When the Swedish watch brand Daniel Wellington launched in India, my Instagram timeline was flooded with beautiful pictures of watches. And one, specifically, caught my attention. It had an elegant, simple large dial that was fixed onto a pink and blue-stripe nylon NATO strap.
It’s not an uncommon strap for a watch – even luxury watchmakers like Patek Philippe and Rolex use it. In fact, it’s the strap of choice for the Rolex Submariner, and it’s this strap that inspired Daniel Wellington founder Filip Tysander to launch his own collection – and company - in Uppsala, east-central Sweden in 2011.
But let’s get back to the strap – it’s appealing because it’s both stylish and functional, and can quickly be interchanged for another colour.
The NATO strap was originally meant for NATO soldiers, and made its debut in the British Military of Defence Standard in 1973. It was described as “Strap, Wrist Watch”, and nicknamed the G10, because soldiers had to fill out the G1098 form to get their hands on one. These straps were made from nylon, with a width of 20mm and came only in Admiralty Grey. The buckle and keeper were made from chrome-plated brass. Later, the strap was customised to include British army regimental colours; and as military fashion caught on, this strap caught the imagination of the watch industry.
Daniel Wellington has several NATO straps (18mm) that come in a variety of colours (this one
is a team favourite).
The watch company also does elegant metallic and leather straps – all of which are attached to the classic Daniel Wellington dial (36mm and 40mm for men and 28mm and 32mm for women), which features slim hands and markers in keeping with its minimal style.
On the eve of the launch of Daniel Wellington on Tata CLiQ, Magnus Toveberg, IMEA executive director, tells us about the brand’s adoption of the NATO watch and more.
Below are edited excepts:
The NATO strap is an integral element in watch design at Daniel Wellington. Can you tell us a bit about the original NATO strap that inspired Filip Tysander?
It was a coincidental meeting halfway around the world that sparked the idea for Daniel Wellington [the brand]. On this trip, our founder Filip Tysander met an intriguing British gentleman with impeccable yet unpretentious style. The man had a particular fondness for wearing his vintage watches on old, weathered NATO straps. His name? Daniel Wellington.
What sets Daniel Wellington apart from other watch brands?
The brand stands for affordable luxury. Our timeless styles, quality and the global movement behind the brand are what set us apart.
Daniel Wellington is a Swedish brand. How much of an influence does Scandinavian design have on the brandʼs design aesthetics?
There is a strong influence; our designs are characterised by simplicity and minimalism.
Which is the brandʼs best-selling watch?
The Classic Black St Mawes Rose Gold 40mm Men’s watch; however, India seems to be catching on the global trend of opting for smaller watches, so 36 mm is picking up. For women, the Mesh watch is popular, so is our global bestseller, the Classic petite Melrose 32 mm.
Which watch from the DW that is special to you?
I like the Classic Sheffield Watch in silver with a 36mm dial. I can wear it everyday for casual as well as formal outings. I also love to slip on the Deep Blue Bayswater NATO Strap, thanks to the interchangeability feature, one of the best features of a Daniel Wellington watch.
Shop the story
Daniel Wellington Classic St Mawes Analog Watch for Men
Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield Analog Watch for Men
Daniel Wellington Classic Petite Analog Watch for Women
Daniel Wellington Classic Bayswater Analog Watch for Men