A New Strap Can Dramatically Change the Look of a Watch
And if you’re one who likes to mix it up, tossing your watch on to a nato strap is probably the easiest way to introduce some variety into your horological diet. Changing out a nato strap takes literally ten seconds, meaning that if you wanted the same watch to rock a different look on the daily, all you’d need is a few straps to make it happen.
I purchased a white and navy nato from Barton Bands on Amazon. Once we got to chatting they said they’d send a few my way to check out to go along with my review. Of course I am only too happy to oblige.
You could say that I’m pretty strapped now. For time, of course. Uhh… maybe let’s move on to the review.
Barton’s nato straps are super inexpensive, easily found for around $10-$15/ea on Amazon.
Barton Nato Straps Are Inexpensive, Not Cheap
And there is a difference.
First, let’s tackle how these straps look. I’ve got a selection here: orange on grey; navy on ivory; white on navy; grey on black. Barton has sixteen options on their Amazon store in a variety of colors. Most are combinations, with only three being solid colors- the rest are striped.
Looking at the straps under zoom is also impressive; there’s no fraying, errant fibers, poorly cut ends, or glued seams. The colors are vivid and don’t bleed; borders between two colors are well defined. The entire affair looks great- far better than the $15 price point would suggest.
Check out the high resolution photos in the gallery below if you want to see these things close up.
I thought that I could replace the straps on the Weekender Chronograph, Citizen BM8475-26E Eco-Drive, and the Weekender Fairfield. Unfortunately, I realized too late that the only strap that would fit the black and orange citizen was the ivory and navy strap- d’oh!
These Straps Look Great on the Watch
Swapping the nato straps on the Weekenders only took a few seconds, and the results change the look of both watches entirely. The Chronograph, wearing the white on navy strap, looks sporting; the Fairfield, on smokey grey and orange, suddenly looks youthful.
How Are They On the Wrist?
Comfortable, for starters. Compared to the original leather that came with both Timex’s, the Barton’s feel noticeably firmer. Where the original leather from Timex is soft, the Barton nato straps almost feel as if there’s some level of integrity to the material. I don’t mind the leather from Timex, but I do prefer the Barton’s.
You’d think that the strap feeling a little firmer would be a bad thing. In reality, they simply feel durable. The Timex straps show their life story from the moment you begin wearing them; the Barton’s look no worse for wear.
The steel hardware also holds up well, fastening securely and withstanding a few good tugs with no signs of distress. Once fastened, the watch isn’t going anywhere.
My Overall Impression of Barton Nato Straps
I’m very impressed with these straps (as if the last 500 words of praise didn’t make that obvious). When it comes to watches, you often “get what you pay for”. These straps though? You can buy them for $12 and they’re excellent.
Barton offers them in 18mm, 20mm, and 22mm widths. All come in the standard 10″ length which fits my 7″ wrist just fine. They will fit most men comfortably.
Barton advertises their straps as being water proof and washable – two traits I did not test – and that they are laser cut and ultrasonically welded (to eliminate fraying). The results of their process are quite clear: these are great straps, well worth the $12 they retail for.