Band came to his quality replica Sea-Dweller after a colleague returned offshore looking to make a quick sale of a Rolex watch after a longer-than-planned spell of unemployment. He figured he could afford the asking price, but was sternly told by his supervisor, “you’re too young for a Rolex, lad, you can get one when you’ve done your first saturation dive.”
For the time being he carried on wearing his Casio G-Shock – which was a popular choice for divers at the time, even if they had to keep a backup due to the watches’ tendency to explode on the way back to the surface – followed by a Seiko 150 Sport, a rugged quartz dive watch.
He eventually bought the Sea-Dweller for £680 at Schiphol airport in 1986 on his way home from an offshore project in the Middle East. The airport’s Rolex retailer must have been a little taken aback by the scruffy 23-year old sauntering in dressed in jeans, T-shirt, and flip-flops and asking to try on the Sea-Dwellers.