I am not going to limit the style, but as I said before, try to keep this relatively low-tech. I don't want to see things like personal helmet heads-up displays or similar things. This should function purely as something to let you wander about underwater. The topic is 19th C., but also remember that Europe isn't the only place where things are happening during this century and that steampunk doesn't have to be the default. Check out this suit- link and compare it to this - link. Or this- link or this- link (1906 true) and compare to Dr. Who's cybermen. I think there's definitely seeds in history to pull from that will let you avoid steampunk but still stay in the time period.
Thanks Pixie, i don't know yet how far i can push myself though, retrofuturistic could mean a lots of things anyway. To make you an example you may know, the rabbit mech in Sucker Punch is a retrofuturistic (more futuristic) thing. I'm not doing anything super technological, the design is just... different. But anyway maybe it's better if i'll show you here when i've done. If it's not into the contest bounds we'll see then
Hey, go nuts! It can't hurt to try and its not the end of the world if it doesn't fit the topic exactly. My personal opinion is that as long as this encourages someone to paint something and maybe learn something or push themselves then we've accomplished something pretty great.