The podcast for the inquisitive diver

Sean Clements – SDC & combining two passions


You must be a fan of scuba diving if you are listening to me right now, and are you also interested in watches?  Even more so, luxury dive watches? Rolex, Breitling, and Omega all have quite a few commonalities, with one key feature, they were created with passion. This leads me nicely to introduce this week’s guest, Sean Clements. Sean has two passions, watches and diving and a few years ago, he found a way to combine them and create a path to align with his future away from the corporate rat race.

Sean’s vision

Sean’s vision led him to create SDC Watches, a dive watch brand that offers luxurious watches for everyday dive adventures whilst also contributing to conservation, both by upcycling and donating some of the profits to conservation projects.

The SDC brand

What sets SDC Watches apart is its commitment to protecting the oceans. Sean recognized that there is a huge amount of neoprene waste, particularly old and used wetsuits, that ultimately ends up in landfills. To tackle this issue, Sean decided to repurpose these watery rags and incorporate them into his watches. The result is an encapsulated neoprene strap design that not only looks great but also helps reduce waste and protect our oceans whilst maintaining that luxury feel.

The attention to detail in these watches is evident in every aspect. The SDC cookie logo and laser engraving, the original styling of an older dive watch with its rotational dive bezel, harks back to a time when chunky Seikos & Omega were the epitomai of a diver’s watch (flashbacks to eye-balling my dad’s watch as a kid). And the naked rear case, which allows you to see the inner mechanism, is a luxurious touch that completes the package. With a 300m depth rating, these really are a sexy statement.

As a fellow diver, I’m eagerly awaiting my own SDC Watch to arrive. I appreciate the company’s commitment to sustainability and conservation efforts, and I’m excited to show my support by wearing one of their watches. Sean has put his heart and soul into creating a product that not only looks great but also makes a positive impact on our planet.

If you would like your own SDC watch, head on over to the SDC website and use SCUBAGOAT10 to receive a 10% discount

Join us on this episode as we dive deeper into Sean’s journey as a diver, businessman, and conservationist. We’ll learn more about his vision for SDC Watches and how he’s making a difference in the world of luxury watches and ocean conservation.


Don’t forget to use SCUBAGOAT10 for your 10% discount through the SDC website

Guest Social links

SDC watches on FB with Sean ClementsSDC watches on IG  SDC watches link

Show transcript

Matt Waters, Sean Clements

Matt Waters 00:00
Hey, there dive buddies. And welcome back to the show. Now you must be a fan of Scuba diving. Well, you wouldn’t be listening to me right now. Are you a fan of watches even more so, luxury dive watches. Now we all know of the common names, Rolex, Breitling, omega, etc, etc. And they all have a lot of commonalities with one key feature. They were created with passion. Now, that leads me nicely on to introducing this week’s guest, Shawn Clements. Now, Shawn has two passions. One is watches. And you guessed it. The other one is diving. So a few years ago, he found a way to combine them and create a path to align with his future away from the corporate rat race. Shawn, welcome to the show, buddy.

Sean Clements 00:48
Great. Great to be on the show. And thank you for having me.

Matt Waters 00:51
No worries. Our strips over there. I mean, you’re in the UK now. Right?

Sean Clements 00:56
Yeah, yeah, no one is always well, we’re, we’ve got through January, which is, which is important. I managed, I managed to somehow do dry January, which I think was actually quite nice. I’ve never been a massive fan of doing dry, Jen. But I got to probably date 20 And I hadn’t had a sip of alcohol. So I figured, let’s just give it a few more days. So yeah, again, you know, going to the gym, not drinking and just working hard. So all good and trying to try to try to plan a few Scuba diving trips. So later on in the year, so I can’t complain that I think January is the month of trying to book holidays is the worst.

Matt Waters 01:37
And then it’s nine what about what about your service they’ll cancel? Well, I’m gonna stop my I’m pretty impressed with the dry January thing. It’s it’s been a long time. Since I’ve gone a week without any kind of alcohol. I keep I keep meaning to do it. But you know, knocking on the door of 50 year old that repetative voice in my head just as I fucking haven’t ever chillax.

Sean Clements 02:09
We’re only on the sixth of February. And there’s been there’s been quite a few days. So.

Matt Waters 02:15
Good idea. Good idea. In fact, last night I was doing because we’ve got we’ve got the Galapagos trip coming up in July. And obviously, we’ve been a bit stagnant with COVID and all that malarkey. So there’s a few COVID pounds been packed on. So it’s time to die a little bit. So they don’t have facts and figures last night in calculating the rate of loss so that you don’t pack it all back on. So I’ve come up with this, you know, if I if I go into a cat calorie deficit for 600 600 calories per day, which is it’s a healthy size, if you’re like 7580 kilos, but knocking on the door of 120 kilos, it’s not a lot to reduce. So I’m pretty chuffed it’s going to be I think every, every two months, I’d be comfortably losing four kilos. And with just short of six months to go could possibly be back down towards the 100 kilo mark, which I’m kind of keen to do.

Sean Clements 03:16
It’s interesting because I know this is a this is a this is a podcast of Scuba diving in this case, Scuba diving and watches but I’m also very interested in in dieting and Jimmy and I have tried the calorie deficit but I’m in I’m in the opposite I’m actually trying to put on weight. Really so yeah, so it’s I think they call it bulking season or something like that. So I’m on the complete opposite side of that.

Matt Waters 03:43
Yeah, I can tell you all about eating enough food to get the pounds on mishmash through whole chickens regularly every day for for six months just a pack on the weight of a

Sean Clements 03:59
lot of chicken and eggs in my fridge at the moment for sure.

Matt Waters 04:03
Well hey, the top two I don’t know whether you can still do it but when I was training and living back in the UK you could get down to it if you went down to Tesco at just about 9pm are knocking on the door of of 9pm the fresh foods trays like the fish and the meats and all that kind of stuff. Anything that’s getting close to their use by date they knock it down drastically in price before chucking it in the skip so if you’re eating a lot of meat then like get down there and wait for the nine o’clock call to see what discounts Come on. That’s what I used to do anyway.

Sean Clements 04:41
All right. Interesting. Interesting.

Matt Waters 04:45
Yeah, what you what you’re loading up for then is it just for your own satisfaction? Are you doing it for

Sean Clements 04:51
you know what, not no particular reason I just don’t every every year I kind of like to set myself a challenge and I’m kind of the kind of individual where it’s all or nothing, which, which is good and bad at times. But, you know, I had a good January I wasn’t drinking, I was keeping fit on a health kick. And I just thought, you know what, let’s let’s just do it consistently for six months and see what happens. And see if there’s any, any progress anything tangible, I’m sure that will be. And that’s it really, and probably in six months time, I’ll be bored of it. And I’ll move on to the next thing. But I just, you know, I’m a man of routine. And with everything would work, you know, you know, lifestyle, so just just giving it a go. And yeah, no, no reason to be honest with you. But you know, see what happens. And if, if it works out, it works. And if it doesn’t, I’ll move on to something different

Matt Waters 05:42
than what you’re weighing in at the moment.

Sean Clements 05:46
I am actually weighed myself yesterday, I am 78 kg. And I want to get up to I want to get up to 85. But I was reading somewhere that I think putting on, I think five or 10 kg in a 12 month period is actually really, really hard. Unless you’re training and eating like, you know, and I don’t eat a huge amount and that’s probably probably my issue. But yeah, I want to I want to get up to that. 85 kg.

Matt Waters 06:17
Okay, yeah, I would say that it’s on percentage of body weight rather than five or 10 kg as a rounded number. But to be able to say you’re 73 you want to go to 85?

Sean Clements 06:29
No 7778 And I’m gonna get 278 seven kilos. Yeah.

Matt Waters 06:37
Maybe half that and just aim for the half each year? I think so do it in a two year period. No probably maintain then.

Sean Clements 06:44
Yeah, just got a lift heavier weights. That’s basically all I need.

Matt Waters 06:49
That’s the secret to everything. Right. heavyweights. Yeah. So but

Sean Clements 06:54
it’s gonna write, it’s gonna write you know, we’re, like I said, we’re, you know, I started this new year’s resolution, I always start my new year’s resolutions. Three or two or throught before New Year’s, for them. When you hit January one, you’re already got the momentum? Because otherwise, it’s like, well, it’s Jan one. And then I’m just gonna wait another week. So. So yeah, that’s also my, my little trick. So if anyone is always listening, and they want to think about New Year’s resolutions in you know, in 11 months time, start early.

Matt Waters 07:25
Yeah, yes. Fair enough. I must admit, I’m a massive procrastinator in that in the short term. For example, if I if I get up in the morning, and I want to do something, I’ll quickly look at my phone instead. You know, it’d be 25 minutes later, and I’m still not done what I was going to do in the first place. So I’ve started doing this five second count back, you know, out loud 54321. And do and it really works

Sean Clements 07:50
is kind of the amount of time to get you back in the moment.

Matt Waters 07:53
Yeah, I saw something on I think it was tick tock or Instagram or something like that. Some some doctor, or someone pretending to be a doctor. And then we’re just saying that you count backwards and it just resets the mind. And if you don’t do it after counting backwards, then you’re probably not going to do it. So it might be just some sort of subliminal message in there somewhere, but it seems to be working. And I’m a chief of procrastination, so it must be a good thing.

Sean Clements 08:19
Yeah, it’s, it’s a killer, isn’t it? It’s a killer, especially the things you don’t want to do. Yeah, I try and kick that but you’re right. You know, you spent spend a couple of minutes procrastinating and half an hour later you scroll through X amount of Tik Tok videos or Instagram. And then you’re like, what have I been doing my life and, and my Instagram is just full of watches and Scuba diving pitches. So you know, I can be I can be lost in that for a long time.

Matt Waters 08:42
Yeah, I know where you’re going with that one. There’s a few times I’ve been at work and I go to bed at 1030 and one at 1am I’m still scrolling. It’s like Doom scrolling. Just put it

Sean Clements 08:50
away. Anyway, I’m gone gonna go?

Matt Waters 08:56
Yeah. wished we should actually just kind of introduce you to the world that’s listening to the podcast and, and get a little bit more detail about you. So clearly. You’re a Scuba diver. And you’re into watch watches. You’ve got a bit of a list for watches. But how and when did you get into diving? I start there.

Sean Clements 09:25
So I got into diving, and I have to wrack my brains but I want to say it’s 2014 So 2014 was the first time that I ever really got into dive in. And that’s I travelled to Menorca, which isn’t too far from London to do my open water Paddy. But prior to that I did have a I did have a go bid in Cyprus and I think it was a discover Scuba or something along those lines where I did you know half a day in the in the swimming pool and then Half a day in the ocean, but never really got the bug. And I’m not sure why. But I guess if we take a step back, I’ve, I’ve just always really been interested in the water and the ocean. And I think it’s been a mixture of being really curious of a world that we don’t know a huge amount about, I think I think we know more about space than we know about the ocean, which is kind of scary, given the ocean is literally on our doorstep or on some people’s doorsteps. And just this, this kind of interest in the deep blue, and I think it’s a combination of curiosity and, and just being a little bit scared of, you know, what kind of lies beneath. So I think a combination of those has always given me a curiosity of, of the ocean. And even when even when I think back to when I was younger, I always enjoyed reading by the sea when that was family holidays. We did a lot of cruising when I was younger with the family. And you know, I just love being in the ocean by the ocean in the ocean. And I don’t know, I don’t know, I’ve always been a bit of a water baby, but I’ve always been curious about it. So I think that’s kind of where that, you know, that kind of itch itch has always been. And in 2014, I decided finally to do my Paddy. And I think the real Kickstarter for that was, I’d always done snorkelling, but I always used to see the Scuba divers and think that’s why I want to do you know, they’re kind of like the action men hero. And that’s kind of where it all came from. It’s sad, really, but that’s kind of the way I thought about it. So I did my paddy in 2014 I did in Menorca. All I can really remember from that was it was bloody freezing. I did it. I think Tober which was offseason. Someone recommended me a dive school and don’t get me wrong. They were brilliant. It was I can’t remember the name of it now, but I’m not even sure it exists. But it was brilliant. Dive school is pretty much a one on one training session. But it was really cold. And I didn’t see a lot. So one would argue that you know, why would you ever want to do it again, but But honestly, after a couple of days, I got the bug. And that’s where it all started. So I did open water. And then from there, I started just having fun with my dive. So from there, I think I went my next I was over in Mexico. So you can imagine going from Menorca to Mexico, things are very different. I got to see some interesting stuff. The water was warm. I was seven mil you know, dive so I was suddenly in the shorty thinking, you know what the hell is this, but so I went from doing my patty, which I loved. And then I did some dives in disguise Mexico went to Central America a couple of times in the Caribbean and then, you know, I kind of just you know, was just a casual diver. And then when I really wanted to get into it as when I started doing some more courses. So I went I went over to Malta and I did my advance Paddy and there’s really great dive school again and we’ll probably get onto this in the podcast but I’m just getting those recommendations from family friends reading about is really really important. So that was that was a that was that was Scuba tech shout out to Scuba tech I guess that if we can promote on here but anyway


Sean Clements 13:13
yeah if you’re looking for somewhere to dive in Malta Scuba tech, give give Derek a call. He’s a good guy. And you know, again, you know, really small groups and I did my did my advanced there. And then I’ve gone back there for the last couple of years and just just done a load of a load of kind of fun dives. You know, done a few courses along the way. But for me, you know, Malta is a great place because it’s not too far from the UK. warm waters fantastic visibility and is pretty famous for for rack diving. So if you’re interested in seeing some cool sunken ships from World War Two, Malta is the place to go. There’s not there’s a huge amount of marine. Yeah, it’s huge. You Yeah, yeah, exactly. So again, some of the some of the, you know, the best times that I’ve done, I’ve been in Malta, but I’ve also had the experience of diving in Central America and North Mexico and I’ve seen some pretty interesting stuff in the water as

Matt Waters 14:08
well. So we’re about to go in Mexico.

Sean Clements 14:12
I was I was in saloon and they’re just just just just south of kind of came to ours of Cancun for them to come and do a couple of snow tea diets which are really interesting sort of friendly crocodile or or an alligator Carmen what it was, but they said it was friendly. So that was kind of scary when they pointed that out. And they said don’t worry, it just stays there. And I thought okay, and then for some interesting, you know, reef sharks when I was out there as well, but it’s really famous for the Whale sharks. I was actually offseason. So I didn’t get to see any but um, that was Mexico and

Matt Waters 14:48
so the Whaleshark So you’re going further north for the Whaleshark because Tulum as you said, the big attraction to terminal tell them is the to notice and I’m trying to bug him I’m trying to think of the name of the dive site we saw the crocodile because it’s it’s there all the time. But anyway, yeah, so the Whale sharks would have been the car wash the car wash.

Sean Clements 15:11
Maybe that might be might be brings up

Matt Waters 15:14
we’re gonna get a lot of people now you got it wrong gets this one

Sean Clements 15:20
Yeah, it’s interesting because I am I was there a while quite a while ago now but I think I think I think Toulouse changed and I think it’s become a slightly different place to where it was maybe you know kind of four or five years ago but um but a great place and if you want to you know it’s a great place to go and have a few beers and you know, go to restaurants and stuff but it’s also a great place to dive in. But but the best place, gone. So

Matt Waters 15:44
we did it on the way back up from Galapagos prior to COVID. And there’s been a chap on the on the podcast previously, Steve Crosby, mate of mine, he was in and out of Tulum all the time. He’s just popped up actually on social media and started as staff at one of the main dive shops in Tulum. So, I know, that was one of his goals last year, so congratulations to Steve, if you’re listening. And he’s probably one of the ones that will be cursing and swearing if we’re fucking up all the names for our sites.

Sean Clements 16:20
Which I probably am so I also apologise. But but but like I said, it’s a great place to dive but somewhere I did the bet some of my best died were in Belize. And that was, you know, I was I was lucky. Yeah, I was lucky enough to pretty much spend just over a week in Belize, in San Pedro. So I definitely believe that there’s a couple of islands I know of yet. Yeah, yeah, it’s you know, I honestly, if, if everything goes to ship, that’s where I’m, that’s where I’m moving. Yeah, it’s an incredible place. And it’s just, you know, it’s kind of diverse paradise, I’m sure there’s other you know, you’ve got other places in the world. But for me, it was just incredible. The food the people and the dive was, was incredible. But um, that’s where I saw some, you know, some pretty big, pretty, pretty big sharks and probably cups one of the one of the best I’ve ever done in my life, but also one of the scariest dives I’ve ever done in my life, which we can get into but which one was that? Definitely is? Which, or? Or why? Why was that?

Matt Waters 17:29
Well, both go for it. Because I know those dive sites quite well. We’ve we’ve been through there as well. So I can Yeah, picture it.

Sean Clements 17:38
So the best is pretty short and sweet, you know, surrounded by, you know, reef sharks, I think there was a bull shark that you can be quite well, either lucky or unlucky. But there was you can see bull sharks there as well, which, you know, when you when you’re on the surface, and you’re like, you know, I’m kind of not sure how close I want to get to a bull shark. But then when you’re there, you kind of just take it in your stride. So it’s brilliant. You know, I think I think there was a moment where we were surrounded by, you know, kind of six or seven reef sharks. And it was great. I mean, it was just incredible. And it was it was just one of those surreal moments where you kind of, you kind of forget to breathe, so to speak, and you’re kind of under the water and you’re just kind of mesmerised. So that was that was just incredible. And it just felt like such a safe environment, you know, such a great dive school. And that was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had under the water. On the flip side, when I first got there, and they I will, I won’t mention any names, but I did go to one dive school which which wasn’t the best. And I hadn’t dived. I think I think I hadn’t died for maybe nine, nine months. So I was a little out of practice, to be honest with you. And all I remember is we were on the boat and they said there’s gonna be a few sharks, and I thought this is great first time that they’re gonna see a shark. Brilliant, I’ve always wanted to do and I’m looking over the boat and I can see all the sharks on the surface and I thought okay, so we’ve now got to get in the water, I guess. And it just the whole die was just terrible. I got in the mail steamed up by guzzle through my air, I couldn’t really see anything. All I could all I could, you know, I could see sharks going past me but with a foggy mask, I nearly dropped my dive computer. So it all went to crap. And I actually think I doubled through all my errand probably about 28 minutes. One of the one of the scariest moments I’ve ever had, and this probably, again, is probably something we should talk about, but it kind of goes against everything but I’m pretty sure when we were in the water or just about when we were doing our kind of buddy checks. They basically said that you’re gonna stick together, you know, find your buddy but if you need to go up, you know signal and go up on your own. We’re gonna dive in deep but it kind of it kind of made me think back to my training. You know, several years ago thinking, Well, I always just thought, you know, if you need to go up, you stick with your buddy, you go up together. But clearly, that wasn’t the case here. They just just imagine it, I’m running out of there. You know, I’ve hit my, I think it was 50 bar or whatever it was at the time, and I’m signalling to go up, I can’t really seen, and I’m trying to do my safety stop, you know, foggy mask and the shark surrounding me. And, you know, it sounds very dramatic, but it was pretty scary. And I kind of had to really remember my training. And bearing in mind hadn’t died for, you know, kind of nine months. So, you know, that it was kind of scary, but I learned a lot, you know, I learned a lot kind of in terms of staying calm, and remembering all these key skills from you know, many years ago. So, you know, that was, it was really, I say, it’s the worst part, it was probably one where I had to really remember my training. But it was quite scary, you know, kind of getting up on my own, not really being able to see, and knowing that there were sharks in the water. And that was my first experience in sharks.

Matt Waters 20:59
Yeah, there’s, there’s an awful lot of failings there in that little scenario for the diver data for sure. Yeah, and, you know, I know the argument would be, well, he’s more than capable, he could do it himself. That’s not the point. You know, it’s, you are trained in a particular way. And you no deviation from, from what is expected, is only going to amplify any kind of concerns, mental concerns as well.

Sean Clements 21:26
And it’s safe to say I didn’t do any more diet with that operator, and then I went on to a different part of the island and my dice from then on, but brilliant. So, there we go best and worse than my trip in Belize.

Matt Waters 21:38
Yeah, for one. Do you remember the can you remember the dive centre that you were diving with that you end up being happy with?

Sean Clements 21:48
I can’t remember off the top of my head it’s probably somewhere in my in my it’s probably somewhere in my dive but but I want to say something like Sampedro divers, but it might not be I can’t I can’t remember off the top my head. But I will let you know, at the end of this year,

Matt Waters 22:04
to be one of the ones that are longer Jetty of some sort.

Sean Clements 22:08
Exactly. And if I remember rightly, I came out of my apartment and walked over the road onto the beach and onto the jetty. And I was there. So it was a very short walk in the morning.

Matt Waters 22:19
Yeah, there’s a couple of piers alongside each other. And the one that we used was ecological divers, which I think okay, it’s probably brings about one or two jetties up from where, if it’s San Pedro divers. But again, same same kind of scenario with those. We just had a fantastic time with the guys, they were so good. You know, I’ve praised them for so many years now. And just always anyone who asks whether we go diving Unbeliev, I always send them to those guys. Just so good. Yeah. And it’s just a big, yeah, just what we’ve talked about there with you having a bad scenario, and a good scenario. What a difference, you know, you’re not going to name and shame, the dive shop for fear of being sued. But the one thing, it’s one that’s good, you know, you first want to put in your hand in your air and say, Hey, these guys are awesome. And the house back to that comment you made earlier on about recommendations, you know.

Sean Clements 23:16
And that’s, and that’s the, and that’s one of the things I love about the dive community. It’s, you know, wherever you dive you always meet, whether it’s people in groups or Singleton’s that are diving, you know, when I was in Malta last time, there was a guy, really interesting career and kind of dive history. And he just went to Malta because he heard about, you know, he wants to do his, uh, his wreck diver speciality. And, you know, you get recommendations from people, when you’re diving with different buddies, you know, you you learn, you’re always learning and I just, I, you know, the dive community is it’s an interesting community. And it’s, and it’s hard to describe in one word, but I think everyone has a purpose, and everyone is looking to have a good time dive safely. And I think that’s what I love about it, you know, you, you know, you learn about people, their stories, their experiences, and, and now whenever I, whenever I pick a place to dive it, you know, I really do my research, and I try, I try and get recommendations for people that I kind of dive with or trust. And that’s what I love about it. You know, there’s always There’s always more learning to do.

Matt Waters 24:18
Yeah, yeah. And it’s that big thing, like so. I mean, I’ve mentioned it a few times now on the podcast, but you’re gonna get that kind of community feel with with any kind of sport or interaction that people are interested in? Or pastime, hobby, whatever. But diving. I don’t know what it is. It’s just, there’s something I feel very special about it. And I think it harks back to us having that little exploration kind of curiosity thing in the brain. And every diver go on it doesn’t matter whether it’s a shit dive, and you see nothing but you’re experiencing that with other people that are, you know, from a different walk of life. A different background, different lifestyle but you’ve got that one commonality you’re experiencing exploration of effectively another world and I I can’t praise it enough I think it’s fucking awesome and the community like you say it’s a great equaliser great equaliser. Yeah,

Sean Clements 25:15
yeah. Yeah. Like you’re done with that as well. I think I can’t I can’t agree more. And I just think, you know, came back to my point before and you know, we we we know more about face in the ocean and I just think we’re missing a trick here. And I think we’re all kind of like thrill seeker adrenaline junkies deep down, you know, we’re not, we’re not jumping out planes or you know, bungee jumping, but, you know, it’s an extreme sport, and you’ve got to know what you’re doing. And if you don’t get it, right, you know, you can potentially put yourself in in danger. So I just think, as much as everyone’s there to have a good time and, you know, see, see some awesome stuff. I think there’s, you know, I think everyone looks out for each other. It’s kind of like a family. It’s, it’s kind of special.

Matt Waters 26:00
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Definitely. Right. Let’s get on to the subject at hand. How is diving and watches or your your passion of watches? How’s that crossed? And created? What we have now?

Sean Clements 26:19
Yeah, it’s a good question. So I think so I guess if we kind of take a step back, I’ve, I’ve always been interested in watches. And that’s everything from, you know, a 50 quid watch to a 10,000 pound watch or whatever it is. I’ve always been curious around watches and the mechanics and how they look and how they work. And I’ve always, I’ve always just been interested in horology. I wouldn’t say I’m a, you know, I’m a I’m an expert, but I’m definitely I’m I’m horologist, you know, it’s something that is really interesting to me. And I’ve always been interested in diving or, you know, for my adult adult life. So, you know, when I was, I think, I think this was this all started during the pandemic, and I, you know, I was, I was working, I started working in finance, I was working over in New York, I came back and then kind of came straight into a pandemic, which no one saw coming. And I just, I just started asking myself the question of, you know, do I want to do this for the rest of my life? And I started asking myself the simple questions of, well, if I didn’t do this, what, what would I do? And I thought about it for weeks and months, and, and honestly, I couldn’t really come up with an answer. And then I spoke with one of my good friends. And he just said, you know, what’s, what you’re interested in what your passions? And I said, Well, you know, I love Scuba diving, if I could spend the rest of my life, you know, Scuba diving, and be brilliant. And also love watches. And very quickly as well, why don’t I create a dive watch brand. And it’s really as simple as that. So bringing two of my passions together to create a business, I just thought, well, if I could wake up every day and, and sell dive watches and create a brand, that surely that’s going to be a lot more fulfilling than what I’m doing in my day job. But I just basically gave it a go and I died. I dived into it, pardon the pun. I started designing, designing dyed watches, and I kind of roped in some friends and said, Hey, you’re you’ve got some design skills, can you kind of bring something to life I started, you know, finding a supplier base. But along with all of this, you know, you know, I’ve got to get on some of the watch market, both here in the UK and globally. It’s, you know, it’s a saturated market. There’s, there’s loads of, you know, watch brands, and there’s loads of die watch brands. And so there’s some big, you know, well known names out there that have been doing this for 1000s of hundreds, hundreds of years, right. So I wanted to do something that combined with my combined my passion, but also had something with purpose. So what I started to think about was, well, how can I differentiate myself? And how can I look at? How can I look at the purpose of the brand and the vision and bring that to life? And that’s where upcycling came up. And and upcycling is something we all know we all know about recycling, right? And we need to do more of recycling. But reality is recycling is not enough. And what we need to start doing is buying less new stuff and repurposing and reusing old stuff in the simplest form possible. And upcycling, there’s probably been around now for, I don’t know, it could be five or 10 years, it’s probably longer. Some will probably tell me it’s been around for longer, but it’s it’s a term that not as many people are familiar with versus recycling. So what I started to think as well what can I do? What can I upcycle and build into my my vision, my brand and my watches and I played around with a few different materials. But, you know, I came in I came across wetsuits and I thought, surely there’s a way of repurposing wetsuits, and I started doing some research around wetsuits, and I can’t remember the stats, but, you know, millions and millions of wet suits end up basically in a landfill every year. And the reason why is because, you know, if you’re a surfer, and you get a hole in your wetsuit, yeah, you can probably stitch it up, but, you know, they’re relatively cheap, you know, to get your hands on these days. So, you know, gonna put that in the trash, and I’m going to bind the wetsuit. Same with the diver, you know, you have a wet to two or three years, it gets a bit salty, and you think I’m gonna upgrade it to the next thing. And there’s, there’s an issue with it, you know, you know, wet suits is made out of neoprene, and neoprene is effectively a form of rubber. And it’s, it’s a really horrible material to recycle. In fact, it probably just ends up in a landfill, and then probably back in the ocean, when it gets broken down into, you know, kind of micro particles. So, long story short, there is this very, there’s this, there’s this, there’s this strange dynamic of, you know, divers and surfers who, you know, who loved the ocean and are exploring the ocean. But ultimately, those wetsuits end up back in the ocean as as pollution. And that’s where the kind of the light bulb moment came in, I thought, well, actually, if I can, if I can get people to kind of donate or, you know, give me old wetsuits that I can make into my watch straps, and let’s give it a go. So that’s kind of where the idea came from. It took me about a year to basically design manufacture, and come up with a wetsuit strap. And it was very, very difficult. While it was hard to find a supplier, people haven’t worked with neoprene, you know, I did my research, and I think the best you’ve kind of got from Upcycle neoprene is a doormat, or, you know, a coaster for your cup of coffee. I mean, these are the kinds of extremes, you know, that people are going to, to kind of, you know, upcycle wetsuits, so I thought, Well, why can’t we create a watch strap. So, long story short, I wanted to create a brand that was focused around diving, watches, but also the purpose of upcycling and charity. So combining all of that, and we can get onto the channel a bit after, because that’s actually, that’s quite topical right now. But for me, it was about just combining all of those passions, and creating a brand and a vision that I can, you know, that I can kind of handle my heart say is something that I love to do, but also has it has a purpose. So, long story short, that’s how it all came about. And, you know, we, you know, started in Jan 20, we had a year of kind of design planning implementation. We had a soft launch in August 2021, where we were we launched while soft launch, as I’d say, and then we fully launched in December 2021 and started shipping out our watches. So it probably took, you know, what’s that, you know, a year and a half, two years from kind of, you know, idea into actually selling watches and creating a brand and, and from that it’s kind of just gone from strength to strength, you know, I think I underestimated how difficult is to create a brand. I’m probably not doing myself, you know, a bit of a disservice. But I’ve never thought of myself as a very creative person. My background is kind of finances, spreadsheets, facts and figures. Yeah, yeah. And going into a world of creativity and design and branding and marketing was honestly just, I had no experience. And to this day, I’ve learned and I continue to learn, but you know, every time I sell a watch, you know, the joy that I get out of that is it’s it beats everything else that I’ve done in my professional career. So yeah, it’s being able to, you know, being on the podcast like this, where I can talk about, you know, diving and watches and, you know, upcycling in the ocean. I mean,

Matt Waters 33:49
well, let’s let’s, let’s dive in. I’ve been dying to use that one as well. Let’s dive in a little bit deeper. Because I’m, I want to ask about the how you make the neoprene strap more rigid. Is there a process where because we all know neoprene is relatively soft and flexible, and obviously squishes under pressure? How do you make that into a durable strap that’s going to last?

Sean Clements 34:17
Yeah, yeah, that’s a good question. And that was probably one of the biggest challenges that I’ve had. And actually, it continues to be something that we look to evolve. But as you say, new printers are kind of a soft, spongy material when it comes in all different colours, shapes and sizes. So what we set out to do was to create a straps kind of a hybrid. So our strap is basically made from a rubber material that we source and we stitch the wet suit into the rubber and what we do is we use a piece of it’s like a recycled piece of leather that we stick to our neoprene to make it nice and rigid because As you say, without that it would be quite flimsy. So what we try and do is we reduce any try and reduce any plastics that we use. And that’s a big part of it. And actual of our packaging that we use is all either recycled or upcycled materials, which is great. So what we do is we take a piece of silicone rubber, we use either one or two mil wetsuits, because the reason why is if we start using like nine mil, it’s just going to be too thick and clunky. So we only, effectively what we try and do is look at kind of shorties or, or kind of, you know, fins, but nothing too thick. And then we take a piece of piece of leather that is in stitched into the rubber. And then it basically gives it that durability. And we make sure that all the sides are kind of tucked in and stitched nicely. So that you know, there’s no rough edges, because as you know, neoprene is you know, especially because it’s upcycled you know, we get all sorts of donations, right? We get new printers, which they got, they’re probably not been worn or you get other suits where you think, got these, these have probably been, you know, in the water for kind of last 10 years. So

Matt Waters 36:08
nine mill when it first came out, it’s now.

Sean Clements 36:11
Exactly, exactly, so we and actually, we’ll get onto that point around how you know, we get those donations, but, um, but yeah, and then we’ve got a supplier. And this is something that we’re very Kenya, we’re trying to bring everything I say in house. But, you know, it’s challenging at times. And, you know, there’s all sorts of things, there’s costs involved, and all that kind of stuff, which which we don’t need to get into. But you know, what, what we try and do is bring everything kind of a bit closer to home. So that’s effectively how we how we create the strap, and it’s a chunky strap, it’s, it’s it’s four millimetres, which is which is quite thin, but actually, for a watch strap is quite, quite thick, it’s probably double the size of it of a typical strap, which, which I actually quite like, because when you’ve got a dive watch, you want it to be quite chunky and sturdy, and especially if it’s going over a wetsuit or, you know, kind of a, you know, a skin or whatever it is, it’s quite helpful to have the chunky chunky strap and the watch is quite chunky itself. So. So that’s how that’s how we do it.

Matt Waters 37:11
So it’s effectively a like a laminate process. And

Sean Clements 37:15
yes, yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s kind of how I describe it. But because it’s housed in a rubber mould, you get that durability as well. Because, yeah, what what we originally tried to do was make a strap 100% made out of neoprene. But it just didn’t work. That’s the reality of it. And I wish we could I really, really wish we could because we have so much material. And I would love to be able to say that, you know, it’s made 100% from neoprene but it just wouldn’t work. And you know, you’d have watches for and off people’s wrists. And that wouldn’t be very good.

Matt Waters 37:52
Yeah, yeah. I’m just looking at the the magnification photos on your on your site. It’s a nice touch. The buckle. Yeah. And they look, Stacy.

Sean Clements 38:04
Yep. Yeah, yeah. So they, they look, they look very cool. And at the moment, we just have the black wetsuit straps, which, which, which is probably the easiest colour, because no sweat suits or, you know, a black. But later this year, we’re going to be launching our new collection of straps, which will be different colours. So we’re gonna have reds, we’re gonna have blue, we’ve got all sorts of colours, which I think it’s gonna be really cool. It’s just taken a bit longer to get into production for various reasons, but that’s going to be the next stage. And I’m really excited to see that because, as you know, there’s all different all sorts of different colour wetsuits that you can get your hands on now.

Matt Waters 38:40
Yeah, I’ve started that, that scrolling thing, but it’s not doom scrolling. I’m scrolling on your website. Let’s talk about the mechanism because just in the back there, it looks pretty damn sexy might have got to say.

Sean Clements 38:56
Yeah, so it is called for the watch for the watch geeks, which I consider myself a watch geek. A, it’s called an exhibition case back or for the General Joe. An open case back, so however you want to call it what it is. It’s a piece of sapphire crystal glass and you can see the full mechanism in the back which is really cool. And you can see you can see the movement and for people that aren’t aware of the mechanism. It’s an NH 35 Seiko movement. So Seiko is a brand which will be very familiar with people. It’s a Japanese movement. They’ve been around for many years. And you know, shaker themselves produce some really really high quality dive watches. But we use their movement in our in our watches. And it’s a great piece. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s an automatic automatic movement. If it’s on your wrist you’re probably going to get you know two or three days worth of movement before. Before before it needs a kind of a shake or you know a bit of a twist. It’s a solid piece and it’s a movement that’s been around for a very long time. And I think it’s very fitting for a divers watch because we’re the divers watch you want reliability, especially if you’re taking it diving cssf, NH 35, Seiko movement, open case back or exhibition case back. And it’s a 42 mil so it’s, it’s a real it’s a real chunky piece. But I love that, you know, when he got small wrists, you know larger wrists. You know, I’ve always been a big fan of kind of chunky chunky watches. So especially if you’re underwater, you need something where you can, you know, you can feel it on your wrist. So yeah, I think it’s a nice piece. And, you know, I’ve kind of taken inspirations for different dive watches that I that I really admire, and I’ve kind of put them into a design that I that I think is suitable.

Matt Waters 40:48
Yeah, yeah, no, it looks really attractive. Man. I like the little touch of the directional cookie, your logo on the winder?

Sean Clements 40:59
Yes, so the logo, and and you probably already able to is, but I was I was thinking about this one. And again, it comes back to my point of not being great at kind of creativity. But what I want to do is create some kind of logo, which represented the bat, the brand. And effectively what it is it’s a it’s a it’s a dive markup. So which, which you’ll know what they are. So especially in cave diving, where you’re, you’re kind of trying to navigate yourself through a cave. So it’s basically an upside down dive marker, which I think it’s kind of cool. And it looks a bit like an S. So I thought why not? Why not use it? And that’s and that’s what I went for. And it stuck.

Matt Waters 41:39
Yeah, that’s it’s very attractive, very attractive. Indeed. You know, if I just have one in front of me, I’ll be able to say more about it.

Sean Clements 41:51
You know, it’s interesting, because, you know, it’s as much as it’s a dive watch the word dive watches. You know, there’s it’s also a fashion watch. So when I say dive watch, obviously, you know what I’m talking I’m not talking about dive computer, but there are different types of watches. So you’ve got racing watches, you’ve got you know, filled watches, you’ve got divers watches. But the reality is, is you know, when you when you see people with expensive diver watches on their wrist, you know, most of them don’t even died. But it’s just the reason why it’s dive watches, because got a unidirectional bezel. So without getting to watch geeky. The reason why only moves in in one direction is because if you’re diving and you’ve set your set your timer, you don’t want to knock it in the wrong direction, where you end up extending your dive time. So you could accidentally be down there for another 1015 minutes, which could be dangerous. So that’s the reason why the bezel only moves in one direction. But yeah, no look, I think like as a dive watch, I think I think it fits the bill. I also you know, I wear it day in day out, I wear it if I wear a suit, or you know, the t shirt or whatever. So I think you know, it’s great in the water, but also outside the water. And so what I’m trying to say you don’t have to be a diver to wear my watch.

Matt Waters 43:00
True, true. I mean, I’m a I’m a Tarik fan on my dive computer. And I tend to wear that when we go out on occasion. And my message is in the finance industry much like yourself, and it’s very regular. I get asked what’s what’s that on your wrist? You know what watches that? And I think probably going to have the same response with this one because people are going to see it and people who like good looking watches. They’re not going to they’re not going to recognise what STC is. So I think it’s a very good, very good talking point. Have you had anyone quizzing you yet? When you’ve been out and about?

Sean Clements 43:40
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I do. People quiz me for two things. One, because they look at it. And they, you know, they’re, they’re interested whether it’s, you know, especially the colour doll, right, so we’ve got four different kinds of dollars. I’m wearing the silky, silky grey, and each of the dolls are named after sharks. And the plan is to swim with all those sharks. And there’s a there’s a couple that I haven’t spoken with yet. But people quiz me over the strap because it’s quite different. And actually from a distance, you probably wouldn’t be able to see that it’s neoprene but when you get close, and you can start to see the texture. And people people tend to smell it as well, which is quite interesting. I don’t I don’t want to look into smell but you know, clearly they’re looking to the saltwater so. Yeah, so yeah, so that’s an interesting one. So whenever whenever, whenever people see it, the first thing you do is kind of pick it up, touch it and smell it. So whatever people will do, I guess.

Matt Waters 44:33
Okay, we’ll go now then ladies and gents, are you liking the look of these beautiful timepieces as much as I am? Do you love what they stand for? And do you want a luxury dive watch without breaking the bank? If the answer is yes, then you’re in luck. Shawn has very graciously offered a 10% discount on purchases made through the STC website using the unit code. Scuba goat 10. So why don’t you head on over there now grab yourself a cheeky little discount on a very sexy one. much safe in the knowledge that you are contributing to conservation. And we’re about to receive an item that will definitely get everybody’s attention. And don’t forget to use that code, Scuba goat 10. Hey, what’s the what’s the charitable side of this? You mentioned earlier on?

Sean Clements 45:16
Yes. So, and that’s a that’s, that’s a good cue, actually, because we find out that we actually just wrote our first check last week, which I’m super proud of. And that was for the Marine Conservation Society. So like I said, when I first started this business, for me, you know, it wasn’t just about, you know, kind of setting up a business to make money and sail off into the sunset. You know, for me, the charitable side was super important. And I spent a lot of time actually talking to charities in the UK, big and small. Who I could partner with, and I use the word partner loosely, because some of them have quite high demands from you. And depending on kind of revenues, and all that kind of stuff. So what I wanted to do was partner with a charity that was probably a bit more relaxed. And the charity was Marine Conservation Society. And just to be clear, what we do is we partner through a company called work for good. So as I said, partnering with charities in the UK is quite complicated, you know, for reasons which we don’t need to go into on this podcast. But what forget is a really, really cool kind of intermediary that allows you to set up partnerships with multiple charities. And by a click of a button, you’ve got like this paperwork agreement. And it’s really, really simple. And you just do a donation, whether it’s monthly, or annually. So, a shout out to work for good, who are brilliant in supporting small businesses. So it’s a Marine Conservation Society. So I reached out to them, probably about a year and a half ago, really interested in what they were doing, you know, they they focus very much on UK beaches, cleaner beaches, healthier oceans, that’s kind of what they’re about. But they’re not just about the UK, they also do some great work over in the Caribbean and abroad. So they’re just a charity that are really easy to kind of communicate, where they got a really good feeling from the, you know, the leafs incredible projects. And we’ve got involved in quite a lot of their kind of beach cleanups, and all that good stuff. And we try to do as many of those as we can each year. But I just thought it was, you know, we kind of built up, you know, a rapport quite quickly. So, what we’re what we decided to do was, every watch that we sell, we will donate 5% of that sale to the Marine Conservation Society. And like I said, just last week, we, we did, we did all the sons and all the math, and we wrote a nice check to them. So, you know, I was really proud of that. And it was actually, it was kind of a big moment for us. Because, you know, we’ve, you know, we’ve had, you know, we’ve had a great journey so far, but being you know, being able to support charity, at the same time, is brilliant, and, and without, without our customers, we wouldn’t be able to do that. So it’s all thanks to them. Thanks to me, so, you know, again, you know, a big shout out to everyone that’s kind of supported us from when we launched, you know, without without them, you know, we wouldn’t be able to do this. So that kind of makes me really proud. We decided to, you know, to kind of renew that agreement with them for another year. So, hopefully another year of some healthy donations,

Matt Waters 48:21
congratulations by and, you know, quite humble, listen to quite a quite a humble opinion you’ve got there. But, you know, putting donations to any charity is admirable. And you’ve even got on your, on your website there that there’s the three targets, you know, to design a luxury watch, and be able to have it with an upcycle element and to be able to provide to charity, and you’ve hit all three targets. So well done.

Sean Clements 48:48
Yeah. Yeah. And it’s really interesting, because as much as I love doing this, and I love creating a brand, and I love talking about it, and also love selling watches. I think the the charitable side is one thing, but also just that general education. And, you know, you know, I could sit here, you know, for hours, right, talking about diving and the family and the community. But I think whenever I get a chance to talk to whether it’s, you know, people that have done 1000s of dives, or just one dive or two diets or non divers, think just educating people, whether it’s about the ocean, whether it’s about, you know, upcycling, whether it’s reducing kind of plastic consumption, all of these kinds of things. Right. I just think, you know, that’s also, that’s also what this brand is about. So I think, you know, if I can educate along the way that’s also a massive tick for us.

Matt Waters 49:42
Yeah, yeah. And what’s the what’s the what’s the vision from from now going forward then because we’ve got the overall vision we’ve just touched on the the three underpinning core values there. Where do you see that? Where do you see it going? What’s your what’s your mid to long Some kind of targets and goals?

Sean Clements 50:03
Yes, I think so we launched the ocean rider collection in December 2021, which feels not that long ago, but also feels like quite a long time ago at the same time. So I think with with any with any watch brand, you know, the lifeblood of it is, is new releases, whether that’s, you know, a new collection, whether that’s a kind of an add on to the ocean rider collection, whether that’s new strap, so there are so many different avenues we can go down. But I think really kind of in the kind of the next kind of the short to medium term is just really growing the brand. And, and this is why, you know, talking with yourself, you know, the Australian market is a market we haven’t really touched and we haven’t really been able to penetrate and and there are various reasons why we haven’t done that. But you know, I think, you know, growing that brand, getting the name out there, you know, continuing to dive showcasing our watches when we’re diving in, you know, we’re, you know, we’re doing beach cleanups, you know, all of this stuff of who we are and our purpose, that is kind of my, my short to medium term goal. And then alongside that is what else can we do with the product side? So can we bring out new straps? Yes. Can we bring out a new collection? Yes, but what else can we start to upcycle. And I’ve got lots of ideas, right? I mean, just to give you an example, what I’d love to be able to do is you know, take an old, you know, you know, take it take an old Scuba diving cylinder, kind of melt it down and create a, you know, a watch case out of it, you know, these are the kinds of ideas that we’re thinking about. I don’t know how I do that, but I’m sure it’s possible. So I just think, I think, I think a combination of growing the brand, growing the product offering. And then also thinking about other things that we can upcycle that relate to Scuba diving, and it could be, you know, the plastics in you know, you know, in a Scuba mask, or fins or whatever it might be. So, I think there’s lots of opportunities. It’s just about kind of taking my time with it. But for me, it’s just about growing that brand growing that audience and, you know, that’s why you know, being on podcasts like this are great, because, you know, you know Scuba divers are definitely people that will want to listen and understand and, you know, whether it’s buying a watch or kind of buying into the story, you know, they’re both equally as important.

Matt Waters 52:23
Yeah, let’s be firm and Scuba divers. We all like a sexy better kit.

Sean Clements 52:29
Yeah, exactly. When when’s the next gadget you can buy? Yeah.

Matt Waters 52:35
Yeah, I can, I can hear the excuses. Now. You know, you take your digital dive computer with it, but you need a backup. And he wants like a pretty damn sexy as well, when you’re going down the pub. It ticks all the boxes. And exactly. sets up a well, what we’ll do is, for those of you that are listening there, we’ll put links into the show notes on how you can get ahold of STC watches. And they’ll also be an affiliate link up on the link tree at some point in the in the next few weeks or so. In the meantime, young man, I have a number of questions that I’ve been asking of every guest that comes on the show. Yes. So let’s have a let’s have a rattle at some of these, shall we? Okay, Okey dokey. Number one, how do you describe your pastime as a diver to people who are not familiar with the activity?

Sean Clements 53:36
How do I how do I describe it? I think I think I described myself as a as a bit of a, I don’t want to say salty Sido. Because I think that term has has a few bad connotations. And you’re probably laughing but definitely is someone I’m not sold to see though just to be clear. Someone that I would I would like to add on diver, I would describe it as a as an incredible opportunity to go and explore a world that not many people been able to touch. And I think if you if you have a bit of a thrill seeker inside you, you’re curious. And you want to be part of a community which is quite unique. And there’s not that many of us, right, let’s be clear, you know, compared to other sports, it’s not that many of us and when I say artisan Scuba divers, I think if you want to kind of take yourself out your comfort zone but learn about something and learn about the ocean. And also just have great fun with it. That’s how I would describe the experience. And I think it’s like none other and honestly mean that.

Matt Waters 54:45
Yeah, yeah, I completely agree. I mean, since I started doing Scuba diving full time. Every vacation or holiday I’ve been on since has been, you know, for Scuba diving. Everything else is secondary.

Sean Clements 55:00
Yeah, yeah. And, and, and actually I have this my girlfriend’s gonna hate me for saying this, but whenever we plan our holidays now it’s well, can we Scuba dive there? Tick? Or can we not? Let’s go somewhere else. So I’m kind of on the same page as you, Matt.

Matt Waters 55:18
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, the next day you just gonna have to get her under water and started doing, you know, get a training? Yeah.

Sean Clements 55:24
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Matt Waters 55:27
Okay, I think we covered this one earlier on. But can you share a memorable diving experience that stands out to you as the best you’ve had?

Sean Clements 55:36
Yeah, I think I just have to go back to Belize. And I think, you know, we, we took a short, a short boat journey, maybe 10 minutes off off the jetty in the water, probably no, no deeper than 50 metres and just being surrounded by probably half a dozen reef sharks. Just incredible. absolute incredible. And I think I think one of them was probably definitely double the size of me, but just, it was it, it was really peaceful. It’s any way I can describe it. It was really peaceful and common. But I knew my heart was going, because I’d never I’d never seen this, you know, this animal before. So just just an incredible experience. And just everyone was just in awe. And they were just swimming around us. You know, they’re just observing us. And it was just brilliant. And I remember getting out that water. And it was it kind of took my breath away. So definitely, definitely one of my top dives. Tip Top.

Matt Waters 56:33
Hey, did you do? I can’t remember the name of it now, but along. I’m assuming you’re on the same side as I was. But you come away from the jetty and effectively hangar right. And about 10 minutes out there’s a relatively shallow sand area with some sort of sea grasses. And they had an awful lot of large bull raise and the old shark swimming around. Whether you I caught that one and couldn’t get any bells.

Sean Clements 57:02
No, it doesn’t it I may have done. I may have done but no, it doesn’t. It doesn’t. I’m afraid.

Matt Waters 57:07
It was probably one of the best surface intervals I’ve ever had just sitting on the boat and watching everything going on underneath in this beautiful clear water. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, there we go. Okay, so if someone wanted to pursue a career similar to yours, I would say in InDesign in watches, I guess, rather than diving or conservation. What advice would you give them?

Sean Clements 57:37
Get used to not having a lot of sleep? No, I would, I would say take risks. I think it’s very easy. And look, I’m 31 years old, you know, I still consider myself as pretty, pretty young. Ish. And I think if you if you can take risks in life, calculated risks, then do it. Because even if you fail, I think being able to say that you’ve taken a risk is, you know, it, you know, it speaks volumes. And, you know, by me going into this industry. And the journey that I’ve been on, it’s been a massive risk, but I’ve got so much out of it. So I would say be bold and take risks. And I also think, you know, have fun with it. You know, there’s you know, I’ve had really good days doing this. And I’ve had really bad days where I’ve thought you know, you know, I want to give up or it’s not working, but you’ve got to take the winds and got to take you know, you’ve got to take them. So I would say be bold, don’t be afraid and take risks. And I think just enjoy what you do. And it’s okay to have bad days. I think that’s what I probably say to people.

Matt Waters 58:57
How did you just want to dig a little deeper, a little deeper on that one? How did you deal with the bad days, I’m tend to be the guy and a guy that just gets up and walks away for a while. Did you have a strategy at all that work for you? Yeah, I

Sean Clements 59:11
think sometimes, sometimes you just gotta be, you’ve got to be grateful for what you’ve got. And I’ve had bad days where you know, or I’ve had months where things haven’t gone well, or maybe a piece of marketing didn’t come out how I want it. Or maybe I didn’t generate as many sounds I thought, you know, kind of blah, blah, blah. But I think sometimes you just got to take a step back and go, I’m actually quite lucky to be doing this. And I know if I wasn’t doing this, I probably wouldn’t be as happy. So sometimes you just got to take a step back and just be grateful for what you have, but know why you’re doing it. I think if you can kind of take a breath, walk away, you know, kind of go out for a walk and kind of just bring things back into perspective. I think that really helps. But I would say just, you know, the way I coped with it and it’s just being grateful for what I have. And it’s okay not to have everything all in one go. So that’s kind of the way I deal with it. And actually, when you take a step back and think actually, it’s not that bad.

Matt Waters 1:00:11
Yeah, no good point well presented. Okay, if you could change anything about the Scuba diving industry, in general, what would it be?

Sean Clements 1:00:21
So, I’ve got a good one to this, I think, whenever I go Scuba diving, if I, if I’m going to a place where I don’t have a recommendation, I think it’s really hard to find a really good dive school are a dive centre. If you haven’t got a recommendation, if you have got a recommendation, great, use it brilliant. But if you haven’t, you know, there, you can go on the party websites, or you know, you can go on forums. But I think, as a dive industry, I think if we can make it more accessible, to kind of, you know, pick a location and really dig into, you know, where’s the best dive schools, you know, where you can get the best experience, etcetera, etcetera. If they can make that easier, I think that would be a huge win. Because I always know when I’m, when I’m looking at places, you know, you know, there are, you know, I want to, you know, think about going to Thailand, and you know, there are hundreds of different dive schools, you know, where do you start, and there’s probably loads of really good dive schools. But how do you know which one is the best one and the best one for x reason? I just think if the industry could make it a bit easier to kind of sift through that. That would be a lot easier. And I can tie with benefit, and I think others would as well.

Matt Waters 1:01:32
Yeah, it’s one of the things that I try and do with this show is promote operations, operators, services that I’ve personally experienced, and, and rate highly. And like I say, it’s got everyone’s got a different goal. And it harks back to this kind of questions where people always ask what’s the best place in the world to dive? Will everywhere? Because every everybody’s got a different thing that you die for. So it shouldn’t be where’s the best location, but it should be? What do you want out the experience? And exactly that point that you’ve raised there about, you know, referrals. In Thailand, if you’re going to Thailand, me, I’m your man, I used to live there, and I don’t live there. And I work there. I’ll go to contacts. What you want to do while you’re there, and I’ll point you in the right direction.

Sean Clements 1:02:24
That’s the perfect example. Perfect example. Yeah, so yeah, spot on.

Matt Waters 1:02:32
I’m going to be kind of hitting that one. That particular subject pretty hard this year, I want to start doing little little clips to raise awareness of operators in particular locations, and why you want to go and dive there, etc, etc. So do it as a, like you say, like a referral kind of thing. Hopefully, it’ll help a few people. And I think I’m going down a bit of a side Avenue here. But I think one of the issues that you that people do have as well as if you’re scoping out a place, a lot of people will go to the likes of TripAdvisor and these kinds of things, and see what the reviews say, and you only need one Archer Arsal to give a company a bad score. And it’s not the true reflection of the operator. And they can work both ways. Yeah, because you also have

Sean Clements 1:03:22
some not very good divers that can ruin things for themselves. And suddenly it’s

Matt Waters 1:03:28
operated from so you’re right. Yeah. May I’ve had some absolute fucking assholes turn up to die with me when I’ve worked in different locations. And they put up reviews and their bad reviews. And thankfully, I’ve had good bosses that have just said, Saddam, not interested in. But yeah, he’s just takes one asshole not to like it. And that’s certainly it’s, it screws up so well to try and bring a bit of balance on that this year. Hopefully, we’ll see. Okay, so here’s a good one for you. What are your thoughts on ways to minimise human impact on the oceans?

Sean Clements 1:04:02
So I think it comes down, there’s a couple of things, I think one, just basic day to day things. So you know, recycling, and we’ll get to upcycling, but just this little thing is just being a bit more conscious about what you’re buying. And you know, even when you go to the supermarket and you just look at all the packaging and the plastic and you just think, you know, Can I can I minimise the amount of plastic that I use and throw away. And if you don’t use a lot, then you’re not gonna throw away a lot. So I just think there’s a couple of things where I think people can just take a breather and just think, well actually, do I need to? Or is it can I buy something a bit more sustainable? I think that’s the starting point. The second point is, you know, we use too much stuff. And I think you’ve only got a look around your kitchen or your bathroom and see the amount of plastic mats in there. I mean, you know, it’s quite scary at times. And so I just think You know, Can we can we reuse items more? Do we need to replace things as often? So I just think it’s the basic things, which, you know, ultimately, this all ends up in landfills. And, you know, it isn’t getting, you know, burned to shreds and going up into the air, it’s probably getting, you know, making its way into the ocean. So I just think it’s just little things like that, where people just need to think about what they’re using, now, how often they’re buying the same items, and can they can they repurpose, and reuse? So I think I think it’s just those basic things, I would, I would say, and then just just, you know, you know, when you when you go to your local beach, or you’re on holiday, you know, just, just just think about what you’re doing and avoid, you know, you know, whatever it is just, you know, avoiding polluting beaches and the sea. And, you know, it’s very easily done. My biggest annoyance is, you know, when you see, you know, people smoking or whatever, and cigarette butts and all that stuff, you know, those things stay around for years, and years, and years and years. And it’s just awful. So just think, just be a bit conscious and a bit kinder. To our beaches and oceans is what I would say.

Matt Waters 1:06:13
Yeah, yeah. And I think I can’t remember it’s called now as it pick up two or whatever. But if you go to the beach, he said about a rubbish, just pick a couple of pieces up united, save it all, but take a few pieces and put them in the trash. And if everyone does that, then it’s going to be them site cleaner. There’s, in fact, I’m gonna do, I’m gonna do another shout out actually, for my mate Justin over in Texas. He’s, he’s a guy that much like ourselves, he’s got a passion for diving, and he likes to keep things or do his little bit to help with conservation, etc. So he does beach cleanups. And he just organises them through the Facebook group, they started Texas Scuba divers, and one of his most recent ones, he went down to a local beach, and there was shit everywhere. I mean, it was, it was full of rubbish. And it filled the entire back of is, is what they called Open loaders, or use or whatever. I took a shit tonne of rubbish, you know, didn’t have enough plastic bags to get everything done. But he was that appalled with it, they contacted the local government and said, Hey, this shit needs to be sorted out and fair play to them, they’ve responded more or less straightaway, and said that they’re putting into place, you know, bins and recycle locations, etc, etc, for that particular location that you’ve been at. So little things can lead to big changes. And I agree.

Sean Clements 1:07:34
And I think that’s brilliant. And I think, you know, the more people can get involved with beach cleanups, I mean, if you’re lucky, and it’s a sunny day in its, you know, it’s relatively warm, and you can spend a few hours with the litter picker. I mean, it’s quite nice. Get some exercise gets clean a beach, you know, be by the ocean, you know, so yeah, I mean, it’s a win win. Yeah. And you’re and you’re around people with a similar mindset. So I think I think the more the more people do,

Matt Waters 1:07:59
the better. Yeah. Just remember to bring your Wally pulleys and your coat and your hat and your gloves if you’re in the UK, because there’s not many.

Sean Clements 1:08:09
Yeah, exactly. And trust me, actually, we, you know, I did one. On the last time I did one, I think it was in September, and it was actually quite nice, but it started raining, and it got cold quite quickly. So it went for a nice, beautiful, kind of, you know, blue sky data quite great. But anyway, we, we picked up a load literally filled up loads of bags, and you know, we felt pretty good afternoon and good on you.

Matt Waters 1:08:33
Good on you. Okay, so, what are your thoughts on on? Just on that one? Sorry? Has your passion for diving or your industry in particular changed over time? And if so, how?

Sean Clements 1:08:46
I mean, my, my passion for diving is just got stronger and stronger. And I think I’ve just become more and more curious. So, you know, I’ve done a lot of, you know, rat dives, you know, I’m super fascinated by sharks, I’m weirdly obsessed with sharks, whether they be whether that’s diving with them, shark cage, I’ve been wherever it may be, but you know, it’s the main reason why I named my collection after after, after, after four different sharks. But, you know, for me, I’ve become more and more curious around kind of their habits and how they interact. And I just find it fascinating. So I think, you know, absolutely, I’d become more curious, you know, you know, I went through a bit of a seizure of like, I want to dive as deep as possible. And then I kind of retrenched from that and thought actually, now I’m kind of okay at the 20 metre mark. But yeah, I’ve just got more curious and I just want to I just want to travel the world and see cool things and, you know, explore the underwater which, which, again, I think, you know, the more you do it, the more you learn and the kind of the greater life experiences. So, for me, absolutely, I think that curiosity, and that passion has just, it just continues to grow. And I’m setting up a business with my main one My main pattern has been diving, I just think it’s it’s a great combination.

Matt Waters 1:10:04
Yeah, yeah, awesome stuff. And if you ever end up coming down to Australia and want to do some real shark diving, and let me know well in advance, and we’ll head on down Rodney Fox on the south coast, and we could do some, he’s he’s got the only bottom floor cage in the world. And if you imagine being 20 metres down and seeing the Great Whites, it’s something

Sean Clements 1:10:31
I was gonna ask you what a bottom floor cage was, but it took me a second, but I think I realised exactly what it is now. But I think I think I may have seen that on Shark Week. I think I think he’s been on Shark Week, maybe once or twice. But that sounds incredible.

Matt Waters 1:10:45
very plush. sounds incredible. Yeah, it’s still on my bucket list. I’ve still not coming down and done it, but I will. I’ve got many friends. In fact, Don Silcock. I think he was down there last month for his 14th and 15th. Visit. He lives in that image.

Sean Clements 1:10:59
I didn’t know I’d be more scared of being on the bottom. Or kind of suspended in the water. I’m not quite sure. Maybe being on the bottom. You feel a bit more stable? I don’t know.

Matt Waters 1:11:14
Yeah, I should imagine so. You have your watch 47 metres down that stupid movie with a cage?

Sean Clements 1:11:24
I have seen it I have seen it. It’s not it’s not the kind of movie you want to watch before you the shark games diving? That’s for sure.

Matt Waters 1:11:33
Well, the next question is gonna be very easy for you. I think we’ve touched on it already. But is there a particular conservation effort that you’re particularly passionate about? If so, which one? And why?

Sean Clements 1:11:43
Yes, I think that the Marine Conservation Society is, you know, they do a lot of great work, UK and abroad. And people from all walks of life, get involved with their projects, which is what I love, you know, you don’t have to, you don’t necessarily be a member, you can just get involved sign up to a beach cleanup. And, you know, everything you’re doing is, is in support of that charity. But look, there are so many good charities out there. And, you know, I think whoever supporting whatever charging and we spoke about this about I think it was Australian Conservation Society, I think what it may not be called that, but we spoke about that, but there are so many good charitable causes. And it’s very hard to choose one. But I think if you can donate to any charity, like you say, whether it’s UK or abroad, I think, you know, that’s, that’s, you know, it’s hats off to you. But um, I just think what they do, they’re very approachable. And I think, you know, they’re very relevant for, you know, our vision and our purpose. So, you know, if we can continue to support them, then then then then we will.

Matt Waters 1:12:48
Yeah, indeed. And some of the links, because I’ll put those in the show notes as well. Yeah. Okay, of the many safety procedures we have in the industry, if you had to choose one as the most important, what would it be?

Sean Clements 1:13:04
I would say the buddy check. And the reason why is because you can be lucky enough to do a buddy check with someone you dive with hundreds of times, and you know, exactly, you know, what everyone’s doing, or you could do a budget was on that, you know, don’t quit before, which again, is equally as important. But I just think when you’re when you’re diving your buddy is, is is one of your most important assets when you’re down there. For all sorts of reasons pointing out, you know, a piece of marine life or, you know, being there as you’re kind of just your safety guide. So I think that body check is super important. And it shouldn’t be skipped over, you know, it should be thorough. And I think it’s something that’s often overlooked, especially when you’ve done quite a few dives. So I think, you know, just remember the basics. And I just think I just think that’s really important. And I think once you’ve got, you know, and the last thing you want to do is get down there and something’s not right. And you have to end the diet. So just think, you know, just kind of take take a couple of minutes to really, you know, check and double check on that body check.

Matt Waters 1:14:06
Yeah, that’s a good point. And I for me, personally, I’ve seen all over the world now. It’s one of the first things that disappears. People just get blase and start their own equipments out thumbs up with a buddy and away they go. But the checks, they dwindle, and they shouldn’t. They should be like you say, right up there as a must do before any dive.

Sean Clements 1:14:32
What would most people answer to that question out of interest? Because there are various procedures which are really important. Yeah.

Matt Waters 1:14:39
Yeah, there’s there’s a few you know, I can’t remember now. Someone said about having delayed SMBs for servicing. Communication underwater. It’s, I’m gonna get to the end of the season and see which one’s the most common. I think book check season. gonna be right up there. To be honest. Yeah, okay. Okay. Okay. Yeah. Yeah, never forget your training. That was another one that came up. Continue with your training and practice, practice practice. Which is another thing I do with a Masters when we’re on dives if we’re on a safety stop, and it’s pretty boring dive, then we’ll run through some, some little safety elements, you know, just flush the mask, get it, get it done, get it practised, because when I first met her, she was an advanced diver couldn’t have water on her face, because she’d gone through a process of training and they’d done the absolute minimum. So she wasn’t naturally just used to doing that procedure. So practice, practice, practice. Yeah. Okay.

Sean Clements 1:15:44
The only other the only other one I would say is, is don’t rush anything. You know, take your time going up going down. And don’t rush your training. You know. Don’t Don’t hate scholarship,

Matt Waters 1:15:56
don’t pay for cheap shit. Yeah, if it’s if it’s too cheap, then you’re getting shafted. Just move on. And you’re talking about a sport that risks your life. You’re going into an environment that is not sustainable for human beings. Why fuckin scrimp on it, pay the proper Jews get some proper tuition and the full tuition? Not some cheap. You know? I could go off on that one.

Sean Clements 1:16:25
There’s too much I hear you. i

Matt Waters 1:16:27
Yeah. Okay, what are your top five bucket list destinations? For IVD.

Sean Clements 1:16:36
I might not be able to get fired, but I’ll definitely give you a few. So Raj, is where I want to go. I’m told it’s still kind of untouched. And I’ve heard it’s just a beautiful place to see above and below the water. So Roger AMPA. Definitely. The Philippines again, on the bucket list. Great place to dive beautiful waters. I would love to go to Australia at some point never been so definitely on the bucket list. South Africa, I’m going to do some cage diving with the white sharks, if there’s any around. I’m actually going to South Africa at the end of this year. But I have done my research. And I’m told it is low season and the worst visibility in December. So I may not come up.

Matt Waters 1:17:29
Can I give you a bit of an insight there? Australian Australian Conservation Society. Dr. Leo Guido, he was on the show last season. And he was telling me all about how the Great Whites are disappearing from the coastlines of South Africa. Now I’m sure there’s going to be people that jump on and say no, they’re still here. Yes, they’re still there, but not in the numbers that they used to be. So a lot of the operators in South Africa, and now advertising it as shark dives, as opposed to great white shark dives. And what the science community have seen is the great white sharks are moving more towards southern Australia. So we’re getting more over here and less over there. And that’s down to global warming. Okay,

Sean Clements 1:18:16
I like it heard the exact same. So I’m not holding my breath. But you know, we’ll give it a go. And if we don’t see any white sharks, you know, so there, but um, but yeah, that’s also on my bucket list, I think, I think Okey dokey for before. And then the final one is that I’ve got one more which we all know what about the Galapagos Islands? That that’s No, I think I think this, I think I think the scenes of all the hammers. You know, that’d be incredible to see. So I thought I’d struggle but clearly not.

Matt Waters 1:18:52
Well try and do them in a relatively sensible order as well. Because if you jump straight to Roger, and Galapagus everything else that you’re going to go do and dive elsewhere might seem a little bit underpowered in comparison, especially when you’re looking at Roger, because it’s just practice immense biodiversity. So you mentioned wanting to go to Thailand, go and do the Thailand but go and do other parts of Indonesia, do you know more of South America all those kinds of things. And then when you really get to the point of I think I’ve seen it all then go and hit the likes of Raja Ampat and the Galapagos and Papua New Guinea because they are right up there. You know, the just out of this world so diving in the Caribbean might seem like a bit of a puddle in comparison to Raja Ram, but yeah, which I did.

Sean Clements 1:19:44
I did miss one and I’m gonna I’m gonna give you six I’m really sorry. I really want to go to Tiger Beach and see the tiger sharks.

Matt Waters 1:19:52
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well, if you’re if you’re massive on the tight on the shark front, then any gonna hit Over that way, then configure in a trip where you got a Tiger Beach and also down to have a dive with Cristina Zenato. And she is the mother of sharks. She’s been on the podcast as well. And we’re constantly chit chats back and forth. But you can don the chainmail and go and sit with the sharks the way that she does. And from what I see all the people do, and it’s just a magical, magical dive.

Sean Clements 1:20:30
Yeah, I am. I follow her very closely on Instagram. And I’ve, I’ve I’ve listened to her on a few podcasts and yeah, I am. Yeah, what she does incredible. And, you know, got if I got if I got to dive or with her, that’d be brilliant. But yeah, she’s I think she’s behind there’s I think, if I’m not mistaken.

Matt Waters 1:20:47
That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. I can hook me if you hadn’t have that way. I’ll hook you up. Okay, last question. How would you describe the dive community to a non diver? I think we did this one earlier under me.

Sean Clements 1:21:00
I think so. I think I used the word salty sea dogs, but I’m gonna I’m gonna I’m gonna refrain from that. So like, we’re, we’re, we’re community of, of, of ocean advocates. We are a community of kind of, you know, ocean junkies, probably using all the wrong terms here. But I just think, you know, you know, on a serious note, I think we are we are people that are very curious about another world that not that many people know about. Lung peep, not that many people want to explore. And I just think it’s just such a close community. And it’s a knowledge. It’s a knowledge sharing community and everyone. Everyone wants to have fun. Everyone wants to be safe. And everyone wants to learn. And I just think why wouldn’t you want to be part of that community?

Matt Waters 1:21:48
For one for one? Okay, mate, I think it’s about time we wrap it up, it must be getting on quite late over there. And it’s time for breakfast over here. It’s been a pleasure having you on the show, and chatting about STC watches. And obviously, we’ll put all the links into the show notes for everybody who wants to buy one of these sexy items. Is there anything that we’ve missed that you’d like to cover before we disappear?

Sean Clements 1:22:19
No, look, I think that Firstly, thank you for having me on the show. It’s been great talking to you. And and like I said, you know, I’ve learned I’ve learned a tonne load from this. So you know, thanks. Thank you for that, Matt. And like, if anyone ever wants to talk about diving or watches, you know, feel free to you know, drop me a message on Instagram, drop me an email. I’m always willing to talk about watches and diving. So yeah, so give me a shout and always happy to chat.

Matt Waters 1:22:45
Happy days. Okay, well, again, thanks for being on the show and to everybody who’s listening, bye for now.

Share this episode with your buddies…

Related Articles

Lyndi Leggett

The Scuba Gym

The Scuba Gym provides life-changing therapy for people with disabilities or special needs. Working in water allows us all to feel movement and freedom, both physically and mentally. 

Lyndi Leggett


Popular episodes

Sponsors of the show

The Underwater Club