A little history of the modern regulator...

 

Ted ELDRED (1920 - 2005) is an Australian who was recognized as the first inventor of the 2-stage regulator in the world in 1952.

The development of this technology began in 1949. The company Ted ELDRED, Breathing Appliances Pty Ltd, was located in Melbourne, where the first regulators were manufactured and narghilé of the brand PORPOISE.

The performance of PORPOISE regulators proved superior to those obtained with regulators from Aqualung Cousteau-Gagnan technology from 1955. This period corresponded to a phase of great development of society Breathing Appliance Co, by the submission of many prototypes with the Australian Navy, which largely surpassed all attempts by competitors, made in a global development framework. Unfortunately Ted ELDRED sold his patents to AQUALUNG by coercion "of commercial intimidation" in 1956.

In Mai 1955 the french BRONNEC and GAUTIER file a patent on a two-stage regulator, the fabulous Crystal. Immediately, Captain Cousteau attack to justice, however, it will lose the trial.

This will not prevent AQUALUNG released its first model two-stage regulator in 1958: the AQUAMATIC marketed all over the world (like AQUALUNG/US DIVER in the USA, the SPIROTECHNIQUE in  France or BARAKOUDA in Germany ...)

From 1958-1975 come on the market the most famous regulators second stage "vintage" of the brand as the Aquilon or the SPIRO 8. Many innovations will emerge during this period like plastic piston for the SPIRO 8, the pilot valve of the second stage ALIZÉ or the convertible york in DIN of the ALIZÉ or SPIROLUNG.

GENERATION 1

1958 - 1977

The generation of the illustrious

 

AQUAMATIC

1958 - 1962

 

Here is the famous AQUAMATIC. What else to say that its come out was worldwide in May 1958 and it will reach 1984 to see a new regulator of the brand with a second stage in plastic.

Its shape will be taken up by other manufacturers as POSEIDON and OCEANIC.

AQUILON

1963 - 1976

 

The Aquilon is the two-stage regulator iconic for the brand during the 60s.

This is the French version of the CALYPSO I released in the US in 1962.

Its exit without output HP, with output HP standard, output with HP male (UK market) and also DIN.

SPIRO 8

1968 - 1976

 

The SPIRO 8 is a revolutionary design with a piston first stage ... made in plastic! Built to be robust and resistant to icing its designed at first time to diving clubs ... then it was quickly adopted by the french police department and firefighter services. There are a standard version and a PRO version with a ball adding 2  outputs MP.

ALIZÉ

1972 - 1973

 

The ALIZÉ is a revolutionary design for this time ... But very fragile !!

In the early 1970s the manufacturers are trying to miniaturized diving regulators, like the M400 MICRONIC manufacturered by the French brand PIEL.

Thus was born the ALIZÉ with the first piloted valve in the world for the second stage and a DIN convertible bracket to tackle the German market.

There exist to the puritan collector that I am 3 variants of regulator ALIZÉ:

  • The ALIZÉ in its first version, means with the deflector (mustache) you can see in the right of this photo, with a grid of square mesh. Quickly abandoned because the system had spread the expiration bubbles but significantly increase expiratory efforts

  • Current 1972 this version will be "up dated" with a traditional deflector. (top photo)

  • In 1974 ALIZÉ S version with a new deflector and an improved HP body you can see in  the left part of this photo.

ALIZÉ S

1974 - 1978

 

The ALIZÉ S came out in 1974 in a context where the initial version had not been entirely satisfaction but the design had requested a strong budget. Although good improvements, this regulator infortunetly will not get the expected success.

For the record at the beginning of the movie STARWARS V, Luke SKYWALKER is treated in a tank, breathing through an ALIZÉ S mounted in narghilé!

SPIROLUNG

1975 - 1978

The SPIROLUNG regulator is released in line with the ALIZÉ S. It is a kind of amphibious between SPIRO 8 second stage (with a new cover) and a larger version of the first stage ALIZÉ with the famous yoke convertible in DIN.

Also, like the SPIRO 8 there exist a standard version and a PRO version with an extra 2 outputs MP.

GENERATION 2

1978 -1986

The generation of series

or the crossing desert

 

At the end of the year 1977 the SPIROTECHNIQUE finished is moving in Carros near Nice. The company is at its lowest, with the limit of the balance sheet of deposit. It was then that began a long journey through the desert which lasted until 1986. During this period many models will be launched, almost every year and in different versions (call series) to try to conquer international markets (DIN version, york with International seat (I), york with French seat (F))

The diver is lost among so many models and many are turning to the great rival of the SPIROTECHNIQUE at that time, SCUBAPRO and its famous models MK2/ R190 and  MK10 R190/G250.

SPIRO 20/10

1978 - 1979

 

The regulator 20 is the first one of the generation series. There are two versions call serie 20/10 and serie 20/20 and are differentiated only by the seat HP raccort on the first stage. The 20/10 uses a 18.5mm diameter seat (French standard) and the 20/20 a 17,8mm diameter seat (international standard). This robust construction has been designed for diving schools. Its first stage is a piston mechanism with one output HP and 3 outputs MP mounted on a rotating port block.

SPIRO CLUB

1980 -1983

 

The SPIRO CLUB was released in May 1980 to replace the series 20. Robust and reliable, built as a "tank", the SPIROTECHIQUE launches it on the market to compete directly the MK2 R190 SCUBAPRO. A very good regulator piston mechanism but which will not happen to dethrone his rival.

SPIRO série 25

1981 - 1983

 

In 1981 came out the series 25/10, 25/20 and 25/30. The two first models are in yoke version with HP seats on the first stage, respectively in French and international standard. The 25/30 is the DIN version.

The first stage is again with a mechanism piston, it approaches shaped to Series 20 without the rotating port block for the outputs MP.

SPIRO série 40

1981 - 1984

 

In 1981 came out also the 40/10 and 40/30 series. The first version is in yoke system provided with  the French seat HP and the international one joint apart. The 40/30 is the DIN version.

The first stage piston is movable with a nozzle compensed while the second stage is provided with an injector and a deflector oversized to provide a large  expiratory and respiratory comfort. it is equipped with a rotating port block for the 3 outputs MP and one output HP.

SPIRO série 50

1981 - 1984

 

The EXPLORER regulator came out in 1983 in two versions with a second metallic stage. The standard version and the R version which always means a second stage with a sensitivity device. The first stage is a balanced piston mechanism with one output HP and 3 outputs MP.

SPIRO série PRO

1984

 

PRO Serie is a regulator with a first stage diaphragm mechanism, abandoned since AQUILON. Inspired from the CONSELF of US DIVER, it is the ancestor of the SUPRA. On its release in 1984, all  second stages are in metal and there are 4 versions, PRO, PRO R, PRO S and PRO RS. Each one existing in yoke or DIN version. The R is for the second stage with a device of the sensitivity and the S is for the first stage with an "oil bath" for diving in cold water.Note that the 1984 models came out with an HP neoprene valve that will be replaced in 1985 by a Teflon valve.

SPIRO série EXPLORER

1983 - 1984

 

The EXPLORER regulator came out in 1983 in two versions with a second metallic stage. The standard version and the R version which always means a second stage with a sensitivity device. The first stage is a balanced piston mechanism with one output HP and 3 outputs MP.

THE RENAISSANCE

1984 - 1986

The era of renewal

or the advent of the plastic

In 1984 the Spirotechnique came out with the second stage made in plastic composite the XL. This revolutionary design cheap and allows the brand to decrease its prices of production compared to the metallic second stage from the "series models", yet very robust and reliable.

This innovation will finally allow the SPIROTECHNIQUE to fight against SCUBAPRO and its  regulators already marketed for several years.

This transition is the passage between the regulators "series" and those of the SUPRA generation.

it results from the come out of series models with a second stage XL which are series 25, the series PRO and the series EXPLORER, then by the came out at the end of the year 1986 of the AQUALUNG and the next year the SUPRA first version.

SPIRO série 25

version série of 1984

1984 - 1986

 

In 1984 releases a new version of Series 25 following the creation of the XL second stage. Two models are emerging with the second metal stage, the 25 CLUB (yoke version with HP seat with French norms or international norms) and the 25, the DIN model (as you can see in the picture, abandonment of the tipology 25/30). But also two models with the XL stage: the CLUB XL (yoke version with HP seat, french or international) and the 25 XL, the DIN model.

The first stage is still with mechanism piston, but it has been redesigned more compact.

SPIRO série PRO

version 1985

1985 - 1986

 

In July 1985 the Spirotechnique released on the PRO Series 6 different versions! Four will be equipped with the second metal stage, these are the 1984 models and two new versions with the XL stage, the PRO XL  and the PRO XL S. All versions will be available in yoke connection  (with HP seat French or international) or DIN connection. Also the XL versions are available with yellow or black cover ...

SPIRO série EXPLORER

version 1985

1985 - 1986

 

In July 1985 the SPIROTECHNIQUE also released one new version of the EXPLORER in addition to the two versions of 1983: the EXPLORER XL. it is simply equipped with a stage XL, with yellow or black cover. As with other regulators models, all of its versions will be available in yoke (HP seat with French or international norm) or DIN connection.

SPIRO CLUB XL

version 1984 & 1985

1984 - 1985

 

In October 1984 the SPIROTECHNIQUE came out the CLUB XL regulator. The catalog of the brand shows a version CLUB 2 XL (released October 1984) and a  version CLUB 3 XL (released in April 1985), but I ignore their differences, to be really superficial, if there is one. The first version is probably attributed to CLUB XL Series 25, exit early 1984. It has become over the years the regulator for diving club today called by AQUALUNG the CALYPSO regulator.

GENERATION 3

1987 - 2002

The generation SUPRA

 

In 1986 came out the AQUALUNG, a first-stage balanced piston to try to compete with the famous MK10 of SCUBAPRO.

In 1987, following a request from the French Navy, the Spirotechnique came out from his workshops a first stage balanced diaphragm offset revolutionary for its time: the SUPRA.

The SUPRA evolve in 1988 in a second version "with a new design" and a york seat HP male. This famous version of the first stage will be associated for 15 years at various 2nd stage as the XL (many covers versions), the MICRA and the XR2.

In 1998, probably after the death of Commander COUSTEAU, the SUPRA will be renamed COUSTEAU until 2002, because in 2003 it will be released by the LEGEND "first model".

The regulador AQUALUNG will be evolved in 1996 in an "oil bath" version, the PIONNEER. For me a fantastic piston first stage but quickly stopped in 1999 following the democratization of NITROX, simply because oil is not compatible with air enriched with oxygen.

AQUALUNG XL

1986 - 1995

 

The AQUALUNG is a regulator with a mechanism piston compensated very similar of the MK10 SCUBAPRO. Very reliable and robust, yet it is not going to experience the success of his rival. It is equipped with 2 outputs HP and 4 outputs MP on a rotating port block.

It is released in two versions in March 1986, with second stage XL or metal (AQUALUNG R), the latter is equipped with a sensitivity device and a black plastic cover. In 1987 alone the XL version will be existed. In 1991, in the same time of the Club 1991, a new cover came out for the XL of the regulator AQUALUNG.

SUPRA XL

first version

1987

 

The came out of the SUPRA first model is from April 1987. This is a compensated menbrane mechanism with 2 outputs HP and 4 outputs MP. This is a very rare piece, it was produced only a few thousand copies. It differs from SUPRA second model by a design very "square"and a HP seat female for the yoke connection.

CLUB 4 XL

1986 - 1990

 

In 1986 came out the CLUB 4 XL with its new first stage unbalanced piston. It is equipped with a output HP  and 4 outputs MP. Robust and easy to maintain, it is the regulator that will compete successfully against the MK2 R190 SCUBAPRO to equip the diving clubs.

SUPRA XL

second version

1988 - 1995

 

In 1988 comes out the new version of SUPRA. New nicer design, and new seat HP male at the connection of the yoke / DIN. Otherwise the specifications are the same as in the first version.

SUPRA ARTIC

1989 - 1995

 

In 1989 released the first version of the ARTIC to meet the demand of cold-water divers. The first stage is a SUPRA equipped with a "oil bath" without adjustment screw for the MP. The second stage XL is equipped with metallic ribbed part to act as a heat exchanger and the detent point is shifted to the other part of the body XL so that the air is heated by the expiration of the diver.En 1991 will be added on the first stage an MP adjustment screw (see picture) because the MP tends to increase in an oil bath without any knows reason. The cover of the second stage is white, shaped as a snowflake.

CLUB XL 1991

1991 -1993

 

In 1991 released a new cover to the second stage of the CLUB 4 XL, just to remove a push button and a spring ... But it turns out that this regulator was not easy to purge with gloves and this system will be quickly abandoned.

PIONNEER XL

1996 - 1999

 

In 1996 the SPIROTECHNIQUE came out with the PIONNEER, it's for me the only balanced piston equipped with an oil bath. It is designed for cold water, and replaces the AQUALUNG. Very good regulator, it will not survive to the democratization of NITROX and his production will be stopped unfortunately in 1999.

SUPRA MICRA

1995 - 1997

 

The MICRA regulator uses a first stage SUPRA classic but a second stage very compact made in plastic that comes from the USA through the manufacturer US DIVER. Ideal for diving children, it will be withdrawn from the European market in late 1997 because it does not pass the new European standards created that year.

SUPRA XR2

1996 - 1997

 

In 1996 came out the second stage XR2 to replace the XL. A very compact body whose the particularity is to mounted at choise the hose on left or right. Originally fitted with a blue cover (optional in yellow, green, pink). It will have a mounted version in 1998, the XR2 PERFORMA (gray cover) with a new controller venturi and a new screw of the sensitivity.

SUPRA XR2 - CRYO

1997

The CRYO-SUPRA XR2 is the worthy successor of ARTIC. It has a dry room without oil, from the technology of the english manufacturer APEKS, and is therefore compatible NITROX. We found also on the second stage metallic ribbed part to act as a heat exchanger.

In 1998, probably after the death of Commander Cousteau's Aqualung brand decided to put all the products manufactured by LA SPIROTECHNIQUE, US DIVERS, TECHNISUB and SEA QUEST under the same name, AQUALUNG.

Although LA SPIROTECHNIQUE is still exist but today its products are sold under the banner AQUALUNG ... This is the end of an era ... and also of my collection because I have decided not to make these regulators there. You will not see in this site as regulators like the TITAN, the KRONOS, the CALYPSO, the LEGEND LEGEND or the LEGEND 2.

Yet we can already speak of a fourth generation, the LEGEND one, which began in 2003 and an intermediate period from 1998 to 2002 where the brand AQUALUNG ground in France and in Europe.

 

I hope in any case that my site will have provided you with relevant information about the history of the regulators from the brand SPIROTECHNIQUE.

 

See you soon

 

Luca

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