Watches – What is a NATO Strap?

In watch design, NATO refers to a style of strap that is usually made from fabric / nylon / textile that covers the back of the watch casing and as such surrounds the entire wrist when worn. Therefore when wearing a watch with a NATO strap your skin will not rest against the watch caseback. Due to this it can be a more desirable option for those who may not like the feel of steel against their skin, especially if this causes irritation. Despite being known as a NATO strap, they have no association to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation; with the name instead originating from a stocking number system.


The NATO strap is very much an on-trend style with many recognised brands utilising it. Here at Fraser Hart we stock many NATO strap watches with a wide selection available to buy both online and in-store. See some examples below:

what is a nato strap gucci gold bee watch all angles

Gucci make great use of the NATO strap here with their Le Marché Des Merveilles Bee Gold-Plated 38mm Watch. As you can see from the three angles above, the nylon strap is crafted in the NATO style which is fully visible when viewed from behind. Not only does this cover the back of the glorious gold casing, but the decadent deep blue and red striped design aligns with the design of the round watch face for a cohesive aesthetic. Click / Tap here to browse and buy our NATO strap watches.

what is a NATO strap daniel wellington bayswater and roselyn watches worn on male and female models

Daniel Wellington’s Bayswater and Roselyn collection also utilise the NATO strap in ravishing ruby and stunning sapphire colourations. Designed with a contemporary and minimalist focus, the slender straps offer the wearer a supreme sense of comfort on the wrist while also being visually unique. With the Bayswater and Roselyn collections being unisex, they showcase how the NATO strap can be worn and enjoyed by both male and female watch lovers.

what is a NATO strap selection of omega railmaster and seamaster watches

Omega’s use of the NATO strap sees a rare leather option come into play as seen above with the brown leather strap of their classic Railmaster timepiece. Their other iterations making stellar use of the strap include the stunning Seamaster watch with the blue, red and white hues evoking the aquatic inspiration infused within the decadent design.

what is a NATO strap selection of montblanc and tag heuer examples

Even more examples can be seen with both the Montblanc and TAG Heuer brands. Their use of the NATO strap demonstrates how the style is both functional and fashionable, existing equally within the arenas of luxury and style. The NATO strap also offers decadent designs a canvas of sorts with which additional design elements can adorn, with the likes of stripes and coloured stitching designs being particularly popular. Click / Tap here to browse and buy our NATO strap watches.


The NATO strap offers the wearer comfort and practicality without sacrificing function or style. As you can see, it has been embraced by many brands and is most definitely an on-trend style within watch and timepiece design. Empowered with this watch wisdom, do you feel like adding a NATO strap to your collection? If so, click / tap here to browse and buy our NATO strap watches.