Strap Check: I Paid More For This Omega Bond NATO Than A MoonSwatch
Yes, you read that title correctly. And it’s true. This piece of woven polyamide with Omega-stamped hardware is more expensive than a MoonSwatch. I must remind you the Omega × Swatch Speedmaster MoonSwatch is a fully functional Swiss-made quartz chronograph with a bioceramic case, Hesalite crystal, Velcro strap, and surprisingly crisp dial. Judging by these two purchases, I am seemingly getting much more bang-for-buck with my MoonSwatch. Yet I appreciate both items dearly for what they offer. The Omega strap in question is the 21mm SPECTRE NATO, which mimics the early James Bond strap with five distinct stripes. This particular strap has gray on two inner lines with a black center and black outer edges. But as great as the strap looks by itself, it’s how it pairs with my Omega Seamaster 300 that made it such a worthy acquisition.
You may be wondering how much I paid for this NATO strap, so let’s get that out of the way first. It was £230. The MoonSwatch was a palatable £207 and even appreciates exponentially on the pre-owned market. So why is this NATO so pricey? For some years now, Omega has offered a broad selection of NATO straps in two sizes. The 20mm strap comfortably fits the Speedmaster Moonwatch and the Seamaster Diver 300M, undoubtedly two of the most popular Omega models in the collection. But the 20mm strap can also be squeezed through the 19mm lugs of watches such as the Speedmaster First Omega in Space and Calibre 321. The same goes for the 22mm NATO, which Omega suggests is suitable for 21mm lugs. But I’m not so sure. I’ve always been in the camp of selecting the appropriately sized strap for the watch.
The strap has to fit just right
Having the strap bunched up at the edges does not give the strap the freedom to articulate and possibly wears away the material. Conversely, as demonstrated by James Bond, a strap too small for the lugs can leave an unsightly gap and the spring bar exposed. That left me in a quandary for how to pair an Omega NATO with my Seamaster 300, as I needed a NATO that was 21mm wide. Then it struck me that Omega gave us the limited-edition SPECTRE Seamaster 300 in 2015 to coincide with Daniel Craig’s penultimate Bond movie. The style is somewhat of a callback to the strap on Sean Connery’s Rolex Submariner ref. 6538. Although, I must point out that the strap seen in the close-up in Goldfinger is a pass-through, not a NATO. It also had a different color scheme with two olive-green stripes surrounded by thin red borders.
Looking like a British spy
More importantly, the Bond NATO for the SPECTRE model is bespoke to the watch and 21mm wide — precisely what I needed for the new Seamster 300. I always liked the SPECTRE model, so recreating this look with my Seamaster 300 gives me a Bond vibe I enjoy. It also helps that both watches share the lollipop seconds hand. So how does it wear on the wrist? I’ve said it before, but I am someone who prefers when a buckle sits in the middle of my wrist. On most of my NATO straps, I find the hardware placement is not to my liking. Either the buckle leans too far to one side, or the keepers uncomfortably pinch my wrists. The Omega buckle, however, is perfectly positioned, and the distances between the hardware are adequately considered.
The seatbelt-style fabric is also of high quality, and the surface is silky and smooth to the touch. The Bond NATO is thick but easily slots through the spring bars and still sits nicely on the wrist. Stamped on the brushed steel buckle is the Omega logo with “OMEGA” further engraved on the keeper nearest 6 o’clock. And as I am a Bond nerd, I love the “007” co-branding on the keeper closest to 12 o’clock. The remaining loop also slides up and down, allowing you to tuck the strap end away neatly without it catching.
Overall, this is a comfortable and stylish strap that works as a casual alternative to the more formal bracelet or leather strap. A regular Omega NATO is £145, but I paid a little more for this special 21mm strap at £230. As I said earlier, this is more than a MoonSwatch, but it’s a worthwhile purchase when it looks so good and could get more wrist time. The strap reference is CWZ003210, and the buckle reference is 025stz003217. That said, the packaging it came in said “031CWZ014732”, so it’s worth checking all numbers with your Omega authorized dealer if you’re interested. The No Time To Die Omega NATO with titanium hardware is £290, so at least this one is not the most expensive.
Do you have any experience with Omega NATO straps? If so, let us know what you think of them in the comments below.