The nylon watch strap, commonly referred to as a NATO, may have its roots in the military, but today it’s a menswear staple. Bolstered by the resurgence of classic preppy style, these simple, inexpensive, and often colorful straps may be all the rage with the modern-day Take Ivy set, but long before J.Crew put one on its Timex faux-military watch, the vintage Rolex crowd had claimed ownership of the look. Just like NATOs themselves, different vintage Rolexes can take on personalities of their own. Here are five of the most distinctive vintage Rolex/NATO combinations.
The Reference 1655 “Orange Hand” Explorer II on Orange NATO
The early Explorer II’s from the 1970s and early 80s came with bright orange 24-hour hands. This was one of the first (and only) uses of bright color by Rolex, so it only makes sense to throw on a matching orange NATO – a perfect summer time look. The orange hand was brought back on the Explorer II for 2011 so if vintage isn’t your game, you now have options.