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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
So I've made no secret of my fondness for NATO straps and similar woven nylon-type straps, even on expensive watches. Now that I've owned a Tudor Black Bay blue and worn it on the Tudor OEM woven strap, however, I feel as though my expectations for what is possible in terms of nylon strap quality and comfort have been drastically changed. Suddenly my standard NATOs just don't seem like they are cutting it on my more expensive watches.

I'm wondering if anyone is aware of a seller that sells NATO straps that at least come somewhat close to Tudor's in quality? I could buy a Tudor OEM strap, of course, but the lug width on most of my watches is 18 or 20mm, and the Tudor straps only come in 22mm. Plus the buckle style, while well-suited fur Tudor watches, wouldn't necessarily look appropriate on some of my watches, like my Hamilton Khaki hand-wind with its utilitarian, bead-blasted finish.

Please keep in mind, I'm not looking for a NATO that is simply thick. In fact, that is almost the opposite of what I'm looking for - I much prefer a softer, flexible NATO to a thick, "heavy duty" ZULU. What I'm looking for is something like the Tudor straps that is well-made, strong, and durable, but still has that cotton-like softness and flexibility. For the record, I'm also not particularly interested in leather NATOs.

Price is no object. I'm interested in at least seeing what's out there, even if it may be too expensive for me to stomach.

For reference, I've owned and worn NATOs from quite a few of the usual suspects... International Watchman (before his despicable lawsuit), Crown & Buckle, Maratac, J.Crew. To me, the standard Crown & Buckle NATOs were the softest and most comfortable to wear and had the most cotton-like feel, but I believe C&B is now using their thicker, less soft "premium" NATO material on their standard NATOs as well as the premium ones.

Thanks in advance!
 

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I have always thought Deluca had some of the best Nato's on the market. Also...and don't shoot me for saying this...Shinola, has an incredible Nato strap. Both in the $125 and up range.
 

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I have always thought Deluca had some of the best Nato's on the market. Also...and don't shoot me for saying this...Shinola, has an incredible Nato strap. Both in the $125 and up range.
I wouldn't buy a nylon strap in that range. He's asking about nylon nato straps. Deluca's nylon natos are in the $30 range, at least. I'm also curious for an answer. That BB strap has raised my expectations of a fabric strap, unfortunately.
 

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My two cents after having owned all major brands and unfortunately still haven't found the perfect one:
A list of notable contestants:

1. The classic Nato with the "finest weave" I have come across are done by Phoenix Straps Ltd (UK made). They are the supplier to the Ministry of Defense. (you get them through Ebay). Their admiralty grey color is simply stunning.
Contra: Those Natos are really thin (and stiff). Around 1mm and can feel flimsy, despite the super tight, fine and quality weave...

2. Gnomon offers a new line of "heavy duty NATO strap" where they are using a new weaving technique. This results in a smoother cotton-like feel (very much like the "feel" you were after)
Contra: Only horrible color/stripe combinations. No solid color options.

3. OEM premium Natos.
Contra: price
Omega: OMEGA Watches: Accessories - NATO Straps - 031ZSZ002046
Blancpain: 700-900$ just for the strap...
 

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View attachment 2558106

I thought only Omega had the gall to charge >$100 nato straps.
Well, while expensive, they are commonly regarded as the best Nato's money can buy (that I am aware of).

For anyone interested, go over to the Omega subforum and you'll find about 5 threads of people complaining how expensive these are only to turn around and buy one and retract their previous statements given their quality.
 

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If you don't mind Zulu hardware, the Gnomon Zulu Extreme is my absolute favorite nylon strap. They are not overly thick and feel almost silky compared to most other nylon straps I have tried. Very reasonably priced as well.
 

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i can vouch for Daluca.... but now curiuos, where can i buy the omega natos?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmm, would be sorely tempted by those Omega OEM NATOs if they had a little wider color selection. I'd really like a navy blue for my GMT Master II and a light olive green for my Hamilton Khaki mechanical....

the_Dentist is right about those Gnomon "heavy duty" NATOs... something about the weave looks like they would really have that cotton-soft feel I'm looking for. But the color selection is rather awful. If I were looking for a strap for a white-dial watch, though, I would consider going for this bright blue one:

Bracelet Blue Fashion accessory Dog collar Belt
 

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I have been debating whether I should get a black OEM Tudor fabric strap or a DaLuca leather strap for my Black Bay. I'm interested to see what other options are out there. You might want to check out the Morellato Jump strap. They seem to have more options in 18mm & 20mm than they do in 22mm.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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+1 on the Morellato Jump strap... Much more comfortable than standard natos and it has a great look. I think this is it on a LLD

Watch Analog watch Wrist Watch accessory Fashion accessory
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks to all for the substantive responses so far.

Here is a tangent: Why is it that just because this thread concerns straps, some moderator decides to move it from the high-traffic public forum where I deliberately placed it, to the straps forum, with its slow traffic and scant readership? There's a reason I posted it to the public forum - so that more people, including people who don't necessarily go out of their way to visit the straps forum (which, I daresay, is the vast majority of WUS's readers), would see it and I might get a larger, wider range of responses.

I see threads about women's watches in the public forum that don't get segregated into the ladies' watch forum. I see threads about cheap watches in the public forum that don't get segregated into the affordables forum. There are threads about Omega, Rolex, Seiko, etc. that don't get segregated into those brands' respective forums. Frequently, you will see a thread about a particular subject, and someone might suggest that the OP should raise the question in a more specific subforum because they might get more answers there. On some level, there is a degree of recognition that an OP can choose to post in a high-traffic forum, where knowledge is broad but not necessarily deep with regard to any particular subject, or post in the more specific subforum, where there are relatively fewer readers but possibly some readers with deeper knowledge relevant to the OP's topic. In this case, not only was such a suggestion not made, but undoubtedly I will now receive far fewer responses than if my thread had remained in the high-traffic public forum where I started it. My choice to solicit opinions from a wide range of WUS readers via the public forum was obviously both ignored and overruled without any input from me.

With all due respect to the moderating team, this selective and unexplained herding of certain threads away from the high-traffic public forum and into their "correct," low-traffic subforum is obnoxious and defeats the whole purpose of my soliciting help in the first place.

/rant
 

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For an alternative, Suigeneric makes a waxed cotton NATO. I have a handful, and although a bit pricy, I absolutely LOVE them. Not quite as heavy duty as a nylon strap, but incredibly comfortable. Also beware, the length is such that the end of the strap will not fold back onto itself. This is a major PRO for me, but others may not like it.
 

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I'd also agree that straps are pretty relevant to the public / affordable forum.
 

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For an alternative, Suigeneric makes a waxed cotton NATO. I have a handful, and although a bit pricy, I absolutely LOVE them. Not quite as heavy duty as a nylon strap, but incredibly comfortable. Also beware, the length is such that the end of the strap will not fold back onto itself. This is a major PRO for me, but others may not like it.
If you like one of the Suigeneric models, they're nicely made. They're about perfect for my 7.25" wrist used on a 42mm, dive watch, but I'm on the last hole. I mentioned the watch size because I'm using a fair amount of strap making the bends over the springbars, and I'll probably get some of that length back as the strap breaks in on that watch. The same might also happen if I use the strap on a different watch. An 8" wrist won't work, though.
 

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To me, the standard Crown & Buckle NATOs were the softest and most comfortable to wear and had the most cotton-like feel, but I believe C&B is now using their thicker, less soft "premium" NATO material on their standard NATOs as well as the premium ones.
Just wanted to clarify that we have never changed the nylon used on our $12 "regular" NATO straps. The Premium NATO nylon is different as you mentioned, but none of our regular $12 NATO strap use the same nylon as the Premiums.
 
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