How much would you spend on a NATO strap?

Coming from a really, really frugal person, I just don't get how some people will spend over $20 on what seems to be nylon with 3-5 pieces of steel.
99 votes

Some are better than others.

10-20 for nylon

20+ for a good leather

Hardware and materials are key here. Also, is it custom made? I鈥檇 gladly pay over $20 for short versions.

I'm tight as well, but the good news is you can get a damn fine strap for not much moolah 馃

I Have paid $5-10USD for a nato and they are not good, so for a good quality Nato I would pay over $20.

Can convince me that I'm wrong on any of the below?

The foot of webbing cannot be worth more than $2. About the same for the buckle and keepers. Cutting and heat-welding the ends plus the buckle holes is a total of two minutes labor max and about the same for the stitching. The equipment needed can probably start at well under $2000 total.

There's a reason these are sold for $3 shipped from China. These are a basic commodity unless one is making them from silk and gold or something silly. Order fulfillment is probably half the real cost. The profit margin at the double digit range is easily 100%.

As much as we'd like to pretend otherwise at times, the strap is a major component to how comfortable, convenient, and visually pleasing a watch can be. If I'm going to wear a watch that cost me hundreds or thousands of dollars, I want a high quality version of whatever I use to attach it to my wrist. Cheap options are nice for getting some variety and exploring different options, but I'll find a nice version if I really like something.

Personally, viewing it as a raw material equation is the wrong way to look at it, just like with the watches. A $5 nato can be a rip off and a $30 nato can be a bargain. It all depends on how they design and execute. Same as a $50 watch can be a rip off and a $3000 watch can be a bargain. Looking at price and materials alone won't get you anywhere unless you're buying raw materials. We're buying finished products, and the quality of the product has to be taken into account.

It's up to us to decide which of the things we interact with to demand high quality from. I don't buy fancy furniture because I don't care about my furniture very much, but I understand why someone who loves high quality furniture might buy very expensive furniture. You don't have to care about straps or specifically natos enough to buy high quality versions of them, but that doesn't mean nicer, more expensive versions offer nothing to someone who cares about them.

I find the IW Suisse G-10 Nylon to be the best for me. You can find these on eBay and elsewhere for $10-$15. They are durable, washable, and you can trim them back if you want a shorter length. I prefer the full length 11-12 inches you I can get the desired tuck on the end.

I find that a lot of the time you get what you pay for. This goes for many things. In the beginning I didn鈥檛 see the point of spending too much on on a nato strap.

I tried cheap ones. They frayed pretty quickly and the material was stiff, rough and felt uncomfortable against my skin. Hardware looked cheap, too.

I then bought more expensive ones ($35+) and can definitely tell the difference. Softer, more comfortable and the hardware is finished much better.

I鈥檒l pay a little more for a more premium feel. With straps, my main priority is comfort, followed by look. Just my experience and opinion.


The NATO strap for a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is $550, which is insane.