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A Cheap NATO Strap Should Suit Your Expensive Watch Just Fine

A NATO strap should be cheap and utilitarian, not $180.

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Omega recently announced a new lineup of eight NATO straps, inspired by those worn by military servicemen in the mid 20th century. The brand even introduced a handy online tool that lets you swap between different Omega models and straps to see how they’ll look before you buy them. There are six striped versions made from polyamide (a.k.a. nylon), a black-coated nylon strap and one made from brown Novonappa leather. They’re all very nice. They also start at $180 and go up to $280. Safe to say: they’re ambitiously priced.

The whole point of a NATO strap is that it’s cheap and utilitarian — that’s exactly why they were used by the military in the first place. Yes, they’ve become trendy elements of style, but at their core, they’ve always been accessible and appropriate for any tool or sports watch from a $40 Timex to a $40,000 Patek Philippe. Even if you’re rocking a $5,000 Omega, paying $180 for a strip of nylon can feel silly. As nice as Omega’s new NATOs may be, consider grabbing one of these similar straps for way under $180, and perhaps putting some of that, well, towards an actual Omega. And if you do decide you want to spring for one of Omega’s fancy NATOs, you can check them out here.

Black RAF NATO by Clockwork Synergy $10

Black and Red NATO by Crown & Buckle $12

Black and Orange Nato by Crown & Buckle $12

Black and Gray NATO by Hodinkee $24

Natural Mil-Strap in Horween by Worn & Wound $65

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