A lot has changed since 1943, when Cressi first produced — by hand — a limited-series mask for recreational divers. Only one size was available — the Sirena was made in blue or red rubber, and the Sommozzatore was similar, but made with thicker rubber and with a bezel locking it onto the glass. That same mask was produced in various updated versions — including ones with an incorporated snorkel and valve — for around 30 more years.
Now, 77 years later, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to mask options, but it should still be a relationship based on true love. Your dive mask is your window to the underwater world, your best dive buddy when it comes to taking in all the beauty the ocean has to offer. It should fit and feel just right on your face and be an extension of your eyes. Your mask should be one of the most effortless pieces of your gear; occasionally clearing a bit of water should be your greatest concern. Ultimately, your dive mask represents freedom and possibility — who doesn’t feel a twinge of excitement as the air drains from their BCD and their eyes slowly sink beneath the surface? What’s the first thing you’ll see? What will the underwater landscape look like? Your mask makes all this possible.
Most of us, though, have been parted from our masks now for some time. These past few months have been difficult for the world, and now, even as we wax poetic about what a dive mask means to us, the world needs to use masks for a very different reason — to help keep ourselves and all around us safe from a deadly pandemic. But in both cases — underwater and topside — wearing a mask is an expression of love — of love for the underwater realm, and of love for each other, as we navigate this worldwide crisis together. This summer will not look like any other in our collective memory, deprived of many of the things we so love about the season. But instead of focusing on what we can’t do, we choose instead to focus on what we can, on how to make this summer a beautiful one.
With that, we urge you to pen a love letter to your dive mask. Tell it how you miss it; how you’ll be reunited soon; how these last few months have seemed empty without it. Though it may be some time before worldwide travel resumes, there are undoubtedly plenty of nearby spots where you can take your mask on a date. Dip into your local lake or quarry; check out that site that’s an easy drive away — the one you always meant to visit but were too busy to go. Your mask will thank you for it because we guarantee — it’s missed you too.
A Special thanks to the following people that shared their time with us during the time of the lockdown:
Jason Washington, Rebecca Strauss, Guillaume Néry, Chris Gillette, Christine West and Adam Maire, Leo Morales, Gullermo larrota (Pirry), Roberto Ochoa, Natasa Babic, Bobby Hazen, Pete Girolamo, Cressi Ambassadors and all Cressi Global Team.
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