an all-black coated nylon fabric strap with fitted black keepers and polished buckle. The NATO strap originated with the British armed forces, who first issued them in 1973. Omega takes its inspiration for the new collection from the original British military NATOs, which were originally developed for safety reasons. With a collection of straps provided from Omega, you can instantly change the look and feel of your watch.
Traditional watches and straps use removable spring bars, a hazard in combat situations. Fixed bars for NATO straps were often soldered and therefore less likely to break, leading to the loss of the watch, often a critical instrument for missions. The design of the NATO with its extra fabric and keepers also fixes the case in position. Incidentally, the term NATO for these straps did not originate with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but rather referred to the NATO stocking number used by the British military for the straps, G10. Some purists prefer to refer to them that way. Omega’s online configurator allows you to virtually test out the straps with an Omega timepiece. Omega is also selling tools to help you quickly change up the straps on your watch.
Omega previously offered a grey and black NATO strap on its Seamster 300 Spectre Limited Edition, worn by Daniel Craig in the Bond movie of the same name. The NATO was, in fact, Craig’s idea, inspired by Sean Connery, the original James Bond. However what appears to be a NATO on the Rolex “Big Crown” Submariner on Sean Connery’s wrist in Goldfinger, isn’t; an obvious point as the movie pre-dates the NATO’s creation by several years. While it is a nylon strap in regimental colors, it’s a traditional one-piece buckled strap and not a NATO. So, in fact, Craig was the first 007 to wear a NATO strap on screen. Off screen, when not contractually obligated to wear an Omega, he’s also been known to sport one on an original Big Crown Sub, part of his extensive Rolex collection. So, would you add any of the straps from Omega to your watch collection?
2019 UPDATE: Omega Biosteel NATO strap
Since we originally published this article, Omega has announced that they will be partnering with German company, AMSilk – the world’s first supplier of synthetic silk biopolymers to create a cutting edge NATO strap. After more than a decade of research and development, AMSilk has produced Biosteel fiber, which has been blended with polyamide to create a special Omega NATO strap.
Biosteel is exceptionally strong, as well as hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial. Additionally, Biosteel is naturally breathable, making it the perfect (but pricey) material to incorporate into a watch strap. To learn more about the Biosteel Omega NATO strap, you can read all about it when we first covered it earlier this year.