Collaborations can end up in success or a major flop. Especially if the parties involved come from different areas of life. When fashion enters the watch scene the outcome is often the latter. Kill Hubris, a clothing company from Houston Texas, is a cool brand, no doubt about that. One that I support and wear because the style speaks to me. No surprise, since Sam aka Mr. Kill Hubris is not only the owner of the brand but also a watchnerd himself. But what happens when Kill Hubris decides to partner up with a known and respected watch accessory supplier, say Crown & Buckle, to release two NATO straps? Crown & Buckle is known for quality and affordable products. Straps, tools and other watch accessories. Kill Hubris has stylish and trendy clothes and other goodies. A perfect collaboration? Let’s have a look.
Sam sent me one of each NATO in 20mm (they also offer both colors in 22mm). You can choose between three different types of hardware; polished, brushed steel and black PVD. The reason I picked 20mm is that – I believe – is the most versatile size – at least in my collection. As far as the buckles are concerned brushed was my choice. Not too shiny, not too specific like a PVD. Fits the tool watches that I own fine. The straps reached me in Germany fairly quickly and a day later they were already in the mix. So much so that I even took the red one with me on my vintage Doxa Sub, which was my travel watch, to Dubai. What better test can you imagine than a 16-hour trip from door to door? The NATO held up well and got a few compliments in the process by fellow watch enthusiasts and colleagues from the watch media.
While Crown & Buckle is responsible of the production, the design came from Sam. As I already told you the Kill Hubris X Crown & Buckle collaboration NATOS came in two color combinations; a vivid red one to “bring any watch to life” and a camouflage. This is however no ordinary camo NATO. The pattern is a blend between a number of different camouflage versions. As Sam puts it; ”A quirky “lizard” camouflage descended from the WWII British “brushstroke” pattern. Lizard camo’s influence would later be seen in Vietnam-era tiger stripe patterns”. Mix of different shades of green, red and beige in a surprisingly harmonious way. The result is this awesome lizard camo strap. While the red could be somewhat of a natural choice for everyday wear due to its color, the camo is the sportier, out of the ordinary version for me.
According to the Crown & Buckle site the straps belong to their Premium NATO category. This is the second best after Supreme NATO, which go way higher in price. Undoubtedly, the quality of the straps is really nice especially if you factor in what they cost. Both colors are made of high density ballistic nylon, a material that was developed in the World War II for the US Military. Jackets were made of this fabric to protect the GIs from bullet and shell impacts and fragmentation, hence the name ballistic. Regardless of the durable material the straps have a nice and soft touch, not itchy on the wrist like many NATOs. The stitching on both versions is color matching. Layer welding is how they further strengthen the straps. There’s no branding on them whatsoever aside from the KH logo which you can find inscribed into the buckles.
Now comes the part that everyone wants to know; how much would these set me back? Well, the price of the NATO is $16 with your choice of size and hardware. I believe this is more than fair for what you’re getting. As said above, this is the second most expensive NATO strap in the Crown & Buckle line, but I use the word “expensive” very loosely in this context. If you have a C&B gift code or want to pick up something else from the guys you can order the NATOs on their site. However, this is a Kill Hubris strap as well after all. So why not visit the Kill Hubris site and place your order there. Make sure you check out Sam’s tees, hats or raglans. Would be a perfect match to your Crown & Buckle X Kill Hubris NATO strap.
Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up... read more