Well when going through my stuff today i found something real special. What is so special about a nato strap... which almost looks like the 15 USD straps from e-bay, you would think. Well there is a big difference.. i will tell you.
When i bought a 5513 Milsub about 5 years ago it came with an original nato strap as issued with the Milsub watches.
These straps are really special. Quite stiff when they are new. But getting soft when wearing. The structure of the material feels complete different then all the newer made straps that emulate the color of those straps. But even more. Look at the details and you see the soft structure and colors in the structure of the material. Once you have felt one of those.. you recognize one right away just by feeling it. It's more 'suede' kind of feel. They are so nice.
So what... still just a nato. Well... yes and no. As i personal have never seen one for sale. As far as i know Rolex does not sell them anymore... you can't get it anymore >>> UPDATE... a friend told me Rolex might sell the newer version of them. Not sure.. i guess you have to contact them.
So in a world.. where people are spending the amount of a nice car on getting sword hands for your Milsub, or crazy money for a inlay to get it Full-Spec. Well such special watches.. and then wear it on an non-autentic nato strap you bought on ebay to emulate the Full-Spec real deal... i guess it is very special.
As i don't own any Milsubs anymore... i am waiting for the right moment/person to make a full-spec Milsub 100% full-spec with such a special strap.
When you look at this image of the 2009 Milsub meeting in GB. Where the top notch of Milsub collectors met and joined their passion, you see that most of the more then 30 Milsub's shown there don't have their original strap left. Often it was worn down in the crazy missions and adventures the owners had encountered.
As also not all did come on the original 20mm strap. Like my former 5517 i bought from the original commando. He was issued his watch not as first commando. But had to grab it out of a box with about 50 watches. And grab a standard 18mm military issued strap out of the department. He used that strap for many, many years... you can still see all the blood, sweat and tears on it.
Here you see the difference...
So if you ever find one of those original Milsub straps.... cherish it!