When Mick Jørgensen, owner and founder of WatchBandit asked me if I would like to review the NATO straps from Watchbandit.com I was thrilled. So I have made a purchase on the online store like any other customer, only he took the costs and asked me for a fair and honest review. I agreed with the only wish that with these straps we will organise a giveaway at the end of the review.
The NATO strap´s origins go back to the military watches of the British Army. These military tools could be obtained by request with the Ministry of Defence form G1098. Due to this document, the NATO strap was also known as the G10. They were designed so that in case of failure of a single spring bar, the watch will still be secured by the remaining spring bar. In time, this strap becomes popular between collectors for the vintage pieces and also in the modern times as a reliable and also fashionable alternative to the classic leather strap or metal bracelet.
The Watchbandit Website is intuitive and easy to use. The site has a wide offer: watches from several microbrands, a variety of watch bands (perlon, NATO, vintage, suede, classic, racing, mesh and canvas) and bracelets from WatchBandit and Haagenbracelets.
I laid my eyes on the Black & Grey 5 Stripes, the Bond and the Black & Red straps. I had in mind the watches I would like to try them on: Omega Seamaster, Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch and a Tissot PRC100 in titanium. The ordering process took just minutes and in a very short time, I received the confirmation of the package being sent.
The straps came the next day since I live in Germany, the straps being delivered from Berlin. Below the unboxing done the same evening as the delivery.
I was pleasantly surprised. I have heard about the Watchbandit straps´ quality, but the packaging and the entire presentation made a good impression.
The Watchbandit Nato Strap Black & Red | WB Original
I have decided to fit the Black & Red NATO to my Seamaster. I considered the strap as an excellent fit for the black ceramic and the red seconds hand’s tip. The fitting process created no issues. The strap is soft and fits perfectly on this watch. I think the Watchbandit Nato Strap Black & Red is a perfect companion for a black themed watch.
While I am eleven and a half months a desk diver, the rest of the time gets some good water action. I have always wanted to see how my Seamaster will feel on a NATO strap. The reasons for not getting one was the inability to decide on one. So this was the perfect opportunity. I have seen the Omega NATO straps in person and I can say that the Watchbandit straps are a good alternative.
The Watchbandit Nato Strap Bond | WB Original
The Watchbandit Nato Strap Bond is a classic between the NATO straps. I was happy to fit it on my Horological Smartwatch. The Bond colour combination goes perfectly with the watch’s dial.
Several days I switched between the watches to see how they could handle my daily lifestyle. At work, at home and on the road, I was satisfied with the commodity of the straps. The material is soft and pleasant. I tried several sizes to see how my wrist will handle the pressure or the loose feeling. I have noticed that I like the straps to be a little tight on the wrist. The looseness and the softness of the strap gave me, unconsciously, the feeling that it will slip away. Of course, it was not happening. But this feeling is not present with a thicker, more rigid strap. At the same time, a more rigid strap gets uncomfortable during a long day with a lot of wrist movement. So I just made them a bit tighter and everything was fine.
The Watchbandit Nato Strap Black & Grey | 5 Stripes | WB Original
The Watchbandit Nato Strap Black & Grey had the most fun. Fitted on the most inexpensive watch, a Tissot PRC100 quartz watch in titanium, the strap has seen some action during some driving sessions, swimming and some more brutal hard work. I am always amused how this watch gets, sometimes, the best fun and the strap contributed to the nice comfortable feeling.
The straps have a good built quality. The stitches are well made: precise and well finished. There are no “leftovers” that can scratch your skin or cause irritations.
I like in particular the metal parts of the Watchbandit NATO strap. The buckle is a solid brushed 316L stainless steel with WB logo engraved. The steel links are solid and have the same brushed finish.
Impressions and conclusions
The Watchbandit NATO straps are well made. They are comfortable and fit well the in-between lugs’ space. On all the tested watches, the strap thickness was ok. A thicker size would have created problems in fitting. I own several NATO straps, including a very thick one that I can only use on a single vintage piece. So this was an important aspect I was careful about.
I have a 17.5cm / 6.9inch wrist and the end of the 28cm long strap fits great to wear with the tip turned inside (visible on all pictures and video). A bigger wrist size will not have the luxury of bending the end of the strap into the link. But this is a personal choice…
Watchbandit NATO straps Specifications and price
The Watchbandit straps can be ordered online for a price of 25€ / 30$ (Incl. 19% VAT, excl. shipping)
Nylon: Outstanding seat-belt quality very soft and comfortable
Buckle: Brushed 316L stainless steel with WB logo.
Size: About 1,4 mm thick and 28 cm long.
Watch Strap Width: 18mm, 20mm, 22mm & 24mm. The reviewed straps are all at 20mm size.
Shipping: On every workday from the warehouse in Berlin. Free worldwide delivery starting from 99 €. For orders below this value, the following delivery costs apply: Germany 3 €, EU and Worldwide 5 €
Delivery: Delivery worldwide. The expected delivery times are: for Germany 2–3 workdays, for EU 3–7 workdays & worldwide 7–15 workdays. All orders will be shipped with the logistics partner Deutsche Post DHL Group.
For more information, please visit Watchbandit Website.