This is the genealogy of the NATO strap.
A NATO strap is constructed from two pieces of strap material — a longer piece to wrap around the wrist, and another shorter piece that loops behind the watch case, and onto the longer piece, to prevent the case from falling off, or moving up and down the strap. The NATO strap can be fitted, or changed, without removing the spring bars of the watch from the case lugs.
The name NATO describing a watch strap derives from the late 1970s, and is a colloquial reference to the NATO Stock Number (NSN) for the issued military strap. It has evolved to mean any two part strap, not necessarily military issued. Earlier two part “NATO” straps existed before the slang term developed, as described below.
1908 : LEATHER
1945 : CANVAS
1948-1953 : WEBBING
1954 : NYLON
1964 : JAMES BOND DID NOT WEAR A NATO
1973 : NYLON 20mm
- Material: straight cross-weave nylon ribbon free from additives that could irritate the wrist under humid or extreme conditions.
- Colour: BS 4800 card number 3, reference 18B25, colour grey. (‘Admiralty grey’).
- Length: 280 mm.
- Width: 20 mm (± 0.5).
- Thickness: 1.2 mm.
- Welded joints and sealed strap end.
- Loops at 12 mm, 37 mm and 87 mm from the buckle end.
- Buckle, prong and keepers of chromium plated brass.
- Recessed buckle to secure prong.
WHAT IS A G10 STRAP?
Some refer to the NATO strap as a G10 strap, based on the Army procedure necessary to obtain one from the unit quarter master.
The Army Form General 1033 (G1033) was used by an individual soldier to sign for military equipment, and to obtain an 6645-99-124-2986 from stores a G1033 needed to be filled in. The stores for a mobilised unit were in turn listed on an Army Form General 1098. Army Form General 1098 (G1098) is a regular units equipment establishment table and details all the equipment the unit should hold to equip its officers and soldiers; it includes webbing, shovels, weapons etc.
It has been said that the only thing a good Army store man should have on his shelves are batches of G1033s, as it makes it so much easier at stock check times.
Like the term NATO, the strap was also colloquially called a G10.