As they have become more popular, customers are asking us how to install a NATO or ZULU watch strap.

Are you look for advice on how to fit a NATO watch strap? Don't worry, we understand that fitting a NATO watch strap can seem complex to start with, however with our short and handy guide, you'll have your new strap fitted to your watch and ready for adventure in no time.

The Yema Superman fitted to a green nylon NATO watch strap on the wrist

The Yema Superman on the VWC NATO in Olive Green - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

A step by step guide on how to fit your NATO strap

  1. Remove your current watch strap by using a spring bar tool. Here you will need to use the fork end of the tool and position it close to the case
  2. From behind the watch, add a little pressure all connect the fork to the spring bar. Then, pry the springbar out of the hole in the watch case pull it toward yourself and the centre of bar
  3. With some moving around, the spring bar pin will detach.
  4. Repeat to remove the other strap. Remember to keep the spring bar pins safe as you will be using them in the next step!
  5. Place one spring bar end in the lug, then press the other pin end down with the tool. Then in one motion latch the pin end underneath the lug, gently move the pin so it clicks into position in the hole. Repeat this process for the other spring bar pin.
  6. Place your NATO strap and watch on a flat surface, ensure the buckle end of the strap is placed down on the left. Also ensure the watch displays the 12 o'clock position on the left (nearest to the buckle).
  7. Thread the non-buckle end of the strap underneath the left lug gap, then pass the strap end through the right lug gap. Pull the strap end tight.
  8. If you have not already done so move the watch left towards the buckle end.
  9. Position the watch so that it is between the buckle on the left and loops on the right.
  10. Pass the non-buckle end of the strap through the remaining loops on the right.
  11. Your watch is now securely fastened to your NATO strap, however, do a final check and ensure all loops are threaded through correctly and the watch displays 12 o'clock position at the top.
  12. Enjoy your new NATO watch strap!

How to fit a NATO watch strap guide

How to fit a NATO watch strap, a guide by WatchGecko - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

Would you rather watch a video tutorial on how to fit your NATO strap? No worries, check our tutorial out below!

Now you're an expert in how to fit NATO watch straps, we think it's about time you start adding a few to your collection. What do you think? Start browsing our curated range of NATO straps right here.

Originally published in 2015.