NATO Straps for Rolex Submariner: A Comprehensive Guide

Greetings, fellow watch enthusiasts! If you are a proud owner of a Rolex Submariner, you know how important it is to maintain its pristine look and functionality. One way to achieve this is by changing your watch strap. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about NATO straps for Rolex Submariner. From their history to their advantages and disadvantages, we got you covered.

The History of NATO Straps

NATO straps came into existence in the British Army during the early 1970s. The Ministry of Defence specified a new band type that they believed was stronger and less likely to break than a regular leather or metal band. These straps were cheap, easy to maintain, and most importantly, durable. Soon after, NATO straps became a staple in the watch industry and are often associated with military-style watches.

What Are NATO Straps?

NATO straps are sports-style straps typically made of nylon, occasionally leather or other materials such as silicone, rubber, canvas, or even parachute cord. The standard NATO strap has a width of 20mm, while the thickness is roughly 1.5mm. They come in various colors, patterns, and designs, allowing watch enthusiasts to showcase their personality and style. A NATO strap differs from other watch straps in that it passes through spring bars, keeping the watch in place even if one of the bars fails.

Advantages of NATO Straps for Rolex Submariner


NATO straps are known for their durability. They are made of high-quality materials that can withstand harsh conditions and last for years, even with regular usage.

Easy to Replace

Replacing your Rolex Submariner strap with a NATO strap is easy and can be done by anyone. You do not need any specific tools or expertise to change your watch strap. You can do it in less than five minutes, which means you can switch to different NATO straps depending on your mood and style.


Rolex Submariner is known for its water-resistant feature, and a NATO strap complements this. NATO straps are water-resistant, which means you can wear your watch while swimming, surfing, or doing any water-related activities.

Comfortable to Wear

NATO straps are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable to wear. They are perfect for individuals who have sensitive skin or someone who is not a fan of metallic or leather watch straps.

Adds Personality

NATO straps come in various colors and designs, allowing you to showcase your personality and style. You can choose a classic black or navy blue NATO strap for a minimalist look or opt for a camouflage or striped NATO strap for a more playful look.

Disadvantages of NATO Straps for Rolex Submariner


NATO straps are non-adjustable, meaning you cannot adjust them to fit your wrist perfectly. Although you can tuck the excess strap into the keepers, this can make the strap bulky and uncomfortable to wear.


NATO straps are thicker than other watch straps, which can affect the way your watch fits under your shirt cuff. It can also cause inconvenience when using certain watch winders or cases.

No Quick Release

Unlike other watch straps, NATO straps do not have a quick-release mechanism. Replacing the strap involves removing the spring bars, which can be challenging for first-time users.

Limited Formality

NATO straps are casual and are often associated with military-style watches. Although they come in various colors and designs, NATO straps may not be suitable for formal occasions or business settings.

NATO Strap Compatibility for Rolex Submariner

Rolex Submariner uses a 20mm lug width, which is the standard size for NATO straps. Any NATO strap with a 20mm width will fit your Rolex Submariner perfectly. However, make sure to choose a high-quality NATO strap to ensure maximum durability and a secure fit.


1. Can I wear a NATO strap while swimming?

Yes, NATO straps are water-resistant, which means you can wear them while swimming or doing any water-related activities.

2. How do I clean my NATO strap?

You can clean your NATO strap by wiping it with a damp cloth or brushing it with a soft-bristled brush. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning materials.

3. Can I adjust my NATO strap?

No, NATO straps are non-adjustable. However, you can tuck the excess strap into the keepers to minimize bulkiness.

4. How do I replace my Rolex Submariner strap with a NATO strap?

You can replace your Rolex Submariner strap with a NATO strap by following these steps:

Steps Description
Step 1 Lay your watch face-down on a soft surface to prevent scratches.
Step 2 Use a spring bar tool to remove the current strap from the watch.
Step 3 Thread the NATO strap through the spring bars.
Step 4 Attach the spring bars back into the watch using your spring bar tool.
Step 5 Adjust the strap length and tuck the excess strap into the keepers.

5. Are there any NATO straps specifically designed for Rolex Submariner?

Yes, some companies produce NATO straps specifically designed for Rolex Submariner. However, any NATO strap with a 20mm width will fit perfectly on your Rolex Submariner.

6. How long do NATO straps last?

NATO straps are durable and can last for years, depending on how often you wear them and how well you maintain them.

7. Can I wear a NATO strap with other watch brands?

Yes, NATO straps are compatible with most watch brands, as long as they have a standard lug width of 20mm.

8. How many keepers does a NATO strap have?

The standard NATO strap has one keeper to hold the excess length, but some NATO straps come with a double or triple keeper to minimize bulkiness.

9. Can I customize my NATO strap?

Yes, some companies offer custom-made NATO straps that allow you to choose the color, material, and design.

10. How do I know if my NATO strap is high-quality?

A high-quality NATO strap is made of high-quality materials, such as nylon or leather, and has a sturdy buckle and keepers. It should also have a proper thickness that is not too thick or too thin.

11. Can I choose a NATO strap based on my watch’s dial color?

Yes, you can choose a NATO strap that complements your watch’s dial color or choose a contrasting color to add a pop of color to your wrist.

12. Can I wear a NATO strap during cold weather?

Yes, NATO straps are suitable for any weather condition, and you can wear them even during cold weather.

13. Are NATO straps expensive?

No, NATO straps are relatively affordable, and you can find high-quality NATO straps for less than $50.


In conclusion, NATO straps are a versatile and durable option for Rolex Submariner. They offer several advantages, such as being water-resistant, easy to replace, and comfortable to wear. However, they also have some disadvantages, such as being non-adjustable and not suitable for formal occasions. We hope that this comprehensive guide has given you enough information on NATO straps for Rolex Submariner and has helped you decide whether to switch from a metal or leather strap to a NATO strap.

If you are looking for a new strap for your Rolex Submariner, a NATO strap is an excellent choice that can add personality and style to your wrist. Don’t hesitate to try one now!

Closing or Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is intended for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Do your research thoroughly before making any purchase decisions, and consult a professional if needed. The author and publisher do not assume any responsibility or liability for any actions taken as a result of reading this article.