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Even if it wasn’t the original intention, the perforations do substantially increase ventilation, which can be useful in the summer heat.
Furthermore, there’s no better choice of strap to pair with a vintage chronograph, since they were frequently used to time races.
It quickly grew in popularity throughout the military, and over time, the general public gradually began to appreciate the strap for its numerous features and abilities.
When the Cold War ended, G10 straps were sold in military surplus shops around the country, and they were all branded with a unique NATO Surplus Number.
By their very nature, watch straps are often considerably cheaper than an entirely new watch, so it is often more cost-effective to expand one’s collection of straps over splurging on another watch.
That’s not to say one shouldn’t own an assortment of watches – just make sure you don’t neglect that which connects them to your wrist.
Finally, the addition of a watch keeper strap ensures that the watch case will remain firmly on your wrist even if one of the spring bars snaps.
Although obviously inspired by NATO straps, there are a few minor differences that separate the two.
I recommend picking up one of each type and deciding which you prefer in-person!
Retailers: Inspired by old school racing gloves, Rally straps can be easily recognized by the three or more large perforations punched out below the lugs.
Surplus stores sold out quickly, but watch strap retailers sprung up to take advantage of the surge in popularity.
The veritable storm of NATO straps never quite ended, and they are sure to remain popular for decades to come.
Zulu straps also take a bit longer to break in, but at the same time, they will most likely last longer than a NATO.