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How to Install & Put a NATO Strap on a Watch

The iconic NATO strap is a favorite among watch enthusiasts for its simple and functional design. The NATO strap adds a classic sporty look to any watch, and the lightweight and comfortable design makes it a go-to style in almost any condition. Consisting of a single piece of material, a NATO strap weaves under a watch’s spring bars and secures onto itself with a buckle closure. NATO bands are easy to put on your watch because they work with your watch’s existing spring or screw bars and can be installed in minutes.

Steps to Install a NATO Strap on a Watch

  1. Remove your existing band. If you have never done this or need a refresher, check out our guide on how to remove a watch band.
  2. Remove the spring bars from the band that was just removed from the watch.
  3. Reinsert the spring bars into the holes in the lugs, using a spring bar tool as needed.
  4. Pull the long end of the NATO strap out of the metal loop holding the two ends together.
  5. Slide the long end of the strap between the top spring bar and the watch case, with the short side of the strap facing away and the buckle facing up.
  6. Thread the same long side back up through the bottom spring bar and the watch case.
  7. Pass the long side back through the metal loop on the short side.

That’s all there is to it! Check that your new NATO strap is fastened to your watch, then slap it on your wrist and enjoy. If you are interested in learning more about the history of NATO bands and how to style them, check out our guide to NATO watch straps.

Nixon has NATO straps in a variety of materials and colors that fit watches with spring bars or screw bars. Shop Nixon NATO straps.