It's officially summer and things are heating up in the HODINKEE Shop. In honor of our favorite season we are hosting a month of content dedicated entirely to dive watches. Expect dive-focused content, products, and perhaps a limited edition to celebrate. Stick around and you'll be sure to learn something new – let's dive right in, shall we?
To the non-aquaphile, a NATO strap may appear peculiar when seen replacing the traditional two-piece leather strap of a wristwatch. But it doesn't only set the watch apart visually, it was born out of functional necessity and serves an important purpose while diving and performing various rigorous underwater activities. It has become the strap of choice for a proper dive watch when exploring our oceans.
Under extreme or rigorous conditions, the spring bars used to attach a standard two-piece strap to a wristwatch can break and result in your watch falling off. Imagine the horror of being alone in the depths of the ocean with no sense of time as your watch is lost to the shadows beneath you. Fortunately, the NATO strap was designed to loop over and under a case’s spring bars in a way so that, if a spring bar were to break, the watch would remain safely attached to it. Longer than a typical strap, NATOs also allow a watch to be worn over the outside of a wetsuit when diving, providing incredible versatility.
A nylon dive strap as shown in the James Bond film Goldfinger that popularized the modern NATO strap.
It's Dive Month here in the HODINKEE Shop, and that means we're all about NATO straps. We offer the best nylon straps for your watches; they're not only dependable in the water, but they dry off quickly after you return topside. Perhaps the most attractive feature of the nylon NATO, though, is the price. They're affordable enough that you can pick up a few options, and even better, they come in a variety of colors (one for every day of the week, if you so choose). Should you wish to feel like the infamous gentleman spy as you descend into the ocean, the black and grey striped pattern often referred to as the “Bond NATO” *should be your new summer go-to.
Though nylon is the original material of choice for NATO straps, fine leather options offer the same tool watch feel with an elevated finish. Unlike thicker leather NATOs that bend spring bars and get scratched when being fixed to a watch, our high-end versions are designed as slim, single pull-through straps that give you the same action of a classic NATO but in beautifully tanned Shell Cordovan, kangaroo, and distressed leather.*
Among our NATO collection here at the HODINKEE Shop, strap sizes range from 18mm to 22mm and are ready to be perfectly paired with your dive watch. Whether it be a Seiko Prospex SPB077, Longines Legend Diver, or Rolex Submariner,*we have you covered as you prepare for this summer’s underwater adventures. Before heading out to sea, double check that you have a NATO strap in your kit. It’s the safest way to dive with your watch and one of the most essential tools you need as you explore what lies beneath, not to mention that you look cool doing it.