Deep Dive

The brand's name and logo are inspired by the classic standard dress helmet used by commercial and military divers which in years gone by were made from copper, brass and bronze.

There were many manufacturers of the standard hat all over the world, but probably most notably Siebe Gorman, who invented the closed deep sea diving helmet in the 1830's. It is one of Siebe Gorman's iconic helmets which we chose to represent our brand.

In early years the helmet was a beautifully designed but cumbersome piece of kit weighing approximately 22kg. A simple set up of a hose attached directly to the hat was used to supply the diver with air, which was pumped manually from the surface. The rest of the old standard diving dress comprised of a waterproof canvas suit clamped to the helmet with a watertight gasket, heavy laced lead shoes and weights which were generally worn on the chest or the back. Although it may have pulled in the admirers, suffice to say it was not your easy wear, Saturday night rig! Standard diving dress was deliberately heavy in order for the diver to be negatively buoyant and enable them to walk on the bottom. Divers were deployed directly into the water by lowering and raising them using a rope lifeline, or transporting them on a diving stage.

As knowledge grew and technology advanced things began to change. Communication systems were introduced into helmets for communicating with the surface, air pumps were replaced by low pressure air compressors and the materials used for equipment across the board became generally lighter and less restrictive. 

Now in modern times helmets are mostly made from fiberglass with larger, clearer face ports made from polycarbonate rather than glass. Neoprene suits no longer only hold the water out, but some even hold hot water systems IN to keep divers warm when working. Ditching the weight means divers no longer have to work only on the bottom and along with advancements such as enclosed living environments and mixed breathing gasses, they can now spend much longer times at depth and have many more efficient ways of working.

Although today we don’t look half as “movie ready” or fetching as standard dress divers once did (especially if yellow is not your colour), thankfully with modern helmets at a meer 13 kg in comparison, we no longer need necks quite as thick as a bulldog, nor do we have to depend on Ted on the manual air pump not needing a toilet break any time soon. However we still hold a special place in our hearts for those original Brass Hats which now adorn museums, private collections and if you're lucky your own living room!