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$1+ Chinese Nato Strap Review

Talk about your experience, good and bad, here.
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BostonCharlie
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$1+ Chinese Nato Strap Review

#1

Post by BostonCharlie » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:36 pm

BostonCharlie wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:19 pm
...

I went crazy and ordered three of these natos for $0.49 out the door after the promo code. Delivery: Jul 2 - Aug 13, lol. Curious to see what shows up.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Thick-high-qua ... 3082588632

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These arrived today, one month after my order -- sooner than I expected. Here is a review.

* I ordered one 20mm strap and two 22mm straps in colors gray and tan. I am comparing them against a 22mm Fossil nato and a 22mm Ague nato.

* They are shorter than my other natos. Both the 20mm and 22mm measure 245mm long. On my 6.75" wrist I am only (barely) able to loop the tail back under the first keeper. This doesn't bother me, and it could be a plus for somebody who prefers less bulk. But when I tried to strap my watch on over a bulky shirt sleeve (what are long natos for, anyhow?), it couldn't go farther than the second-to-last hole on the strap.

* The fabric measures 1.2mm thick. Their widths are precisely 20mm and 22mm. I like the feel and look of the fabric.

* The keepers look good from the top, but some show soft bite marks on the sides from the manufacturing process (I suppose).

* The holes are punched in a way that pulls the fabric a little out of shape, like maybe the punch is a little dull. This isn't apparent when the strap is on my wrist, since it's taught.

* The buckles look okay, but the arms with the springbar holes are poorly finished -- but only on the sides. From the top, where you usually view them, they're satisfactory. One funny thing about the buckle is that it isn't firmly pocketed by the strap -- it floats around more than the buckles on my other natos. At first I thought it might be due to a thin springbar, but it measures 1.5mm (by comparison, my Fossil's is 1.8mm). I now suspect it is because the notch cut in the nato for the buckle prong is larger than necessary, allowing the buckle to float more.

* While the buckles feel secure, their spring bars are too short. By pushing the bar into one side, the other side can clear its hole (while still uncompressed). I stumbled across a WUS discussion where a guy's watch unexpectedly flew off his wrist, and the consensus emerged that it was due to short springbars on his watch -- so this is a big deal. The bar on the 20mm buckle measures 22.1mm uncompressed. The bar on the 22mm buckle: 24.8mm. The springbar on my 22mm Fossil strap is 25.3mm, and it doesn't have this problem.

* The stitching is coarser and *mostly* square. I count 5-1/2 stitches (?) on the 22mm, where both my Fossil and Ague natos have 7. What is more, what appear to be the ends of the threads are roughly cut/finished -- on my other natos I can't even spot the ends. Finally, the stitching on these straps runs to the very edge of the fabric, where my others stop short, leaving a cleaner edge to the strap.

* I really like the colors. I ordered a tan strap and a gray strap. The tan goes well with my skin tone, which I only mention because I was surprised, once, at another tan strap that looked good on my watch but bad on my wrist.

Conclusion: The quality and color of the fabric make up for the rough finishing. I like that I can work and sweat in these and not worry about ruining them. The buckle springbar is too short and must be replaced -- as it is, it could fail. For $1.10, I would buy again.
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Re: $1+ Chinese Nato Strap Review

#2

Post by cheddar » Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:54 am

I've bought a number of $2 chinese natos. Haven't noticed the springbar issues, but I do notice that the holes where I fasten the buckle tend to stretch with wear. The fabric also is obviously much lower quality than what you'd get from even CNS or HNS straps. That being said, there's no better way to get a variety of looks for your Timex Weekender or other beaters.
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