The ‘La Spirotechnique Barcelona’ Diving Helmet.

The supplier of standard diving equipment to the Spanish Navy, was Joaquin Carbonell Gimeno, S.A. of Barcelona. It is believed that he manufactured diving helmets for the navy since the early nineteen forties. Somewhere in the nineteen fifties he became importer and dealer for La Spirotechnique. I have not been able to find out the exact story but around 1980 the 12 bolt Carbonell Gimeno helmets were advertised in the french magazine ‘L’avonture Sous-Marine’. These helmets were not carrying a Carbonell Gimeno badge, but instead they had a badge marked ‘La Spirotechnique, Barcelona’ on them. Some claim that these helmets were manufactured in the nineteen sixties as decoration pieces to be displayed in the shops of La Spirotechnique diving equipment retail sellers, but I have not found any evidence for that. In the mid nineteen nineties I visited a nautical antiques dealer in the center of Madrid who had 7 or 8 of these helmets in stock. They were all in new condition but the company badges had been removed. When I asked him about it he showed me a La Spirotechnique badge which could be riveted to the helmet. At the time the lot was to expensive for me to buy and when I returned about 1 year later they had all disappeared. To me the exact story behind these helmets is a bit of a mystery ... The helmet at the photographs here below I found last year in Spain. Photographs David L.Dekker

The word ‘La Spirotechnique’ used on the badge of the helmet was in use with the logo of the french La Spirotechnique company from 1958 to 1976. This tells us that when this badge was riveted to the helmet when it was new built it cannot be older then from 1958. It would be interesting to find some more back ground info on this mysterious helmet ...


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