I still find myself in the nato landscape and this time it’s the two-piece nato strap from Watchbandit that’s going under the lupe. After testing a selection for a couple of weeks, I have made up my mind. Are these the best from two worlds?
The day they arrived, the wrapping was torn to pieces and inside I found three two piece nato straps;
one blue, one grey and one bond. The first impression was very good. Juicy colors, fat, soft and durable fabrics, the solid Watchbandit-buckles and springbars on each strap. The blue one was catching my eye at once. So deep, so clean and so blue, just like the deep ocean. Compared to the classic nato straps I tested earlier, these are of the same seatbelt quality, only with a bit more refined and smooth fabric.
Three straps, three watches and a couple of weeks to test them to the limit. The Chickenwrist-limit that is… Even how hard I have tried, there is not a stain, ripple or miscoloring to be found, but believe me, they have been tested. Sun, rain and wind can’t harm these beauties. I really appreciate that the springbars follow as part of the deal. That’s not guaranteed when you buy your straps from other retailers online. My advice is to leave the springbar in its place. Replacing it several times will make the fabrics slowly tear apart.
Even if this is a two-piece nato strap, the measurements are of some importance. The buckle-piece is approximately 100mm long, whilst the other is approximately 120mm. The thickness is 2,8mm, quite substantial and nice. Being a two-piece, the thickness is nothing to worry about compared to the original nato strap, as there are no fabrics going beneath the watch. In the last review I mentioned that the classic Watchbandit nato strap could be used to pull a small car, and I would go a bit further and say that the two-piece could pull a truck from a ditch. You might think these are tough as a rope to wear, but they are even softer than the classic ones. I am no expert when it comes to weaving, but it’s a bit remarkable when such durable straps feel like velvet on your wrist.
Am I going to end the review here, just telling you that this is the best straps you can get? As much as I want to, there are some small issues that I have to mention. The most obvious is of course the safety aspect. A classic nato strap will keep your watch from falling off, even if a springbar breaks. The two-piece won’t. The other issue is as much a chickenwrist’s issue as it is the strap’s problem. The spare part, the tip, that can be tucked away on the classic nato, is not possible to hide on the two-piece strap. For most of the users this won’t be a problem at all, but for me it is an issue that is quite prominent. Since my wrists are of a quite modest size, the end of the strap pops out a bit too much. Both rings that keeps the end of the strap firmly in place are sewn in and not possible to move. The result is that the tip of the strap is tangled up in my sweater or jacket, something that is a problem for my simple mind…
The issues are not a big problem, the only reason I want to mention them is because the straps are in the nato-category and have some different specs than classic nato straps. As the majority of watch-enthusiasts know how a classic watch strap works, I assume there will be very few surprises if choosing a two-piece nato.
So, will I recommend these high-quality, thick, soft and gorgeous straps with some issues that can affect those of us with small wrists? The answer is of course yes. Nothing beats a high-quality strap.
The straps were sponsored by Watchbandit, but this review reflects my own opinions.