Brian
Brian MegaDork
8/25/18 11:43 a.m.

The brown leather band on my Timex Expedition is worse for wear after 9 or 10 years. I’m considering going with a NATO strap next. It has a 20mm band and the bars are shrouded. 

 

Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
8/25/18 7:17 p.m.

I like nato straps. One bar breaks and you still have the watch, which is a neat feature.

Easy to swap in and out too, so you can have a few different colors and hot swap without tools. (No removing the bars).

The0retical
The0retical UltraDork
8/25/18 7:56 p.m.

I've got about a dozen of the in different patterns and colors (including two argyle straps.) I actually prefer them to a bracelet for day to day wear because most of my bracelets don't have a ratcheting micro adjustment. They come in a bunch of different materials with nylon being the most common, but you also see leather and "seat belt" type materials as well.

Leather is quite a bit thicker and may not work with your shrouded lug and "seatbelt" carries a bit of a premium but it looks different but, like the nylon, will likely work with your lugs.

NATO straps also have a cousin called the RAF strap. It doesn't double layer the strap under the watch head but you still get the two holding positions under the spring bars.

There's also Perlon straps which generally function like an RAF strap but have a webbed look to them.

Lots of options out there and 20mm is a pretty common size so you shouldn't have trouble find a replacement.

Most of the major manufacturers of NATOs will have a good sale over Labor Day so if you can hold you for a week or so you might be able to pick up a couple for a reasonable price.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro PowerDork
8/25/18 8:43 p.m.

I have a NATO strap on my Tudor Sub. Grey and black of course.

I'm happy with it and it doesn't cost the mega $$$ they want for the correct bracelet.

D2W
D2W HalfDork
8/26/18 12:09 p.m.

I put NATO straps on a lot of my custom builds. They are usually inexpensive, easy to change, and there are a lot of choices of colors and materials. If you haven't tried one before I would suggest buying a cheap one off of EBAY or Amazon and give it a go. Should be able to get one under $15 shipped to your house. If you like it but want higher quality you can get one of the "seatbelt" material ones. I have a Phenomenato that is incredible quality. I would compare it to Omega's NATO bands. It is pricey though. Blushark is another brand that sells high quality straps. 

Brian
Brian MegaDork
8/26/18 12:30 p.m.

The eBay straps are around $12 shipped. The biggest issue is picking a color. Maybe brown, that is what it has now. Maybe OD green, because military wannabe. Or black/gray/red because Bond, James Bond. Or any other of the countless options.

My digital Casio currently has a basic 1 piece nylon strap. I wonder that compares to the nato design. 

secretariata
secretariata SuperDork
8/26/18 12:35 p.m.

I got a cheap black 22mm one off Amazon for $9 shipped.

Brian
Brian MegaDork
9/3/18 12:18 p.m.

After much indecision about color I decided on a Bond Black/Gray/Red. $11 and some change shipped from a US seller on eBay.  Pics when it arrives. 

joey48442
joey48442 PowerDork
9/3/18 1:24 p.m.

Usually you can get a 4 pack of cheapy ones on amazon for under 15

Brian
Brian MegaDork
9/7/18 6:35 p.m.

It showed up today, 4 days early. I had a bit of trouble getting it on. As I suspected, the shroud over the bars made it difficult but it eventually went together with only a little fight. Enough so that I will not be getting more and swapping them out to suit my mood. The included bars are not as stout as the original bars and one broke in the process. That’s was the biggest problem I dealt with and I will be ready to reuse the other bar if need be.

I’m happy with the pattern as it works with the cut out over the shroud. The original band had stitches that lined up. Overall I like it. 

D2W
D2W HalfDork
9/8/18 12:13 p.m.

Turned out nice. The next step will be to get you into a nice budget automatic. Say a Seiko 5? Then maybe step you up to a good tool watch like a Hamilton Khaki Field, or a decent dive watch like Seiko SKX007 or a Prospex. Oh the rabbit holes you can go down from there.

Justjim75
Justjim75 HalfDork
9/8/18 12:54 p.m.

Yall check out Barton watch bands sometime.  US made in Texas and really good folks to deal with.  My first purchase was a leather NATO that the color was off.  They hand picked one that was the right shade, sent it, told me to keep the first one, AND refunded my purchase for my inconvenience. I've since ordered again and really like their silicone bands

Brian
Brian MegaDork
9/8/18 4:25 p.m.

In reply to D2W :

-Looks at Seiko 5s-

Damnit...

Otherwise a Mickey Mouse is next on my list. 

Justjim75
Justjim75 HalfDork
9/8/18 4:41 p.m.

I recently got a Seiko 5 as my first decent non digital and I'm hooked on watches like they were heroin or something. Have a Vostok on the way from Moscow (no colluding for me either, I promise) and an Orient Bambino shortly after

Brian
Brian MegaDork
9/8/18 4:48 p.m.

I’m considering a Vostok for my nephew for Christmas. He is 13 and deeply interested in Russian militaria. Although I’m not above one for myself. What is the best source for buying them?

Justjim75
Justjim75 HalfDork
9/8/18 5:19 p.m.

I'll let you know when mine gets here.  I got it on ebay for less than $40 shipped (from MOSCOW!) so if it comes in good shape and is legit I'll spread the word that the ebay seller is good to go

The0retical
The0retical UltraDork
9/8/18 5:57 p.m.

In reply to Brian :

eBay or check on WatchRecon to see if there's any interesting ones. Also checkout Fortis.

Justjim75
Justjim75 HalfDork
9/9/18 3:29 a.m.

I have not received the watch  but you're welcome to check the  ebay sellers items

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