I had a loose idea of the kind of watch I was after.
It had to be able to cope with the wet stuff so a minimum of 200 WR was needed. I wanted something iconic that could easily be identified in photo's, (no point getting a generic 'sub-a-like'). It had to be tough enough to withstand a bit of a beating and finally, had to look good on a NATO. The thought of losing it due to a springbar failure brings me out in a sweat!
Armed with this list of wants, I approached my local watch shop to see what they stocked that would be suitable. I know everyone in the shop well, (the perils of this hobby!) and got chatting to one of the owners, Rob, about what I was looking for. After listening to the reasons behind the project, he simply told me to pick what ever I wanted and it would be on him. Free of charge. Keeping in mind that the shop are an AD for both Breitling and Omega, this came as an unexpected surprise!
The temptation would have been to pick a shiny Swiss wrist bauble, costing many thousands of pounds to send on this journey but that simply wasn't Matt's way. From what I had gleaned in talking to my cousin, Matthew appreciated good quality gear that was decent value for money. Nothing too flashy would do. This was to be about Matt's message, not the name on the dial.
With that in mind, there was only really one answer, Seiko.
I have owned several Seiko's in the past and have never been anything other than astounded by their quality, particularly at the price.
I spent some time looking over what Rob had in stock. The 5's were discounted as they only had 100M WR, and as nice as they are, sending a Presage on trip like this would be like fielding a ballerina in a rugby match.
It was in the Prospex range that I found the perfect candidate. Iconic, solid and with a little dash of colour, this was the one! The Seiko SRP779:
A quick stop off to the local engravers to add a little personal touch in memory of Matt and it was ready for its travels!