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Aside from buying an Omega one, what are my options?

Surely I can't be totally alone in wanting a really premium, thick, wonderful feeling NATO.. I know that's "not the point", but if I wanted the absolute nicest NATO are Omega and Tudor really the only places to go.

I've given this a thorough search (at least I think it was), and there doesn't really seem to be anything above the $30ish range, and they don't seem to offer that much more over the $20 NATOs I usually buy (I know price isn't a perfect metric to use here, but hopefully you get what I mean)
 

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My not omega? Which watch do you have in mind? Any specific style?

I bought a $200 omega and I can say it worth the tag


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Phenome Nato are almost identical to the Omega.


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Aside from buying an Omega one, what are my options?

Surely I can't be totally alone in wanting a really premium, thick, wonderful feeling NATO.. I know that's "not the point", but if I wanted the absolute nicest NATO are Omega and Tudor really the only places to go.

I've given this a thorough search (at least I think it was), and there doesn't really seem to be anything above the $30ish range, and they don't seem to offer that much more over the $20 NATOs I usually buy (I know price isn't a perfect metric to use here, but hopefully you get what I mean)
Like you, I wanted to try better, more expensive and hopefully more durable Nato straps and have a Tudor, an IWC and a Aquadive/ Synchron that are great. Better and nicer than basic alternatives, but definitely a little pricey.
 

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I would wait until after the U.S. election to make this purchase. Depending on the outcome, the price of an entry-level NATO could soar far above US $150, based on the nostalgia factor alone. :ROFLMAO::eek::poop:

But, doomsday ruminations aside, in principle I see no reason why the price of a NATO strap shouldn't rise or fall with the market, just like any other strap. Here's hoping you get good value for your money.
 
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Phenome Nato are almost identical to the Omega.


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Another vote for Phenomenato. It took a good long while to ship, but it's a nice strap. Is it $40 nice? Not sure. I think the law of diminishing returns most definitely applies to NATO straps; however, $40 is a steal compared to whatever Omega will charge you. I can't vouch for the above statement, but have heard before that it's true.
 

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Another vote for Phenomenato. It took a good long while to ship, but it's a nice strap. Is it $40 nice? Not sure. I think the law of diminishing returns most definitely applies to NATO straps; however, $40 is a steal compared to whatever Omega will charge you. I can't vouch for the above statement, but have heard before that it's true.
I own both. Before Phenome changed their hardware the ONLY difference was the Omega branding. Then they changed the buckle a little bit. Size, texture, width. Exact.


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blueshark, phenome, and the seatbelt nato from Cheapnatostraps are all fabulous. Omega natos were once amazing when they were the only seatbelt natos in town, but now that that is no longer the case, there is absolutely no justification for the price that Omega charges.
 

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Ok, Erikasoriginals are technically MN straps, not NATO straps, but the quality of the strap and the fit and finish of the hardware are exceptional. They’re pricey, though under $150, assuming you don’t upgrade everything.

The Bark&Jack broadweave NATO is really nice, silky comfort and high quality all around.

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I bought an Omega nato. Later I found out I prefer the blue "seatbelt" nato from watchgecko. In the end the style/color/material of the nato determines how much I like it. And I personally did not think it was worth the price (sold it). But I seem to be in the minority.

I also seem to be in the minority when it comes to Erika's MN straps. I bought three of them to wear with my beater watches. On all three the keeper cut into the fabric and the strap started to fray. I think they were $50 back then. I was amazed how I spent $150 on a highly recommended strap and I had to bin them within one summer. I bought them expecting them to be durable/rugged but they turned out to be a fashion item. I was offered new ones by Erika, which I also sold because I had no faith in the product. I rate those straps below cheap random natos in terms of durability.

Another reason why I don't think it makes sense to spend a lot of money on such a simple low tech product. If you buy a nato-strap, where is that $150 going? Not into the production of that strap I can tell you that much. Unless they have someone handweave them or the keepers are made out of a precious metal. Just my 2 cents.
 

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I went down this road too after I saw how overengineered the nato that came with my Bremont MBIII was (bought pre-owned people calm down, hah!).

It honestly made every nato I had held previously look and feel like a cheap quarter machine trinket from the vestibule at Wal-mart. Bremont make leather ones like it too, all made in the UK.


I tried the Bas and Lokes leather natos and didn't like them as much. A few other high end ones using seatbelt nylon or other leathers. Again the look and feeling was there but not the indestructability like with the Bremont straps.

Now I just use the Crown and Buckle ones as the cheapest I will go (5x as good as the 7,99 Amazon junk) and are really satisfied with them for the sub $50 prices. I swap the Bremont natos around if I want something more substabtial on the wrist.

YMMV
 

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A few years ago I looked into the Blancpain NATOs. It was hard to find a way to purchase them, but if memory serves, it can be done. The price was incredibly high $800ish from an AD if I recall. Apparently, the NATO cloth may be had for quite a bit less. If the hardware were included, the price jumped substantially. I decided to pass. I'm not sure if that option is available now.

In the meantime, Prometheus Design Werx has some very well done NATOs. The only problem is the hardware will limit the watch you may use it on. Here is one example:


I have this one and it is also limited to a select style of watch. You have to pay attention to the site to jump on it when they restock (if they restock):

 

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Spending $150 on a NATO is, frankly, stupid. That's three times the price of a top end NATO and nylon is nylon. It's not going to magically get better.

Crown and Buckle's seatbelt NATOs are excellent quality and sit around $40. Buy four of them and have some variety in your life.
 

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A word of caution: watches and their accessories are essentially veblen goods--we tend to appraise their quality and value based on price rather than actual quality. I was under this impression too until I compared my friend's Omega nato strap versus the ones I got from Crown & Buckle and even cheapest Natos. With eyes closed, I could not tell any difference in feel between the Omega strap and the CB one. The kicker is that I actually still preferred the seatbelt nato from cheapestnatostraps the most! Therefore, try before you buy would be my advice.
 

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Spending $150 on a NATO is, frankly, stupid. That's three times the price of a top end NATO and nylon is nylon. It's not going to magically get better.
Depends if you care where they were made, with what, who made them, and if it is a leather product in my opinion. There are external costs consumers don't often internalize, or refuse to, that should be accounted for in a given price of a good.

Paying a living wage in a developed economy to sew solid machined fasteners onto top grade seamed nylon is expensive. Even Crown and Buckle's (in my opinion the best value) leather American made natos are $60 using average leather with open grain edges (still awesome if thats what you are looking for!) and I assume hardware machined from elsewhere or they would say otherwise as they do with the crafting and leather sourcing.

If we are only talking nylon, no special stitching, and Chinese machined hardware and developing world made but still excellent then yes I agree $40 is about the max.
 

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15522019

Pictures often speak louder than words. Sequenced by price ($7 to around $150)

1. Cheapest money can buy junk nato from amazon. Hardware is laughably bad. Frays easily. Gets sopping wet easily. Looked good enough for me for years.
2. C&B perlon (~$20). Junk pig metal hardware but I like the color and texture.
3. C&B tweed something or another (~$30). Better hardware, but not by a lot. Material looks great!
4. C&B nato. Excellent nylon. Solid hardware. Good enough stitching. 2x as thick as #1. I agree with what was said above this is your diminishing return point. Venture past this for developed world labor rates, taxes, and regulatory demands.
5. Bas and Lokes? leather strap/zulu/one-piece nato (~$80?). Cheaper staining and finishing than I expected. I would recommend the C&B American made products instead (forgot to grab one). Not to say other Bas and Lokes aren't really comfortable and plush, just pricey for what you get.
NOTE: the Bremont is just a stand-in for any of the best nato's. I suspect any watch brand cranking out >$5k watches would demand this level for their products.
6. Bremont nato (~$150ish?). 2x as thick as the C&B, maybe 3-4x as thick as the Amazon strap. HEAVY. Beefy hardware. Longer strap (if that matters to you). This is what I mean by indestructible. I can't ever imagine the edges fraying as #1 did right away and #4 will at some point. You are really overpaying here but how else do you get something like this. As depicted, even the awesome C&B one isn't comparable.
7. Leather version of #6 ($170ish?). This strap is old and extremely well used. The B&L one in #5 has only been worn like 10 times and looks worse. WAY better leather than I got from B&L or C&B. Is it worth the extra? You decide I suppose.

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This is the width difference between the Bremont nato and the C&B one. Again, the C&B one is awesome for $40 and I have several and enjoy them, but there is a difference here.
 
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