Mares - A Brief History

Mares - A Brief History

The Mares motto is “Enjoy diving with advanced performance through superior technology”. Mares have dive gear to suit all your needs, whether they be recreational, tec, freediving and more. 

Founder Ludovico Mares was born in the seafront city of Pula, Croatia in 1898.  He was the son of an Austrian ship mechanic and during World War I became a diver for the Austrian Royal Navy. Following the war, he was involved in many submarine recoveries and became a diving instructor. It was around this point in his life -at just age 21- he made his first mask from a car tyre inner tube!

Forced to emigrate at the end of the second world war, he went to Italy where at the age of 50 he founded the Mares Sub workshop. He began to make more dive equipment moving onto fins and spearguns. It didn’t take long for this passionate man’s work to be recognised for its innovative designs.  Mares products soon became used widely across the world.

When Ludovico Mares retired in 1971 his company was acquired by AMF, a large multinational.  Under their banner was (among others) Harley Davidson and HEAD. To this day Mares is still a member of this sports group, now known as Head NV. They have offices in more than 80 countries.

Below are a few noteworthy moments of technological advancement in the company’s history:  

In 1973 Mares were the first company to introduce fins comprised of two materials - a technopolymer blade and an overmolded foot pocket in thermoplastic rubber. But it didn’t stop there: in the five years that followed, the famous Plana fins were developed which were lighter and performed significantly better.  Rubber fins were to become a thing of the past.

In 1979, Mares were the first company in the world to launch a new optical system for dive masks.

In 1981, the Mares MR12 III was born - a fine-tuned version of the famous MR12 II - the world's first regulator with the VAD (Vortex Assisted Design) system.  This regulator was to make breathing feel much more natural while delivering exceptional results under any conditions.  Today it is still at the heart of Mares regulators.

In 1982, Mares invented liquid silicone technology and introduced a series of masks using it. Today it is used to create a vast number of industrial products. Again, rubber became obsolete within a company line.

When Scuba Schools International - a leading dive training organisation - joined the group in 2014, new product lines were developed. This included both freediving (Pure Instinct) and technical gear (Mares XR – Extended Range) to serve the needs of sectors in which the organisation offered training.

In 2016, it seemed only a natural progression that Mares should acquire the company rEvo who specialised in rebreathers. The Horizon semi-closed unit is newly launched.

Most recently during the COVID crisis, a team converted the Mares full face snorkelling masks into masks for use with CPAP ventilators.

Congratulations Mares on 70 plus years “driven by passion”! See here for the full range of Mares equipment at Mike’s Dive Store and for further information about their computers, see our Mares Dive Computer Technology and Comparison page.