I’m doing a collaboration with New York based Niloticus, where I’m going to test their newest selection of nato straps.
Before I dig into these North African inspired nylons, I need to explain how addicted I am to natos.
Being a chickenwrist, I’ve always had issues with bracelets. Few, if any, offers the comfort I need when wearing my beauties. Several times I’ve discovered that they don’t fit, even if I have removed all links possible. The bracelets that have been the right size has ended up as furry, stainless steel jewellery after ripping off all the hair on my arm.
Leather straps are ok, but I feel stuck to the one that is fitted, needing a tool to change to another. Rubber and mesh are not my cup of tea, so there is no need to explain that any further.
Nato is my thing! These lovely, stylish and comfortable straps are made for my fragile wrists. I probably have natos for every occasion for the rest of my life, but I can assure you that I’m going to buy many more. From the classic black, green, blue, sand and red to far out hippie-style, tropic flowers, cartoons and graffiti. I use mostly nylon natos, but I have a selection of soft leather as well. In a week, I change straps from 10 to 50 times. Luckily, my better half understands the importance of straps matching my mood and outfit. For example, my red natos are always smart to wear when I’m going to meet people. If they make a comment about how nice my watch looks, I have a strap that matches my blushing, red face.
From my first purchase until today, I probably have had my shares of both horrible straps, that feels like wearing a razorblade or cardboard-bracelet, to soft, well-crafted straps that can be worn for weeks, without leaving a mark. The price often tells what kind of quality you can expect, but sometimes I have bought some cheap ones that turned out as my favorites. At the opposite end of the scale, I have some expensive straps that is just a rip off, no quality or comfort at all. It can be a jungle out there, as most natos are made of nylon or ballistic nylon, it can be hard to separate good from bad. If you buy from an unknown seller, be aware of possible surprises, both good ones and bad ones.
So, let’s talk about the Atlas Collection from Niloticus. This New York based company produces a limited amount of handmade nato straps. From a selection of classics to a variety of unique designs. For me, this uniqueness is appreciated. I like to suit up with straps that looks a bit different than most others, but at the same time matches my watches in color, mood and style.
The straps from the Atlas Collection celebrates the North African vibes. The inspiration is from the bleached, white wall of traditional villages, the golden sand and saturated, orange hues. When looking at the straps, I really get the feeling of the warm climate found in these places. Hot sand, white buildings and sunsets.
“Dune” has got its looks from the unpredictable sandstorms of the Sahara Desert. The white, grey and sand-colored dots have a faded touch, giving it the feel of grains of sand. This strap is elegant and unique, but at the same time it has a very soft and gentle approach.
“Red Sea” has a different feel to it, a more military look, made of white, grey and sand patterns. Niloticus explains the design like this: “Our Red Sea strap is bold and vibrant, reminiscent of those days of uncharted exploring, back when the Cousteau team built the CONSHELF II undersea habitat in the Red Sea, off the coast of Sudan, in an attempt to test life underwater.” With this strap, I also get the feeling of hot sand, beaches and cliffs. The explorer-part shows very much through the patterns and colors.
The straps come in both 20mm and 21mm. The length is 280mm and the three rings and buckle are made of solid, polished stainless steel, giving them a nice and proper appearance. The ring closest to the buckle is signed/engraved with the company name. The thickness is approximately 1,2mm. This is a quite important factor when choosing strap. Straps that are too thick can damage the spring bars or screwed pins, and 1,2mm fits most watches well.
Other, important measurements are of course the length, but also the space between the two rings closest to the buckle. These rings are the ones that allows you to tuck away the tip of the strap. If the space between is too long or too short, I promise you that that nato is going to end up at the bottom of the case. There is nothing more irritating than having the tip hanging loose and getting stuck in your sleeve. The measurements of the straps from the Atlas Collection fits me as a glove, making the perfect tuck possible. The ballistic nylon is quite soft and smooth on the wrist and there is no doubt that these are high quality straps.
The conclusion is that Niloticus has made some really nice straps, both in quality and design. If there is one thing my twisted mind would change, it would be the pin on the buckle. When doing the macro shots, I discovered that the pin had a bit grainier structure than the shiny buckle itself. It can’t be seen with bare eyes, but I know its there…
If you want to buy these beauties, please visit the Niloticus online store, found at www.etsy.com/shop/niloticusstraps
Its time to buckle up with the Sahara sandstorms of Dune and be classy, but only for some hours before I’ll change to the Red Sea explorer mood. And then back again…