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Hey guys I have had a lot of fun browsing the forum looking for watches and information, but I am still new and confused.

What is a boutique brand? I think I've seen this term used a couple of times, and I'm not sure what it means.

Also what is a micro brand?

Also what is the big appeal of a NATO strap? I don't understand why people like them- is it simply a matter of me having poor taste (undeveloped) or is there some kind of watch history that I am not privy to?

Thanks for the info :D
 

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Hey, welcome to WUS.

1) boutique brand: my understanding is that "boutique" brands aren't entirely affiliated with making watches. Kind of like designer brands. Raymond Wiel, Gucci, Hugo Boss etc. Typically, boutique brands are deemed to not hold their resale value as well as "proper" watch brands. Say, Rolex for example. However, you may notice that an awful lot of snobbery surrounds this viewpoint. I mean, a "proper watch brand" for me, may be different to what you consider to be "proper". There are some interesting crossover brands too. Cartier for example. There was a recent thread discussing Cartier's value in respect to being a watchmaker; instead of the typically assumed fashion brand.

2) Micro brand? No idea! I'm guessing smaller (possibly independant?) watchmakers.

3) The NATO strap. For me it took some getting used to asthetically. Still, I've never owned one. They suit sporty watches (especially dive watches, thinl Rolex Submariner) because of the tough material. Don't knock your own tastes. "Poor tastes", there's no such thing. You'll find that your tastes may change! look up the thread "eveloution of WIS"

Cheers,

zac
 

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Actually, Boutique and Micro tend to be interchangeable here on WUS and do not refer to Fashion watches as mentioned above. They generally refer to small, independent watch makers that churn out watches in small numbers with many limited editions. You can often get greater value and customer service with these makers and often are in contact directly with the owner. Micro is used more often with the smallest makers and Boutique can be expanded to include slightly larger independent companies. Micro brand examples include makers such as Benarus, Halios, Boschett, Bernhardt, Deep Blue, Steinhart, Helson, Domasko, UTS, Zixen, Aegir and many others. Many of these companies are started with watch fanatics who make only a few thousand watches per year, or far less. I would include slightly larger companies such as Sinn and Stowa in the Boutique category as well, although they make more watches than the previously listed companies.

As far as Nato straps go, I thought they looked terrible at first as well, but recently tried one on my Seiko Kinetic beater, and I must admit that they are very secure and comfortable. Guess they grow on you, kind of like Orange Monsters.
 

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As far as Nato straps go, I thought they looked terrible at first as well, but recently tried one on my Seiko Kinetic beater, and I must admit that they are very secure and comfortable. Guess they grow on you, kind of like Orange Monsters.
Very true. For me its just nice to know that if a spring bar fails my watch isn't gone, but comfort is another factor which certainly makes NATOs and Zulus more appealing.
 

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Natos were created by the British and thereby got a part number; G-10, making them official issue. Apart from that fact, they add a military flair or tatical look to the watch and they're just plain cool looking!
 

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It took me loooong time to try NATO or Zulu straps. I first thought they were ugly and looked cheap. Man I was so wrong! You might never like them but they are among the most comfortable and secure strap on the market, and very affordable. I have many today and like them a lot. Welcome to WUS !


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Break a spring bar & you've lost your watch.
That's the case if you have any leather or metal band/bracelet.

With a Nato... break a spring bar and your watch remains on your wrist!

That's the main reason why you see so many of them on military/pilots/divers watches.


They are also very comfortable... until you get them wet and then you'll hate them.
 

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I consider boutique and micro to be the same thing. Basically any watch company that isn't widely sold. So Rolex is not boutique, neither is Omega, but Halios is.

I felt the same way about NATOs when I first started seeing them on the dive forum. They looked like cheap, ugly little straps. But then I took the plunge and tried a few out and now I absolutely adore them. I'm wearing my Sunset on one right now, even though it's 4mm too narrow.
 

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You either like G10/NATOs (or Zulus) or you don't. Fortunately, they are cheap enough that finding out which camp you are in doesn't cost much....
 

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Hey guys I have had a lot of fun browsing the forum looking for watches and information, but I am still new and confused.

What is a boutique brand? I think I've seen this term used a couple of times, and I'm not sure what it means.

Also what is a micro brand?

Also what is the big appeal of a NATO strap? I don't understand why people like them- is it simply a matter of me having poor taste (undeveloped) or is there some kind of watch history that I am not privy to?

Thanks for the info :D
Think of overlapping circles on a venn diagram. I think that the term boutique brand gets knowingly applied to watches that range from those usually sold through company boutiques such as Cartier and Bucherer to very small production high-priced brands, most of which are independently owned but some are owned by large holding companies. Micro brand typically applies to very small production brands, but again the rules are a bit hazy because Debaufre, Nomos and Dufour all sell small numbers of watches. There's lots of crossover and I think most of us get a nice warm fuzzy feeling when we talk about a boutique watch brand. But we really don't think much about what we are really saying.

If you like NATO straps then enjoy them. I can imagine something comparable on a Timex Ironman because it's functional. They don't belong on expensive watches even if the watch in question is called a diver.
 

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They don't belong on expensive watches even if the watch in question is called a diver.
What if it originally came on a NATO?



 

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What if it originally came on a NATO?
Original or not it is still a cheap looking utilitarian strap. For those very few Rolex submariner watches that actually saw service on submarines or for diving then the strap would have been useful.
 

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Original or not it is still a cheap looking utilitarian strap. For those very few Rolex submariner watches that actually saw service on submarines or for diving then the strap would have been useful.
I guess it's a question of opinion and taste and mine are different from yours obviously. I think Nato and Zulu straps are made for purpose, not for look. I totally agree with the fact that a Rolex sub looks amazing on Nato strap, same with the Speedmaster or this Seamaster 300, even if you're not actually using them for diving. James Bond is my reference, if he can do it, so can I! :-d
 

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I guess it's a question of opinion and taste and mine are different from your obviously. I think Nato and Zulu straps are made for purpose, not for look. I totally agree with the fact that a Rolex sub looks amazing on Nato strap, same with the Speedmaster or this Seamaster 300, even if you're not actually using them for diving. James Bond is my reference, if he can do it, so can I! :-d
If the Rolex Submariners were equipped with a Nato strap for a purpose and very few if any of them saw service in submarines or diving then what would that purpose have been? As a James Bond prop maybe?
 

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thanks for the replies everyone. I guess that not everyone likes NATO straps as much as I thought- to each his own I suppose. like so many things in watches, it comes down to taste, so the important thing is what makes yourself happy. I just wasn't sure why everyone is crazy about NATO straps- I didn't realize how functional they were (no worrying about spring bar) or that james bond had worn them. I'd like to say that I don't like them, but I have to admit that all of my tastes with watches changes literally day to day- I'm sure that one day I will buy one and then my whole paradigm will shift :D
 

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thanks for the replies everyone. I guess that not everyone likes NATO straps as much as I thought- to each his own I suppose. like so many things in watches, it comes down to taste, so the important thing is what makes yourself happy. I just wasn't sure why everyone is crazy about NATO straps- I didn't realize how functional they were (no worrying about spring bar) or that james bond had worn them. I'd like to say that I don't like them, but I have to admit that all of my tastes with watches changes literally day to day- I'm sure that one day I will buy one and then my whole paradigm will shift :D
You bring many good points Fasthandssam. I couldn't agree more with the fact that taste does change with time. I know mine did in the last few years, and that's all for the good to me. At the same time, some will never like Nato/Zulu straps, some will never buy a watch that doesn't have sapphire crystal or an automatic movement... And that's ok too, doesn't change nothing for me. I like what I like and don't like what I don't. Like you said, to each his own.
 

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If the Rolex Submariners were equipped with a Nato strap for a purpose and very few if any of them saw service in submarines or diving then what would that purpose have been? As a James Bond prop maybe?
Or, gasp, as something that someone prefers for aesthetic reasons? I think a NATO on a Submariner happens to look great, independently of whether or not it's "functionally necessary".

Also, don't discount how many people dive, or engage in other rugged activities with their Rolexes. If I had one, I would.
 

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If the Rolex Submariners were equipped with a Nato strap for a purpose and very few if any of them saw service in submarines or diving then what would that purpose have been? As a James Bond prop maybe?
Very few of those issued with a nylon strap saw service? (a statement I contest)

or

Very few in the grand scheme of the history of Submariners? (a statement I do not contest)


What about rubber straps, do they belong on expensive watches?

If yes, then why rubber and not nylon.....
 
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