Oceanic armoR  that will courageously inspire you to get your scuba diving license and explore The Silent World as soon as humanly possible, the Mark V Mod-1 dive helmet remains a fascinating reminder of when we began to explore the depths of our vast oceans more than 100 years ago. French naval officer, marine conservationist and explorer Jacques Cousteau would nod in sentiment—this extendable piece of heavy-duty headwear opened us up to a whole new world below the seafaring surface. Now, it can be a commanding display feature to any nautical lover’s domain, gallery or workshop. Emanating an alluring naval vintage, its unforgiving exterior shell is spun copper and glows with a brass finish. It includes a protected acrylic window and shows off a gold ID breastplate engraved with a designated serial number. The iconic Mark V model was made by multiple manufacturers from 1916 until the mid-1980s, for the United States and other military diving units around the world. And as with any equipment made for the military, most of it was produced during times of war, so a mass majority of antique Mark V diving helmets found today date to either World War II or World War I. During that entire span, the helmets’ design was virtually unchanged because war contract manufacturers were issued drawings prepared by the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships, and had to firmly adhere to its stated specifications. Its venerable design is still produced today, using the original drawings and imitating history’s engineering from century’s past. *Origin uncertain. 

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.