Wednesday, May 23, 2012

NATO Straps for Summer

It’s my birthday this week. And before you get all, Congratulations!-y, let me stop you right there and say, I’m not a big fan of birthdays. Part of it is because I have the soul of a 90-year-old curmudgeon. But the main reason is because for some reason, birthdays give people a sense of entitlement that supposedly justifies them being drunken, annoying brats all day. I don’t care if your mom pooped you out 25 years ago (that’s how it works, right?), you’re being a complete jackass right NOW and your mother would be embarrassed to see you. 
That being said, I can’t find a good reason to deny myself some simple pleasure in order to modestly celebrate my own birthday. I went a little crazy this year and bought myself a new NATO strap for my watch.

I don’t think I can sing enough praises for why you should invest in these. #1 they add flexibility to your watch, because #2 they’re easy to install and swap out, and #3 they’re cheap. It’s no problem to grab a couple in different colors/styles and switch them out depending on your outfit/mood/daily de rigueur (Yeah I speak a little French).
For my first go-around, I went with an olive band, which I found for $13 on Amazon. I chose olive because it’s a neutral color that can go with most anything, and I thought it’d be a cool nod to the NATO strap’s military origins. For details on how to install, check out this site here (which is picture heavy), or the one from my Facebook page (which has more detailed instructions). Just find one in the same millimeter width as your watch (which you can find online if you look up your watch from a retailer and check the tech specs) and take care when removing the spring pins. Other than that, it’s not hard at all. 

One thing to consider, which I learned the hard way: Not all straps are designed the same. Notice the difference in these two nylon straps.

The one on the left has a lot more fabric between the watch bezel and the clasp, while the olive one has barely any. This affects how the watch sits on your wrist. I didn’t take notice of this when I bought the olive strap, and I personally prefer to have more fabric between the bezel and clasp, because the whole thing feels more like a normal band. 

The clasp on the olive strap sits on the side of my wrist, which is an odd feel if you’re used to that being under your wrist. However, it does make for a more rugged, military-inspired look (good thing I went with olive huh?). In any case, make sure to look at the thing before you actually pull the trigger so you know what you’re getting. Though at $13 a piece, you can afford more than one. 

More news as it develops,


PS- find your new strap to be too long? Check out this video on how to shorten it.

PSS- also consider the size (i.e. length) of the strap. Nearly one month in and I've found my strap has stretched a bit, enough so that I've had to go down (or is it up?) holes in the strap. What I mean is I'm having to wear the strap tighter so the watch won't slide on my wrist, but I'm now on the last hole. Maybe it's because I have baby wrists, but just something to take into account when buying and sizing.

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