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Omega Nato's Rant - Why Buy Them?

  1. Hands90 Mar 9, 2021

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    Omega Nato’s

    Why would someone pay over $100 USD for a Nato strap.

    A friend of mine was debating buying a watch for a little under the price of an Omega Nato. When I told him that the fabric strap I recently bought was more than the price of the watch he was looking at, his head nearly exploded.

    What makes these straps so great?

    It’s the quality of the strap and the branding. These are essentially the two reasons that I would like to give for why you should buy one.

    On this forum, these nato straps will come up often and someone will say X strap is better or the same as the Omega strap. I’ll click on the link or take a hard look and the keepers of X strap will be thicker or brushed and they will have a company logo, or some lettering on them.

    They are not the same and even if the quality was the same and they were the same material, those other straps don’t have OMEGA on the keeper that faces me when I look down at the watch.

    They do not have that beautiful Omega logo on the tang and they are usually not polished. They are simply of a lower quality.

    This nato is comfortable but also tough and strong. When I try to fold it onto itself, it’s difficult but with the end tucked into itself it holds the watch on my wrist.

    Even if I undo the tank buckle the nato strap will hold itself in place.
    To put it simply this watch is very secure on my wrist and will not depart unless I undo it.

    A little after the first few Omega Nato’s came out for the Seamaster 300 Co-axial (Spectre Watch). I was wearing a Seamaster 300 on a $10 marathon nato, single pass.

    When I got to talking with someone wearing a Speedy in a Philadelphia bar, we traded watches to take a look. He was surprised with the strap on my watch and asked if it came with the watch. He obviously was not impressed with my choice in straps.

    That’s the problem. Some or most natos are great utilitarian straps. I love natos. I probably own around a hundred or so and have spent hundreds of dollars over the years.

    That said for my Omega, I’m wearing an Omega Nato strap. The strap looks and feels like it was built for this piece. It’s just a shame that Omega does not include it with the watch anymore.
    20210306_164348.jpg 20210306_165601.jpg 20210306_165609.jpg 20210306_164441.jpg 20210306_164749.jpg 20210306_164354.jpg 20210306_164431.jpg 20210306_164407.jpg
     
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  2. M'Bob Mar 9, 2021

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    I think for a lot of so-called luxury items, the price is very often not commensurate with the quality.
     
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  3. Rado63 Mar 9, 2021

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    The Omega NATO is definitely nice quality. But I think a lot of people like to buy several different colors or patterns so the less expensive NATO means they are able to buy more quantity and not necessarily more quality.
     
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  4. amiga500 Mar 9, 2021

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    I agree they are expensive especially when you can buy similar designs from various places for £10-20. Having said that I do think the quality and durability is superior so I'm happy to pay the premium for a Omega branded strap.
     
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  5. AntonisCy Mar 9, 2021

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    I know Omega NATOs are expensive but so is my watch. I won't put a 10 dollar NATO on my 6000 dollar watch. I also like the quality and the branding. Only OMEGA NATOs for me :thumbsup:
     
  6. sgrossma Mar 9, 2021

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    Why pay $10k for a time only watch when you can read the time on your iPhone for free? It is all about Branding and marketing...(and all the associated costs with being a mega luxury brand). Omega has significant costs that it has to consider - the luxurious retail spaces all over the world, the sales staff, the marketing, etc.
    Or you can go buy the $30 premium off-brand NATO from the online only website that has a similar feel, but no branding.
    At the end of the day, I feel it is nice to have a proper strap on a proper luxury watch.
     
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  7. cjoedaniel Mar 9, 2021

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    Ugh much cheaper than their $300 rubber strap. Now that can buy you a decent Seiko!
     
  8. 8100_RPM Mar 9, 2021

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    It is a luxury good so trying to evaluate it based on “value” is pointless.

    I have a five Omega NATO straps and a number of $10-$25 NATO straps. The Omegas are definitely superior in quality but I have no issues wearing the cheaper ones. At the end of the day, buy what you like.
     
    Edited Mar 9, 2021
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  9. gnuyork Mar 9, 2021

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    I love NATO straps, but I'm also very particular about which ones. My go to favorite (Gnomon Dievas) is now being discontinued in favor of the "seatbelt" and woven style that are all the rage and I am upset that they stopped supplying them, but I understand it's business.

    I have tried a few since, mostly because they were on sale, and a few that were considered "premium" and NONE of them do anything for me like the Dievas, which were perfect - no frills G10 spec and simple but sturdy hardware in either polished or brushed (or black) that was not trying too hard to be what it's not.

    That being said, I have not even touched an Omega NATO and I would take one in a heartbeat. I was hoping the new Speedmaster would include one, but nope. Good thing I absolutely love the bracelet.
     
  10. marcn Enough space to say witty Mar 9, 2021

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    Can anyone comment on the texture of the Omega natos? I'm a diehard nato fan, but I really don't like the finely woven ones. The slick/glossy seatbelt feel of those sort of annoys me. TimeFactors, whenever they're open, have my personal favorite with their admiralty grey. Hardware is no-nonsense (though some have a sharp edge or two, but it's easy to remedy with a ceramic knife sharpening rod) and the texture of the nylon is a bit more coarse, which is just right for me at least. They're cheap, wear fantastically, discolor beautifully with age. Just wish they had 21mm's!

    https://www.timefactors.com/collections/nato-straps/products/nato-strap-2014
     
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  11. gnuyork Mar 9, 2021

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    Time factors were my favorite (for the same reasons) until I tried the Gnomon Dievas. Those are perfect.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The right shade of grey, too.
     
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  12. gpstar Mar 9, 2021

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    I like the quality of the Omega nato straps, but I do not like the dimensions, they are generally too short to tuck properly etc.

    I ended up getting some custom sized ones from PhenomeNato, which are generally regarded as built to the same quality and material feel as the Omega ones.

    In the photo below: From top to bottom:
    Omega Nato (top)
    PhenomeNato (regular size version) (second from top)
    PhenomeNato (custom made size) (third from top)
    Phoenix Nato (bottom)

    AF9D4381-1B85-4CA9-9E3C-A24A671D4C48.png
     
  13. Hands90 Mar 9, 2021

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    It's not thought. Look at my post.
    You are a prime example of the types, that I come across. "the same quality and material feel as the Omega" It's not though. Even on their site the keepers just don't look like the kind of quality that you'll get from the Omega Nato.
    It's good that you have multiple examples but still not as nice.

    Look at the lines of the different colors on the nato of the Omega, nice and straight now look at the lines of the others. The others have this jagged edge from the stitching.
     
  14. gpstar Mar 10, 2021

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    I agree, they are not 100% the same, but they are generally regarded as the closest in regards to quality and feel to the Omega compared to all the other brands out there.

    I disagree about keepers and hardware, I can not see or feel any differences in the quality aside every so slightly different shapes, the branding on them and what appears to be a springbar holding the Omega buckle to the strap.

    IMG_8563.jpeg

    IMG_8562.jpeg

    IMG_8564.jpeg
     
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  15. Eve Mar 10, 2021

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    What i dont like about those Omega straps is that the keeper is not covered with material and sticks into the skin. But its possible that i have an unfortunate arm size/shape.
    20210310_100542.png

    I do like the Omega Cordura straps as those keepers are made of fabrik:
    20210310_101044.jpg
    I did cut off the bottom loop though as it is somehow unnecessary and makes the strap too thick for my taste.
    IMG_20200731_184510.jpg
    IMG_20190210_123102.jpg
     
    Edited Mar 10, 2021
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  16. gpstar Mar 10, 2021

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    I know what you mean about the keeper on the Omega sticking into the skin, I never experienced discomfort with it, but I have seen others say that they do.

    My ideal strap would be the material used on the Omega or even the PhenomeNato's but be constructed to G10 specs (heat welded instead of stitched, dimensions etc). I have yet to find anybody doing that yet. The Timefactor straps are ok and a step up from some of the cheaper stuff i've seen, but the nylon is not as tight or up to the Omega or even the PhenomeNato. Comparison below.

    IMG_8565.jpg
     
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  17. STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector Mar 10, 2021

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    Luminox make the best NATO and NATO like strap known to man......it’s a pity they are 23mm
    Great for 22mm dive watches.....thicker than Omega but once worn in they are the best for people that actually dive and wear watches like tools they are.

    7195FCA6-A634-4C85-9A19-EA17E6FE10D5.png
     
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  18. gpstar Mar 10, 2021

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    Too bad about the 23mm size only. I checked there website but I couldn't find any specs. What are the dimensions of the strap? Are they heat welded or stitched?

    I normally wear nylon when I dive (no problem fitting over a 7mm wet suit), but I went diving last weekend in a thick neoprene dry suit with a long sleeve shirt underneath and none of my nylon straps would fit. Only my extra long yellowdog rubber nato strap would fit due to the stretching that the rubber strap afforded.

    IMG_8566.jpeg

    IMG_8568.jpeg
     
  19. STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector Mar 10, 2021

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    You try here. There is another like below from the Philippines but will have to find it when I get back home.
    https://www.mastersintime.com/us/en/watch-bands/luminox/

    Think this one is a longer one. Colour can change
    https://www.mastersintime.com/us/en/luminox-3950-navy-seal-black-yellow-nylon-strap-fn3950-50q.htm
     
    Edited Mar 10, 2021
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  20. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Mar 10, 2021

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    But you will put your overly expensive NATO on the very expensive watch with $2 spring bars.

    For me personally, the argument that you are making is the least compelling argument for an "expensive" NATO.

    If someone prefers the branding (as in the second part of your argument), or finds that the quality differences are worth the extra money, that's great. But the "expensive watch should not be on cheap strap" is the least thought out in my view.

    Personally, there's no way in hell I would pay that much for a NATO strap, because for me they are a utility strap - I wear them on my beater SM300 (yes still worth several thousands of dollars) and when I go on vacation for a few weeks, I take a few straps with me, so when they get dirty I can just swap them out and throw the dirty one in the wash. Once they get too grubby, they are disposed of.

    I also don't like overly thick NATO straps, because I want one where the fold of the tail end under the keeper sits flat, not sticks up in a loop like I see on so many of these more expensive NATO straps. The thicker straps also add more height to the watch, something else I do not want.

    So if people like them that's up to them, but for many reasons, they simply aren't for me.

    Cheers, Al
     
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