Earlier this year we wrote an article calling out the issues with traditional NATO watch straps – namely that they add unnecessary bulk to a watch as well as lifting it further away from your wrist. We were quite surprised by quantity of positive feedback on the article. It seems that we were not alone in our views and one UK Company ‘Haveston’ have continued to innovate, evolving the design and implementation of the humble NATO strap without losing its two principal benefits – the ease of which you can change a strap and the added security ensuring you don’t lose your watch if a spring bar fails.

We contacted Haveston to take a look at their A2-Single pass layout straps, and Alex kindly sent us a selection.

The design of the A2-single pass layout straps has evolved the humble NATO into a truly modern strap. Firstly, the lack of the additional piece of material and buckle allows the watch to sit closer to the wrist as well as allowing you to move the strap futher along the fabric. This allows the wearer to position the watch on the top of the wrist whilst ensuring the buckle is positioned on the bottom balancing out the look and feel, and ensuring a comfortable fit. However Haveston did not stop there, they also re-engineered the placement of the traditional NATO metal keepers and allowed one to become a ‘floating’ keeper – able to move along the strap. This allows the excess strap to be held in position without the need to fold and tuck the excess back in on itself. This also contributes to a more slender wear as well as increased comfort.

The fabrics used are high quality heavy weave polyamide in a seatbelt pattern and the fit and finish is excellent. The straps are available with either a polished buckle and keepers, a brushed finish or a blasted PVD in 18, 20 or 22mm widths. Of note is their Canvas series providing a great alternative to the traditional fabric of NATO straps.On the wrist the straps feel extremely comfortable and in keeping with the military history of the nato strap, Haveston’s designs are all historically inspired with unique patterns and colours harking back to Army and Navy heritage.

We’re delighted that to see Haveston continue to innovate and look forward to more of their offerings currently under development.

The straps are all available directly from Haveston in the UK at www.haveston.com Prices are currently shown in USD as a universal price indication only and payment is taken in GBP. Haveston’s new website (coming soon) will offer localised currencies.


Entrepreneur, philanthropist, technologist and watch collector, Ben is the founder of Wristworthy.


  1. Technically not NATO but ZULU straps. Excellent straps but you need to accurately report what they are and not what they are not.

    • Ben Reply

      Hi Basa. Actually Zulu straps have oval keepers that rotate to lay flat on the strap once the material passes through them as opposed to fixed rectangular keepers, but I do see the similarity. These I guess are like a Zulu strap with NATO hardware. There are now a number of manufacturers starting to produce these due to demand from customers.

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