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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Ken Zimmerman writes about his love of collecting diving helmets


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!!

My Diver’s “Mancave”

Yeah, beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder and only another collector, especially one who dives, could really appreciate the passion of collecting the Old Diving Helmets.

Being from a diving family and myself involved with diving most of my life it would make sense that I would be one of those who collected the Old Helmets. Many, however, mostly non-divers, ask why so many of them and who dusts them all?

For a passionate collector the question of why so many really falls on deaf ears since there are always different types or an older version available of the item being collected. As far as dusting them is concerned, who cares because this is my “Mancave” – especially with only my 3 sons and myself having to worry about it. They do get a dusting from time to time, when company comes, but it isn’t a high priority and never important enough not to collect them!! Of course this might be the reason why there are only 4 males in the house, but who cares about that also?? That does, however, explain how I can get away with spending the money on helmets and not drapes!!

I am also regularly asked which one is my favourite, but this is difficult to answer since they all have different histories behind them from what they were involved in during their working days, where they came from or how difficult they were to obtain. They are all my favourites one way or another.

At the present time I have 93 helmets in my collection representing 13 different countries. There are numerous styles and companies that made them with my oldest one from the late 1800’s. Some you would consider to be the “Good Guys” some the “Bad Guys” and some are ugly, but again beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

I have slowed down with the collecting in the last couple of years, no – still only males residing at the house.  It is mainly because my bucket list is in the really expensive category and since everything overseas is in US dollars they are now even more expensive, as you would expect. Also, some of the prices have gone through the roof, thank you eBay, and they are just nowhere near the prices they are really worth. Another note is that I have had a couple of really bad experiences with overseas transactions losing thousands of dollars, one of which is in progress at the moment in the US, so that takes the wind out of your sales.

If you are interested in buying a helmet, feel free to check with me and I can give you an idea if first it is real, since there are a lot of fakes out there, and if the price is right. If I can’t figure it out, my contacts around the world can help. Also, once I find out more about dealings with a US company regarding me getting ripped off for over $4200 AUD I will let you know the specific details. There is no reason why anyone else should have to have the same problems that I am having!!

To see more on my collection you can look it up on YouTube under Ken Zimmerman and “Diving Helmets”. This is my collection from about 7 years ago. The photos supplied with this article, and yeah they do take up some room, show the collection and an earlier photo with my boys. Also, if you do know anyone selling one I am still buying here in Australia, but obviously if the price is good and I need it for the collection.

If you are ever around the Central Coast of NSW, 2hrs by train north of Sydney drop me an email and I might be able to arrange to show you the collection.







* Article supplied by Ken Zimmerman who can be contacted at

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