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Discussion Starter #1
I have just acquired a 1973 British Army NATO spec W-10 tonneau cased Hamilton, and I'm trying to choose a strap.

The watch, I think, warrants a pretty conservative military-style strap, and I have thoroughly checked out Crown & Buckle's offerings. I have decided on a non-stripe NATO G10 strap or a Zulu strap.

I understand how a NATO strap works, but I don't understand the way the Zulu works. What's with the extra keepers, and what is their function? I do like the fact that the Zulu is a single piece, unlike the NATO, but I don't understand what the big deal is about the Zulu other than the extra keepers.

Also, I have been cursed with fairly slim (NO, they're NOT spindly!) wrists, about 6.5 inches, and I don't like the idea of tucking back the extra strap on an 11 incher into the nearest keeper. Looks uncool, IMO. Do these straps come in shorter lengths? C&B's product descriptions are not clear.

Any advice? Thanks.
 

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Hi Roger,

Were you referring to a NATO versus a 5-ring Zulu? We carry 3 basic styles: NATO, Zulu, and 5-ring Zulu. There are a couple of ways to look at your options. I'll detail each for you.

NATO straps: they have the extra layer to secure the watch from sliding too far on the strap. In practical terms, the second layer is for looks, as I've never seen a watch slide around on the strap. This second layer can easily be cut off with any pair of scissors, and then sealed with a lighter on the cut edge. I do this on occasion on my personal straps. NATOs also have smaller hardware than a Zulu, and this can be a consideration with smaller watches.

Zulu straps: they only have one layer of nylon, use a slightly heavier/thicker weave of nylon, and have larger hardware that is brushed. Again, the hardware preference can depend on the watch that it is going on.

5-ring straps: these are a combination of a NATO and a Zulu. They have two layers of nylon and an extra set of rings just like a NATO. However, they use the same nylon as a Zulu, as well as the larger, brushed hardware.


Hopefully that cleared up some of your questions. If you prefer not to loop the excess strap backwards, then a Zulu may be a better choice, as the keepers can lay flat against the strap. Keep in mind that at 11", our straps are on the shorter end of the market offerings, as Maratac and some others are 12-13" long. If our 11" straps are still too long, you can easily trim them down. Using a coin (like a quarter) as a guide, you can cut the curved end of the strap with a sharp pair of scissors or a utility knife. Then you can use a lighter to seal the end of the strap from fraying. I have also head of using a hot soldering iron to both trim and seal the strap at the same time, but I have not tried this myself.

Please let us know if you have any further questions. We appreciate your interest in our straps. :thumbup1:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
OK, so Zulu straps can be regular or 5-ring.

First, how many keepers does the regular Zulu have?

Second, what are the functions of the extra keepers on the 5-ring Zulu, except bling? I think I'm going to get one of the Zulus, and then a couple of backups, because in New Orleans it's necessary to change out your straps once in a while, assuming you're not closeted in air conditioning every day.

Thanks, C&B.

And thanks for the info on how to trim a nylon strap! Solves my problems in that regard.
 

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A regular Zulu has 2 keepers and the buckle. A NATO has two keepers in the same place, and an extra ring on the second layer for the first layer to loop through. The 5-ring Zulu is the same as the NATO, except it has two rings on the second layer.

The extra keepers on the NATO and Zulu are so the top/main layer of nylon can loop back through. This secures the watch head in a certain position on the strap, preventing it from sliding too far down the strap. However, like I mentioned before, this is mostly for bling as the watch isn't going to slide on the strap anyways.
 

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Aren't the NATOs safer in case a pin breaks or falls off?
Any one-piece strap, including NATO, Zulu, 5 ring, US Military, etc., all protect the watch from falling off your wrist if one spring bar breaks. Even without the second layer of nylon, they all lace between the spring bars and the watch case, so they all protect the watch from falling.
 

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Boy, I wish you offered the Zulu with Pvd hardware in 26mm! I'd be all over it if you did, cause it'd look sweet on my new A17.
 
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