What are the benefits of a NATO strap?

What are the benefits of a NATO strap?

Fabian Iber
22 Nov , 2021

In our first feature we discussed how to fit a ZuluDiver NATO strap, so continue with us on a journey into the world of NATOs as we highlight all the benefits associated with this affordable, battle proven, accessory.

NATO Watch Straps by ZULUDIVER


Every watch is comfortable on a NATO. That is a statement of fact. For sure other straps are comfortable, and not every watch looks better on a NATO, but the comfort factor is a given. Even tight weave NATOs which may be a little firm in their early days soon soften and become supremely comfortable. A NATO has an uncanny ability to take all the weight out of a watch. Even if your chosen chrono is a 46mm steel monster, fitting it to a NATO will drastically reduce the “felt” weight of the watch.


If you are a Rolex Explorer owner who actually takes your watch into harsh environments, first, well done! However, you may have noticed that the steel bracelet quickly becomes tight and uncomfortable during activity or in heat. Of course, this is not a problem exclusive to Rolex; all metal bracelets have this issue so unless you have an advanced model with micro-adjustment and are confident to make that adjustment in the middle of the Sahara, it can lead to serious discomfort.

Rolex Explorer on NATO Strap

Equally, leather straps may initially be comfortable and easy to adjust but eventually humidity and sweat will take their toll on the material. Rubber is a good option as are some quality fabrics like Sailcloth, so we can give a thumbs up to those options. However, for sheer practicality, optimal comfort, low cost and resistance to the harshest of environments, you will not find a better strap than a NATO. They effectively resist heat, cold, dampness, scratches and impacts. They wash clean and look pristine just by passing them under running water. If they're made to a high standard like our range of Professional NATO straps, they won't even fray. Finally high-quality NATOs dry very quickly, which leads us nicely on to…

Water Resistance

For decades NATO straps have been fitted to military dive watches. When something has been in service for so long, it is hard to argue that it is not well suited to the task. High quality NATO straps will take as much salt or fresh water as you can submerge them in. They always rinse out and dry quickly to look as good as new. The additional length allows you to strap a watch securely over the thickest dive suit.


If neither scuba kit nor jungle gear is your thing, there is still possibly the most compelling reason to wear a NATO. Style!  Fit a Bond NATO to your watch and in that moment, you are about to embark on a secret mission to encounter Dr No.

Vintage Bond Herringbone NATO Watch Strap

NATO straps just look cool, they give an edge to every watch, be it a sub-£100 or plus-£5K model. They can fundamentally change the look of a watch by ruggedizing it or giving it a smart evening look. You can look as militaristic or as colourful as you want. You can have a NATO style to match any clothing and make a bold statement or fly under the radar, such is the versatility and huge selection of ZD NATOs available.  

Check out the full ZuluDiver NATO range and treat your watch to a new look!

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