What is NATO-Style Strap?
NATO straps were initially created for use by military personnel during the 70s. In the 1970s, soldiers were usually provided with dual-pusher chronographs made by brands like Hamilton, Newmark, and Precista along with the fad Bicompax of CWC.
They looked like their predecessors, similar to that of Dirty Dozen, with quintessential design elements for military watches, such as the black dial with Arabic numerals, as well as glowing hour markers as well as minutes and hour hands to ensure maximum readability. But, NATO Strap also came with the benefit of a chronograph function. These durable tool watches needed to be equally robust – hence the G1098.
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The first time they were distributed was via an organization called the British Ministry of Defense (MOD) the straps that were standard issue came with a list of requirements. They were required to be constructed of nylon and grey, with a width of 20mm, and equipped with a chrome-plated brass buckle and keeper.
The strap had to be one shorter piece of nylon that would be attached to the buckle, with the keeper on its end through which the bulk of the strap would pass after it was looped over the watch.
This made sure that the watch's case would remain securely in position. Beyond the comfort aspect, the unique design of a strap that runs behind the watch adds a layer of security. If that one spring bar is broken or falls out the watch case will be safe by the second spring bar.