Typologies and chronologies
Single hose regulators
marketed from 1958 to 1996
1958 - 1977
The generation of the illustrious
From 1958 to 1977 the most famous brand vintage regulators came out to name only the AQUILON and the SPIRO 8. Many innovations were born during this period such as the plastic piston of the SPIRO 8, the pilot valve of the second ALIZÉ floor or the stirrup convertible into DIN of the ALIZÉ or SPIROLUNG. The democratization of the direct-system and the octopus among others, will put an end to the use of these regulators unable to adapt to the new equipment which appeared at the beginning of the 1970s and which became widespread during the 1980s.
1958 - 1962
Here is the famous AQUAMATIC. What more can we say that its release was worldwide in May 1958 and that it will be necessary to reach 1984 to see a new regulator of the brand with a second stage with a non-metallic case.
Its shape will be taken up by other manufacturers such as POSEIDON and OCEANIC.
Increasingly difficult to find in good condition because not only do the years that go by not play in favor of the aging of rubber, but its marketing was short-lived until 1961 in France and 1960 across the Atlantic.
The AQUILON is the brand's two-stage regulator during the 1960s.
It is the French version of CALYPSO I released in the USA and in France in 1962.
It exists without HP output, with standard HP output, with male HP output (English market) and a priori also in DIN.
A PRO version, with 2 additional MP outputs mounted in a ball joint was discovered by me in June 2017, this is a late version dating from 1977, probably a small prototype series because I found another in a private collection in Italy. There is no exploded view of Spirotechnics.
The AQUILON was released in 1963, it is the first generation which is characterized externally by a hose crimped by stainless steel collars and internally by the second stage whose barrel of the lever is of hexagonal section and the hole of the end piece is partially partitioned as a venturi system. Later (around 1965/70?), A curved flap on the upper part of the hole of the nozzle will serve as a venturi system . (see photos of the slideshow)
In 1972 appeared the second generation which is characterized externally by mechanically crimped hoses and the interior of the second stage has a barrel of round section and a venturi flap curved on the upper part of the hole of the nozzle. (See photos of the slideshow )
1968 - 1978
The SPIRO 8 is a regulator of revolutionary design with a first stage with piston ... in plastic! Built to be robust and resistant to the phenomenon of icing. It was intended initially for diving clubs in full swing. with a cheap range for young people: the SPIRO J range (J for young people) ... The first models came out covered with black ryslan (stirrup and second stage case). The black ryslan powder was deposited by an electromagnetic process and then baked in the oven. Unfortunately the ryslan did not hold and thereafter the spirotechnique chromed the parts after a sandblasting, making the specimens reached to us extremely rare with a black coating.
Quickly, this regulator became the darling of single-hose regulators for the military: it was adopted by the gendarmerie and firefighter services but also by engineering divers. There is a standard version and a PRO version equipped with a ball joint adding 2 MP outputs. Just like the AQUILON regulator, the models before 1972 had the hoses crimped with stainless steel collars and even for the very first the caliper screw was headless, just hexagonal.
1972 - 1973
The ALIZÉ is a regulator of revolutionary design for the time ... But very fragile !!
In the early 1970s, manufacturers sought to miniaturize regulators, such as the MICRONIC M400 from the French manufacturer PIEL.
Thus was born the ALIZÉ, the world's first regulator using a pilot valve for the second stage and a DIN convertible stirrup to tackle the German market. The design of the second stage mechanism is based on the technology developed by spirotechnics concerning the masks of fighter planes .... unfortunately it will turn out that this mechanism will be too fragile in the marine environment ...
There are actually for the Puritan collector that I am 3 variants of ALIZÉ:
The ALIZÉ in its first version, that is to say with the deflector (mustache) that you can see on the right of this photo, provided with small square section holes. Quickly abandoned because this system designed to diffuse the exhalation bubbles, considerably increase the expiratory effort.
During 1972 this version will be "up dated" with a traditional deflector. (top photo)
In 1974 the ALIZÉ S version with improved deflector and HP body that you see in the photo on the left.
1974 - 1978
The ALIZÉ S was released in 1974 in a context where the initial version had not been entirely satisfactory but whose design had required a large budget. Despite good improvements this regulator will not achieve the expected success.
For the record at the start of the STARWARS V episode, Luke SKYWALKER is treated in a tank, breathing thanks to an ALIZÉ S mounted in hookah! (see photos in the slideshow above.)
1975 - 1978
The SPIROLUNG is a regulator released in the continuity of the ALIZÉ S. It is in a way a hybrid between a second stage SPIRO 8 (with a new cover) and a larger version of the first stage ALIZÉ with the famous stirrup convertible into DIN.
Note that like the SPIRO 8 there is a standard version and a PRO version with 2 additional MP outputs.
1978 - 1986
The generation of series
or crossing the desert
In October 1977 the SPIROTECHNIQUE finished finished moving to CARROS near Nice. The company is at its lowest point, on the verge of filing for bankruptcy. It is then that begins a long crossing of the desert which will last until 1986. During this period, the spirotechnique is sought, a large number of models will emerge, almost every year and in different versions (called series) to try to conquer international markets (DIN version, International headquarters (I), French headquarters (F)). So that we can see a little more clearly I divided this period into 4 parts:
- The first generation of the 1978 series
- The second generation of the 1980 series
- The third generation of the 1983 series
- The XL generation of 1984 or the rebirth.
In any case one thing is sure, during this period the divers do not find any more and many of them turn to the great rival of SPIROTECHNIQUE at that time, SCUBAPRO and its famous models MK2 R180 or MK10 R190 / G250.
Generation of 1978 series
In 1978, the "first wave" of series appeared on the market, replacing the AQUILON and the SPIRO 8, whose production was stopped, and the failure of the ALIZÉ S and the SPIROLUNG, the marketing of which stopped. 1979.
SPIROTECHNIQUE relies on very robust regulators but abandons the design of the first floors which will not appeal to the public. Coarse in appearance, They are cylindrical, large and heavy. They will therefore no longer be marketed from 1980 (for the 20 series) or redesigned (for the 25, 40 and 50 series).
(SPIRO 20/10 & 20/20)
1978 - 1979
The regulator 20 is the first of the generation of the series. There are 2 versions, called 20/10 series and 20/20 series and are only differentiated by the HP air inlet connector on the first floor. The 20/10 uses an 18.5mm diameter seat (French standard) and the 20/20 uses a 17.8mm diameter seat (international standard). Of robust construction it was designed for diving schools. Its first stage is piston with an HP output and 3 MP outputs mounted on a turret.
(SPIRO 25/10, 25/20, 25/30)
1978 - 1979
In 1978 the first generation 25/10, 25/20 and 25/30 series was released. The bracket is swivel on this series which allows to mount a DIN version. The first two are in stirrup with the HP seats on the first floor respectively in French and international standards. The 25/30 represents the DIN version.
The first stage is again with piston, it approaches form to that of the series 20 but without the turret for the outputs MP.
1978 - 1980
In 1978 also released the 40/10 and 40/30 series. The first is in stirrup, it is supplied with the HP seat to French standards and the international connection apart. The 40/30 represents the DIN version.
The first stage is piston but with a compensated mobile nozzle while the second stage is provided with an injector and oversized mustache to provide great breathing and expiratory comfort. it is equipped with an HP output and 3 MP outputs mounted on a turret.
1978 - 1980
In 1978 also released the 50/10 and 50/30 series. As the series 40 the first is in stirrup, it is supplied with the HP seat to French standards and the international connection apart. The 50/30 represents the DIN version.
The first stage is piston but with a compensated mobile nozzle while the second stage is provided with an injector and oversized mustache to provide great breathing and expiratory comfort. it is equipped with an HP output and 3 MP outputs mounted on a turret. The notable difference of the 50 compared to the 40 is the addition of a sensitivity device on the 2nd floor
Generation of 1980 series
In 1980 SPIROTECHNIQUE released a new completely redesigned first stage: smaller, therefore lighter and just as robust, goodbye the big 800 gram cylinder ...
It is available in a fixed bracket version and a rotating bracket version, allowing DIN mounting.
The 20 series and therefore stopped in 1980, it will be replaced by the release of a newcomer: the famous SPIRO CLUB, it is he who will inherit the fixed caliper version, and yes it is the "club" version.
The revolving caliper version will therefore go for the 25/10 with an HP seat with a diameter of 18.5mm, the "French" version, but also for the 25/20 with an HP seat with a diameter of 17.8mm, the "International" version .
The 25/30 version will therefore be a continuation of the 78 version with a DIN mounting.
As for the second stage, the mechanism was also redesigned and simplified, no more bifid lever and no more vortex nozzle in black plastic.
1980 - 1982
The SPIRO CLUB was released in May 1980 to replace the 20 series. Robust and reliable, built like a "tank", the SPIROTECHIQUE launched it on the market to compete directly with the MK2 R190 from SCUBAPRO. A very good piston regulator of simple construction but which will not be able to dethrone its rival.
(SPIRO 25/10, 25/20, 25/30)
1980 - 1983
In 1980 the second generation 25/10, 25/20 and 25/30 series was released. The first two are in stirrup with the HP seats on the first floor are respectively in French and international standards. The 25/30 represents the DIN version.
The first stage is again piston, its size has been considerably reduced, but it is still without turret for MP outputs.
1981 - 1983
In 1981, relooking of the 40 and 50 series. Installation of the new second floor and replacement of the HP seat on the 1st floor
1981 - 1983
Generation of the 1983 series
In 1983, SPIROTECHNIQUE revived the membrane regulator: the famous PRO series.
This regulator will initially come out with a neoprene valve, it will be available in 4 versions (PRO, PRO RT, PRO S and PRO RS), each mountable with a French, international seat or DIN mounting.
In the tradition of the 25 series a new regulator arrives: the EXPLORER available in single or R version with an adjustable 2nd stage. This holder arrives on the market to replace in 1984 the regulators series 40, 50 and 25/10 and 25/20.
The PRO series is a regulator equipped with a membrane first stage, abandoned from the AQUILON. Inspired by the CONSELF model from US DIVER, it is the ancestor of SUPRA. When it was released in 1984, the second stages are all metallic and there are 4 versions, PRO, PRO R, PRO S and PRO RS. Each existing either in stirrup or in DIN. The R indicates a second stage equipped with a sensitivity device and the S a first stage in oil bath for diving in cold water. Note that the 1984 models came out with an HP neoprene valve which will be replaced in 1985 by a Teflon valve.
1983 - 1985
The EXPLORER regulator was released in 1983 in 2 versions with a second metal stage. The standard version and the R version which always designates a second stage equipped with a sensitivity device. The mechanism of the first stage is with compensated piston with an HP output and 3 MP outputs.
1984 - 1986
The era of renewal
or the advent of plastic
In 1984 Spirotechnique released the second stage in XL plastic composite. This revolutionary and inexpensive design allows the brand to lower its blows of very high production of the metal case of the series models, yet very robust and reliable.
Also note an important detail this new second stage allows a Medium Pressure of 9.2 bar, unlike metal cases whose authorized MP was between 7.5 and 8.4 bar, this will increase the breathing capacity of future regulators.
This innovation will finally allow it to fight against SCUBAPRO regulators already made of plastic for several years.
This transition is the transition between "series" regulators and those of the SUPRA generation.
It results in an upheaval in the catalog of regulators for the brand ... already very confused ...
on the one hand we see the release of series models with XL housing which are the 25 series, the PRO series and the EXPLORER series, then by the release of new regulators such as the CLUB XL in 1984 then in 1986 from the AQUALUNG.
(SPIRO CLUB, 25)
1984 - 1985
The release of the XL box and the EXPLORER regulator the previous year shattered the 25 series in 1984: The names 25/10, 25/20 and 25/30 were removed from the catalog for a simplified nomenclature: the 25 series (in its metal version) or 25 XL (in its plastic version) (including caliper version seat F, I and DIN).
The SPIROCLUB continues to exist in its fixed caliper version, only an XL version will be added.
SPIRO EXPLORER series
In July 1985 SPIROTECHNIQUE will also release 1 new version of the EXPLORER in addition to the two versions of 1983: the EXPLORER XL. it is simply equipped with an XL box, with yellow or black cover. As with the other models of regulators, each of its versions will be available in caliper (with French or international HP seat) or DIN.
SPIRO PRO series
In 1984 SPIROTECHNIQUE replaced the too fragile neoprene HP valve on its PRO series with a teflon valve. No other modification will be made this year to the regulator. The diaphragm nut is identical to the 1983 version, opens with a BTR key in its oil bath version and a large flat screwdriver in its standard version.
SPIRO PRO series
In July 1985 the spirotechnique will be 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 housing, the PRO XL and the PRO XL S. Each of its versions will be available in brackets (with French or international HP seat) or DIN. In addition, the XL versions are available with yellow or black hood ...
Note also the modification of the HP seat on the first floor. On previous versions it was secured to the body of the first floor and the stirrup was aimed, held in place by a clip.
On the new model the HP seat is now removable, in addition the membrane nut is redesigned, it now opens with a hook wrench for its oil bath version, or BTR key for its standard version.
SPIRO CLUB XL
1984 & 1985 version
In October 1984 SPIROTECHNIQUE released the CLUB XL regulator. In the catalog of the brand it is available in CLUB 2 XL version (released in October 1984) and in CLUB 3 XL version (released in April 1985), but I ignore their differences, which must be really superficial, if anyway there is one. The first version is probably attributed to the CLUB XL of the 25 series, released in early 1984. It has become over the years the essential regulator for club, today called regulator CALYPSO by AQUALUNG.
SPIRO PRO series
In 1986 the PRO series was no longer sold with the all-metal second stage, the cover was replaced by a plastic model similar to the XL.
The XL versions are not modified.
AQUALUNG R & XL
1986 - 1995
The AQUALUNG is a compensated piston regulator with a design very similar to that of the MK10 from SCUBAPRO. Very reliable and robust, it will not know the success of its rival. It is equipped with 2 HP outputs and 4 MP outputs mounted on a turret.
It was released in 2 versions in March 1986, with an XL or metallic second stage (AQUALUNG R), the latter is fitted with a sensitivity device and a black plastic cover. From 1987 only the XL version will exist. In 1991, at the same time as the 1991 club will release a new hood for the XL housing of the AQUALUNG regulator.
1987 - 2002
THE SUPRA GENERATION
In 1987, following a request from the French Navy, Spirotechnique left its workshops a first stage with a compensated membrane which was revolutionary for the time: SUPRA.
The SUPRA will evolve in 1988 in a second "more design" version and therefore the HP seat / stirrup will be male and not female as in the 1987 version. This famous first stage will be associated for 15 years with different 2nd stages including the XL (including several hood versions), MICRA and XR2.
In 1998, probably following the death of Captain COUSTEAU, the SUPRA was renamed and renamed COUSTEAU until 2002, since in 2003 the LEGEND "first model" was released to replace it.
As for the AQUALUNG it will be modified in 1996 in an oil bath version, the PIONNEER, for me a fantastic first stage with piston but whose marketing will quickly stop in 1999 following the democratization of NITROX, the oil n not being compatible with a mixture of air enriched with oxygen.
The release of the SUPRA first model was done in April 1987. It is a compensated menbran regulator equipped with 2 HP outputs and 4 MP outputs. It is a very rare piece, it has only been produced in a few thousand copies. It differs from SUPRA second model by a very "square" design and an HP seat of the female stirrup.
CLUB 4 XL
1986 - 1990
In 1986 the CLUB 4 XL was released with its new first stage with uncompensated piston. It is equipped with an HP output and 4 MP outputs. Robust and easy to maintain, it is the regulator that will compete successfully against the MK2 R190 from SCUBAPRO to equip diving clubs.
1988 - 1995
In 1988 the new version of SUPRA was released. New, nicer design, and new male HP seat at the caliper / DIN connection. Apart from that the technical characteristics are the same as on the first version.
1989 - 1995
In 1989 a first version of the ARTICLE was released to meet the demand of cold water divers. The first SUPRA stage is fitted with an oil bath chamber without adjusting screws for the MP. The XL housing is equipped with metal fins to act as a heat exchanger and the MP relaxation point is offset at the other end of the housing so that the air is heated by the expiration of the plunger. will add on the first stage an MP adjustment screw (see photo) because it tends to increase in an oil bath without anyone knowing the reason. The second stage cover is white, shaped like a snowflake.
CLUB XL 1991
1991 - 1993
In 1991 a new hood was released for the second stage of the CLUB 4 XL, just to remove a push button and its spring ... But it turns out that this regulator was not easy to purge with gloves and this system will be quickly abandoned.
1991 - 1993
In 1991, at the same time as the new CLUB 4 XL, the AQUALUNG regulator was released with a new hood. But it turns out that this regulator was not easy to purge with gloves and this system will be quickly abandoned.
1996 - 1999
In 1996 SPIROTECHNIQUE released the PIONEER which is to my knowledge the only compensated piston regulator equipped with an oil bath. It is intended for cold or loaded water, and replaces the AQUALUNG. Very good regulator, it will not survive the democratization of NITROX and its production will unfortunately be stopped in 1999.
1995 - 1997
The MICRA regulator uses a classic SUPRA first stage but a very compact second stage in plastic which comes to us from the USA through the manufacturer US DIVER. Ideal for children's diving, it will be withdrawn from the European market at the end of 1997 because it does not pass the new European standards created that year.
1996 - 1997
In 1996 the second XR2 stage was released, replacing the XL housing. A very compact box with the particularity of being able to be mounted flexible on the left or right. Originally mounted with a blue cover (optional yellow, green, pink). It will be upgraded in 1998, the XR2 PERFORMA (gray hood) with a new venturi effect lever and a new sensitivity adjustment screw.
SUPRA XR2 - CRYO
The SUPRA XR2-CRYO and the worthy replacement for the ARTICLE. It is equipped with an oil-free dry chamber, from the technology of the English manufacturer APEKS, and is therefore NITROX compatible. There are metallic fins on the second floor to play the role of heat exchanger.
In 1998, probably following the death of Commander COUSTEAU, the AQUALUNG brand decided to put all the products manufactured by LA SPIROTECHNIQUE, US DIVERS, TECHNISUB and SEA QUEST under the same name, ie AQUALUNG.
Even if LA SPIROTECHNIQUE still exists, its products are sold under the AQUALUNG banner ... It's the end of an era ... and of my collection because I decided not to make these regulators there. You will therefore not see regulators on this site like the TITAN, the KRONOS, the CALYPSO, the LEGEND or even the LEGEND 2.
We can however already speak of a fourth generation, that of LEGEND, started in 2003 and an intermediate period from 1998 to 2002 where AQUALUNG marks its ground in France and in Europe.
I hope in any case that my site will have brought you relevant information on the history of regulators of the brand SPIROTECHNIQUE.
See you soon