The mechanical watch started as a necessity before it became the luxury product it is today. And much like this, the NATO strap made of nylon was also designed based on functionality for the British Military. So how exactly does Montblanc bring the NATO strap into the same level of luxury as most of their timepieces? Well, they source out a 150-year-old company to make them of course.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to try on the new 1858 collection, you will notice that those offered with NATOs are some of the softest and most comfortable version of these fabric straps. And that is because they are working with a company called Julien Faure.
When I first saw this Montblanc video, the current President Julien Faure, mentions he is the 5th generation of this family-owned company that makes the most luxurious ribbons. At first, I thought ribbons was a mistranslation of French (the company is based in Saint-Étienne, France) for ‘watch strap’, but upon further inspection, they are indeed a company that makes ribbons. Yes, the kind that makes a bow on top of presents. The exception, however, is that Julien Faure still uses weaving machines from the 18th century bringing a high level of craftsmanship to the humble ribbon.
For Montblanc, they take all this weaving savoir-faire and apply that to the making of the fabric strap. What results, is a NATO strap that is soft and supple but yet still able to be very resistant.
If the name Julien Faure seems quite familiar to you, it is because they are the same company that makes the fabric straps for Tudor as well. And as far as I know, Montblanc and Tudor are the only places you can get these fantastic straps. Whether or not they will sell you just the straps if you want to use it with your other watches I do not know. Perhaps its time to pay a visit to your local Montblanc boutique to find out.