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Longines Conquest Chronograph 42

Longines facelifted the Conquest Chronograph last year, giving it more vintage flavour while retaining the sporty style of its predecessor and also the slightly-too-big case. The new look is reminiscent of a more famous sports chronograph, but compared to its predecessor, the new Conquest is more coherent.

At a distance, the Conquest Chronograph bears a striking resemblance to the modern Rolex Daytona, which is unsurprising given the commercial success of the Cosmograph (hence Zenith’s Chronomaster Sport as well). But in the hand it is clearly a larger, chunkier watch than its famous rival, and upon closer inspection, the dial design is also distinct with several interesting details.

The previous Conquest tried to be different and ended up being too much. That design was characterised by an oversized “12” that was recognisable but not sophisticated.

Although the resemblance to the modern Daytona is apparent at a distance, the dial gets more interesting up close (and also gives off some Paul Newman vibes). The new Conquest has a cleaner dial design with a slightly retro style thanks to a sector-like chapter ring. It does without a date, something purists will approve of.

Although all four dial colours share the same design, two stand out. The champagne dial is a unique colour for a sports chronograph in this price segment, while the silver dial has just the right amount of red accents, with the red-outlined luminous squares being particularly interesting as a design element.

The facelift didn’t shrink the Conquest by much and it’s still a large watch measuring 42 mm by 14.3 mm. It’s big and feels so, particularly with the wide and long lugs.

The size feels like a lost opportunity since a smaller case is technically feasible. The Longines Record Heritage Chronograph uses the same movement and is 40 mm wide and under 14 mm high.

The Conquest Chronograph is priced at a competitive US$3,750, wisely staying about 25% less expensive than the higher-spec Tudor Black Bay Chrono. The movement inside the Conquest Chronograph is modular, which is not a sophisticated approach to the chronograph, but forgivable considering the price.

And in terms of the base movement, this has slight edge against the competition. Like most watches in its price segment, the Conquest Chronograph is equipped with an ETA (or Sellita) movement, but Longines (like its sister brands in the Swatch Group) receives upgraded ETA movements. So the ETA 2892-based calibre in the Conquest has a 59-hour power reserve, instead of 42 hours for the stock movement, amongst other upgrades.

Available in four colours to start, the Conquest Chronograph gets the dial basics right. The balance and proportions of the dial elements are good, while the textures and surface finishing add to the visual interest.

The hour indices sit on a contrast-colour chapter ring, giving it something of a “sector” dial look. The chapter ring is not just in a different colour, but also finished with fine concentric graining, making it appear slightly recessed. Another interesting detail are the tiny luminous squares at the tip of each hour marker are an unusual detail that is vintage inspired but fresh.

All of the details are obvious on the black, silver, and champagne dials, but less on the blue dial, which is the only dial in a single colour, albeit in different shades of blue. The case is a no-fuss affair that’s entirely brushed steel. With crown guards and pump-style pushers, the resemblance to the Daytona is also apparent here.

But the design and finishing is appropriate for an affordable sports chronograph. It is, however, a bit too big at42 mm in diameter and 14.3 mm high. The case feels chunky on and off the wrist, something made even more apparent with the widely-spaced lugs that are themselves broad. The movement that’s visible through the back further emphasises the size of the case. It’s the L898.5, which is an upgraded ETA 2892 with an ETA chronograph module on the top. Being one of the highest-spec derivatives of the ETA 2892, the L898.5 includes a silicon hairspring, 59-hour power reserve, and COSC-certification.

The fact that the movement is module is something of a drawback, though not a major one given the accessible pricing. A Valjoux 7750-derived calibre would have been a more proper technical solution since it’s integrated, but it would have likely resulted in an even thicker watch. The height and movement trade-off is therefore acceptable. The L898.5 is dressed up for the exhibition back with striping on the rotor and perlage on the bridges. Needles to say, the decoration is industrial, but it is attractive and justifies the open back.

The Conquest Chronograph was clearly conceived to be a sports watch with larger-than-usual dimensions and an aesthetic that brings to mind a more famous sports watch. It succeeds on all counts, while remaining affordable.

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Longines Mini Dolcevita 21.5

Today, a few rectangular watches seem to get all the attention. It’s fair enough, especially when the Cartier Tank and Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso are legitimate icons. But before the circular shape gained a chokehold on the modern wristwatch thanks to soldiers during the World Wars, rectangles were popular ’round the world. Ask old dealers, and they’ll even tell you that way back in the ’80s, rectangular watches from Patek Philippe, Hamilton, Longines, and others were the hot thing for collectors to have. Enthusiasts would buy ’em buy the bushel, a different shape for every day of the week. Art Deco and elegant, they evoked glamour and old Hollywood. But soon enough came the Rolex Bubbleback trend, then sports Rolex, and the rising tyranny of the round case. Longines began making rectangular watches in the 1910s. By the 1920s, it had dozens of different case and dial designs. A favorite of mine is the Longines “Zulu Time,” a small rectangular Longines Mini Dolcevita 21.5 watch with a second hour hand to track another time zone. Just a few have appeared recently, but Longines says it serves as inspiration for its modern (and round) Zulu Time collection. Since 1997, the Dolce Vita has been the singular collection carrying the mantle for rectangular watches at Longines. Longines has introduced various watches to the Dolce Vita collection, often with additional Art Deco design queues: sector dials, Roman numerals, or ornate hands.

This year, Longines has introduced the new Longines Mini Dolcevita 21.5 collection. It’s a slightly different shape compared to the existing collection: Not only smaller but also with smoother brancards that do away with some of the stepped and decidedly more Art Deco design choices of the Dolce Vita. The stainless steel case measures 21.5mm x 29mm (6.75mm thick) and uses a quartz movement. Longines offers 11 variations of the new Dolce Vita, some with diamonds, and some without. The best of the new references features a white dial with contrasting surfaces, painted Roman numerals, and a sunken subseconds. Perhaps the best part of the release is a new five-link, brick-style bracelet with a butterfly clasp. Not only is it a well-made and comfortable bracelet for the price, but it’s also a bit of an Art Deco touch, fitting for the roots of the rectangular watch.

The updates to the Longines Mini Dolcevita 21.5 do away with some of its distinctiveness to make it look more like a Tank. With Jennifer Lawerence leading the campaign for the Mini Dolce Vita, it’s obviously a watch aimed at women, and adding a bracelet will also make it competitive with other similar watches.

The Longines Mini Dolcevita 21.5 is just the latest in a long line of rectangular releases over the last few years. We may have the Apple Watch to thank for this four-sided shift, by far the best-selling watch in the world. But the rising popularity of Cartier’s designs seems to have also emboldened brands to look past the curvilinear. At Watches & Wonders this year, Jaeger-LeCoultre focused on its Reverso, releasing a new small seconds, the Tribute Chronograph, and a Reverso Tourbillon. Among smaller brands, the aggressively stepped “Art Deco” from Impossible Watch Co. and English brand Fears’ Archival 1930 are favorites. Theses watches all look to the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s for inspiration. While I understand the commercial appeal of smoothing out the edges of some of these designs in the new Mini DolceVita, I do hope the continued popularity of non-round watches pushes brands to continue to try bolder shapes. In the archives of many of these brands are so many sculptural cases with stepped lugs, more architectural than many of the simple, stamped cases we see today. Meanwhile, if you want a vintage Art Deco Longines, the brand offers that option too. Look in its Collector’s Corner and you’ll see this amazing variety of square and rectangular watches on display. Vacheron, JLC, and other brands have also placed a recent emphasis on sourcing, restoring, and selling their own vintage watches, and it’s exciting to see brands embrace their history. While the Mini Dolce Vita might not be a particularly exciting release for hardcore enthusiasts, Longines Mini Dolcevita 21.5 was able to place it in the context of its historical rectangular designs.

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The Longines Master Collection Small Seconds

As a general rule, if you engrave Breguet numerals in a dial, it’s probably going to grab my attention. Longines introduced the Master Collection Small Seconds in 2023 after the beautiful and well-received Master Collection 190th Anniversary. The Small Seconds is smaller and thicker than the anniversary collection, measuring 38.5mm and 10.2mm thick (20mm lug width). It comes in three dial colors: salmon, anthracite, and silver, all with different textures that add a distinct character. Recently, I was able to get hands-on with the salmon and anthracite, and it quickly affirmed that the Master Collection Small Seconds is one of my favorite budget-minded Swiss dress watches.

This is filed under “Value Proposition,” so let’s get right to it: the Master Collection Small Seconds runs $250. I’m not saying this is some screaming deal, but more like – Longines makes a hell of a watch for the price. It’s a nice counterpoint to the equally vintage-inspired Heritage Classic Sector Dial.

While the design draws on dress watches of Longines’ past, it’s not a reissue of any specific reference. The engraved Breguet numerals (perhaps a callback to vintage Longines like this one), leaf hands, and small seconds subdial hit all the right notes. This is heritage inspiration done right. While I enjoy the more modern look of the anthracite and its grained texture, the salmon is the stand-out for me. The dial is vertically brushed, with the hands and engraved indices in a contrasting off-black.

The 38.5mm case is entirely polished. It sits a bit thicker than I’d prefer for a watch like this, but it’s still wearable. The thickness feels most noticeable in the steeply sloped rehaut, making the domed bezel sit higher a bit tall. At 45mm lug-to-lug, the proportions work well on my 6.25-inch wrist.

The Master Collection Small Seconds dial is beautiful and well-executed. The engraved Breguet numerals look sharp, and I’m not sure any other brand offers a similar aesthetic at this price point. Simply put, it’s hard to think of a better-looking dial in a dress watch at this price.

The small seconds dial is snailed, offering a nice contrast to the brushed salmon dial. While salmon has been a hot dial color the past few years, this particular execution feels considered and thoughtful. The “Automatic” text at the top of the dial is small enough that it’s not a huge distraction. The biggest potential design flaw, as I see it, is the way the subdial cuts off the “7.” I don’t have an issue with cut-off numerals generally, but it feels a little unfair to 7 that “5” doesn’t get the same treatment. At least, it leaves a slightly asymmetrical feeling.

The numerals and leaf hands are black and provide a nice contrast to the salmon dial. The different textures of the three dial colors illustrate Longines’ attention to detail with this collection. The anthracite dial has a granular finish that almost looks like a frosting in certain lights, providing a different texture to the dial. It gives this dial a more modern vibe, but the rose gold numerals and plated hands bring it back into the realm of dressy. I didn’t see the silver dial, but it’s the most traditional of the bunch, with a more finely-grained surface.

The Master Collection Small Seconds uses the automatic Longines caliber L893, essentially an upgraded ETA 2892. It beats at 3.5 Hz and upgrades the ETA movement with a silicon hairspring. Also notable is the increased 72-hour power reserve, higher than the ETA’s standard 42ish hours.

The Small Seconds is nearly 1mm thicker than the 190th Anniversary edition, and much of this comes down to the movement. Moving from center seconds to small seconds requires some re-gearing. While the dial does feel more balanced with the small seconds, this is the slight tradeoff in wearability.

The L893 is visible through a sapphire caseback, and looks predictably industrial. The typical refrain from enthusiasts at this price point is that a closed caseback would’ve been better, while granting that there’s a supposed broader commercial demand to see the mechanical marvel that we, the enlightened enthusiasts, too often take for granted. I wonder if it’s too much to ask for the option of either? Seeing a Longines caliber doesn’t offend my sensibilities (make yourself decent, Longines!), but these sapphire casebacks often come at the cost of a case that wears slightly thicker.

Each of the Master Collection Small Seconds comes on a comfortable, padded alligator strap with a deployant, which means it’s easy to get a perfect fit. That said, I’d like to normalize brands offering their dressier watches on more casual straps. I’d quickly throw this on a more casual calfskin or suede strap to dress it down more. But these are minor quibbles – the Master Collection Small Seconds is beautifully executed by Longines, and exactly the type of heritage inspiration infused in modern watchmaking that I love to see.

But if you want a new, dressy watch from a Swiss brand with some heritage inspiration – along with real ties to that heritage – it’s hard to think of anything much better than the Longines Master Collection Small Seconds.

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Longines Heritage Legend Diver 39 Stainless Steel

Big news for fans of the Longines Legend Diver as the brand’s long-standing vintage effect dive watch has been retooled with a smaller case. Now in 39mm, the 2023 Legend Diver has been resized to reflect the current taste and is now offered in black or blue lacquer dials, and, as is common for the Swiss brand, you get a choice of straps or a steel bracelet.
Both colorways offer the same brand new 39mm steel case, which is 12.7mm thick and 47mm lug to lug. With 300 meters of water resistance, a closed steel case back, and two crowns – one for setting the time (no-date is the only option at this time) and one to control the bidirectional rotating internal bezel – it’s the Legend Diver we’ve known and loved since 2007, but refreshed for maximum wearability.

Replete with COSC certification, Longines has fitted the newLongines Heritage Legend Diver 39 with the brand’s modern and ETA-based L888.6. It’s an automatic movement with 72 hours of power reserve and a silicon balance spring. Furthermore, the Legend Diver is also an ISO 6425-compliant dive watch (for those of you keeping score).
While either the black or the blue dials can be had with a full steel tapered bracelet, the blue version can be optioned with a blue nylon NATO-style strap, or you can get the black dial with a vintage-style brown leather.
As I alluded to above, the Longines Heritage Legend Diver 39 was launched back in 2007, and it was a huge success that put Longines at the forefront of the then-novel “new vintage” movement. Based on a design from 1959, the Legend Diver was originally a Super-Compressor-style diver that measured 42mm wide. For 2023, in a somewhat backward turn of events, the Legend Diver has been re-born with a smaller footprint meant to translate the mid-century design into a sizing that is more in line with today’s tastes. What I find funny – aside from a modern version of a watch being smaller than the 1950s original – is that the 2007 Legend Diver was already a bit small for popular tastes when it launched during a time that was likely more connected to the rise of larger designs like those from Panerai (and let’s not forget that Longines does continue to offer a 36mm legend diver).

But at Longines Heritage Legend Diver 39mm, in an era downstream of the commercial success of watches like the Tudor Black Bay 58, the sizing seems just right. And where the case width has shrunk by 3mm, the lug-to-lug is more than 5mm shorter than on the 42mm model (from 52.4mm to 47mm). For a watch that was often noted as being quite long in the case – too long for my wrist – this change might be the secret to making this beautiful design suit a wider range of wrists.
All told it’s a simple, understandable, and entirely exciting development for one of the OG faux-vintage dive watches. With new sizing, continued tool-level specs, COSC timekeeping, and a variety of mount options, Longines Heritage Legend Diver 39 continues to impress with their 2023 novelties, and I’d imagine that this new take on an old diver will be very popular for those who appreciated the Legend Diver design but wanted it in a more conventional mid-sized offering.

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The Longines Spirit Flyback Chronograph

Earlier this year, we covered the launch of the Longines Spirit Flyback Collection. Now, Longines is introducing the Spirit Flyback with a grade 5 titanium case and the option of either a titanium bracelet or NATO-style strap. Since Longines already offers the time-only Spirit in titanium (which we like!), it’s a predictable extension of the collection. Like the existing steel models, the Spirit Flyback in titanium measures 42mm x 17mm thick (49mm lug-to-lug). Some of that thickness is due to the domed sapphire, but there’s no way around it: this is a thick boy. The Longines Spirit Flyback dial is a sunray anthracite, complemented by a black ceramic bezel insert. There’s Super-LumiNova on the applied Arabic numerals and hands, with gilt accents – as our hands-on of the steel version shows, the Spirit Flyback has a strong lume signature on the dial and bezel.

The grade 5 titanium case offers 100 meters of water resistance. When it comes to watchmaking, titanium comes in two forms: Grade 2 and Grade 5. I appreciate that Longines has opted for the slightly higher-quality grade 5 titanium, an alloy that includes aluminum and vanadium (6% aluminum and 4% vanadium, which is why it’s also referred to as Ti 6Al-4V). Grade 5 is harder, and usually, you can expect to see it in higher-end manufacturing, while lower-priced options might use Grade 2. As just one example, the Rolex Yacht-Master uses Grade 5, while the Tudor Pelagos 39 uses Grade 2.
“I know that the five stars offer a link to past Longines models, but I also know that it looks like this watch has an Uber rating,” James wrote in his hands-on review of the 39mm Spirit Zulu Time. This sums up how I feel about the Spirit Flyback. It has one foot firmly in Longines’ heritage and the other in the modern era. It makes for a decent release but with some compromises.

Longines invented the Longines Spirit Flyback chronograph in the 1930s, a useful complication for pilots of the era, allowing them to stop, start, and reset the chronograph with the press of one pusher. This led to the production of the 13ZN (read our in-depth article about the caliber here). It was one of the most legendary calibers of all time and it was put to use in some of the most beautiful chronographs ever made. But with the introduction of the Longines Flyback Spirit this year, Longines hasn’t (yet) fully told this story or made this historical connection. First, there’s the watch itself: it’s a commercial proposition, large, and presumably targeted towards a population that has a taste for watches of this size.

But a Longines Spirit Flyback chronograph is a bit of a nerdy thing and not necessarily a commercial proposition. It’s something enthusiasts covet, understanding that it’s not a common complication but one that’s historically and horologically interesting. As an enthusiast, I would’ve loved to see Longines lean into this heritage and historical tie-in, both in product and in messaging. Longines already makes some of the best heritage-inspired watches on the market, and it is perhaps the most historically impressive maker of chronographs. This release continues to toe the line between modern and heritage. It’s cool to see that Longines has brought a flyback chronograph to its pilots’ line. Like the Spirit Zulu Time (introduced at 42mm, now also offered at 39mm), I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until Longines brings its flyback functionality to a variety of case sizes.

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longines dolcevita quartz

Earlier this year, Longines added two new Art Deco sector dialled automatic watches to their longines dolcevita quartz Collection. The collection is the brand’s answer to a classically styled Tank-shaped watch. These new iterations translated the design of their Heritage Classic Sector Dial into the more dressy confines of a DolceVita. As the watches have started to hit boutiques and authorized dealers, I decided to take closer look at what Longines is offering here.
After a few calls, I tracked down the new references to the Westfield World Trade Center Mall in New York City. Within its confines exists the Longines Boutique, which currently is the only location in the city that had the four references I was interested in viewing. Once inside, I got to spend a few minutes with each, trying to get a better sense of wearability and sizing.
While the charm of it all is alluring, there is a level of consciousness you have to have in order to pull it off. For starters, walking into the train station each day I found I needed to put my hand over the pocket the pocket longines dolcevita quartz watch rested in so that I could ensure the turnstile did not smack it. You also, at least in regard to how I wore it, need to be aware of what you lean on or brush up against as you really want to avoid shock and damage. I also, if I am being totally honest, felt less confident pulling it out while riding the train. Whether holding a sizable piece of solid gold in a closed city train car, or the threat of train turbulence throwing me around while holding it, the anxiety outweighed the charm factor in those moments on the subway.

Another aspect to consider is the wardrobe a pocket watch requires. Sure, I didn’t go full Peaky Blinder get-up. But, when the temperature is hovering close to 90 degrees, having a jacket on is not always ideal. Theoretically, I could have clipped the chain to a belt loop and put the pocket watch in my pants pocket. But, I typically have my phone in one pocket and my keys and AirPods in the other. So, short of having a bag with me, or putting the pocket watch in my back pocket (which would be incredibly risky and stupid), this was not really feasible for me to do. It also wouldn’t have conveyed the style I wanted to have while wearing it, looking more like a chain-wallet than a modern take on how a pocket watch was classically and elegantly worn.

Probably the biggest scare I had was the threat of rain/moisture. I was very vigilant about knowing the weather forecast each day, but, at times, the weather can be quite unpredictable. So, after a day at the office, when I stepped out on to the street and received an invitation to meet up for dinner with some colleagues I was excited to get an end-of-day meal. But, as I started to text to reply that I would join them I suddenly felt a rain drop hit my head. I headed back beneath an awning to stop and look at the current forecast, and when I saw rain was imminently on the way I knew I needed to rush home before I, and more importantly the pocket watch, got soaked. longines dolcevita quartz Watches of this age are not really water-resistant, so they are definitely not ideal around liquid.

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Longines Evidenza Replica

Swiss watch company Longines likes to associate the likes of late actors Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn with its new line of watches, the Longines Evidenza, due to its Art Deco look and shape that call to mind the stylishness of many of their movies. But you have to wonder if notoriously hard-boiled Bogie would have approved of the Evidenza men’s stainless-steel chronograph with black dial that flashes a diamond-encrusted bezel. I think he would have wholeheartedly.

Longines says that the watch takes its inspiration from a barrel, or tonneau-shaped, watch that Bogart owned in the 1940s. That watch, first produced in 1925, was inspired by a 1911 model. After seeing the original during the World Watch and Jewelry Show in Basel, Switzerland, last spring, I confess a faint resemblance; however, the Evidenza is a much more extravagant yet elegant timepiece.

All the Longines Evidenza chrongraph, both men’s and women’s, use the same self-winding mechanical movement and a 42-hour power reserve that keeps them ticking when they’re set down. The men’s chronograph is fitted with an L650 movement and a center chronograph hand, 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers at 9 and 6 o’clock, respectively, plus a subdial for seconds at 3 o’clock. The watch has an extra four hours of reserve power.

The diamond-encrusted chrono Longines Evidenza chrongraph comes in the stainless-steel case with either a stainless-steel bracelet ($9,200) or crocodile strap ($9,100). The watch is available without diamonds in pink or yellow gold ($5,100) or stainless steel ($2,300). A pink gold watch has been developed with diamonds, but is as yet unavailable in the United States. The face is either a flat silver or black dial.

Maybe Bogart was talking about a Longines watch when he used this line in the 1953 film Beat the Devil: “Time. Time. What is time? Swiss manufacture it. French hoard it. Italians want it. Americans say it is money.”

The Longines Evidenza chrongraph set in diamonds certainly does look rich and opulent. Or as they say in Hollywood, it looks money.

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Longines Ultra-Chron Diver

Heritage revivals are all the rage right now, and the manufacture that really kicked off the trend was Longines – the entire heritage collection range is devoted to digging into their rich archives and resurrecting their historic designs. From the Heritage Military to the BigEye Avigation Chrono to the Legend Diver (among others), their heritage designs have enjoyed tremendous success over the years. Today, we have a new installment into the heritage collection: the hi-beat Longines Ultra-Chron Diver.
The dial matches the colour scheme of the bezel, with a black dial that utilises a rhodium-plated central hours hand and a red central minutes hand. The grained texture of the dial creates the time-capsule vibe that buyers love about heritage designs, creating vintage sensibilities for the modern watch. Also further driving home the heritage nature of the novelty is its applied “Ultra-Chron” logo at 6’, perfectly mimicking the style of the logo found on the original diver. Rhodium-plated applied indices convey each of the hours, and each, like the central hours and minutes hand, are filled with SuperLuminova for visibility in darkness. Now the dial purists watching this will likely have already noticed, but missing from the dial, in line with the original, is a date complication – keeping a clean, symmetrical layout and aesthetic.
There are two configurations you can purchase the Longines Ultra-Chron Diver in. The first, which would be my pick, includes a stainless-steel bracelet. The second option is a brown leather strap instead of the bracelet. A third option exists where you can purchase either the bracelet or leather strap, which comes in a special wooden presentation box along with recycled black NATO strap with a central red stripe. Personally, I am a bracelet guy and, considering it is a dive watch, don’t particularly love the idea of wearing it on leather. But if leather is your jam, considering getting the additional NATO strap so you’re covered off for any aquatic adventures you might have planned. A strap-tool comes with each of the wooden box options allowing you to switch between the respective pair of straps.
Inside the watch, underneath the engraved solid caseback, is the automatic Longines Ultra-Chron Diver calibre L836.6 – a 36,000 vph, or 5Hz, hi-beat calibre with an anti-magnetic silicon hairspring and a power reserve of 52 hours. The calibre is also highly accurate, certified by TIMELAB as a “ultra chronometer”. This means the movement is tested to run within +6/-4 seconds cased, over a 15 day period under three different temperatures: 8, 23, and 38 degrees celsius – ultimately meeting the ISO 3159 standard.

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longines legend diver watch

The Replica Longines Legend Diver collection, since its inception in 2007, has presented a strong example of heritage revivals done right. Longines, a trendsetter in this regard, has always done a great job of digging into their rich archives to take beloved designs of the brand and reinterpret them with fresh and flavourful notes that speak to modern buyers. One standout element of recent Legend Divers are their lacquered gradient dials, giving a sporty reference a dressy and playful twist. For 2022, Longines has decided to expand the menu by introducing vivid burgundy, sand beige and ash grey gradient dials into the mix.
For the 2022 refresh of the collection, the real change-up here is the new dial colours. The stainless-steel case is still 42mm in diameter, 12.7mm thick, and 52.4mm lug-to-lug, with two screw-down crowns (one to operate the inner timing bezel and the other to adjust the time and date) and a depth rating of 300 metres. Inside, beneath a solid caseback, is the self-winding Calibre L888.5 (ETA A31.L11) with an anti-magnetic silicon balance-spring and a “weekend-proof” 72 hours of power reserve. While there is much that remains familiar, two new gradient colourways for the 42mm collection, sand beige and ash grey (pictured above), bring new versatile and neutral tones into the staple collection.
When a brand releases two sizes of a particular watch model, typically more attention is paid to the larger size – the smaller, at times, is an afterthought. To date, the Longines Legend Diver 36mm was only available in black and white mother-of-pearl, so the more compact take on the classic diver had far less options to explore. Today, this is remedied, with three colours now debuting in the 36mm size. Like the 42mm, the 36mm will also be available in the new sand beige gradient configuration as well. But, exclusive to the size, Longines introduces a new vivid burgundy gradient dial to the 36mm collection. This rich glass of Bordeaux may be a day late for any Valentine’s festivities, but it’s a colour that is really distinct and would work well all year round. Longines was making stellar heritage reissues well before it was cool. Case in point is the stylish ’60s-inspired Legend Diver, first released way back in 2007. And while it’s become de rigueur for most major brands to release one or two retro pieces a year, the Longines Legend Diver (LLD) pioneered the reissue genre, and still holds its own, thanks to a well-balanced trifecta of timeless good looks, clear vintage style and cracking value. First off, let’s tackle the style. The internal rotating bezel and twin crowns of the Legend draw their inspiration from a type of dive watch that was popular in the ’60s and ’70s called the Super Compressor. Most dive watches rely on thick cases, crystals and gaskets to create an impermeable wall to keep moisture out. The Super Compressor’s approach, however, was slightly different. Developed by case-maker E. Piquerez SA (EPSA), it relied on the external pressure of the water to aid the water resistance of the watch – the deeper you went, the tighter the seal. It’s a clever system and was widely used by a range of watchmakers from the ’50s through to the ’70s – with notable examples including Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, Hamilton and, of course, Longines. A key feature of many of these watches is the dual crowns – one to deal with the time, the other handling the internal rotating bezel.
That’s the theory. But how does the Longines Legend Diver look in reality? Well, it looks the business. At 42mm, the case is hefty and, if anything, I’d say it wears on the larger side thanks to the long, curving lugs and narrow bezel. Aside from these features, the case is quite spartan, with simple lines and a polished finish, all of which serves to let the dial shine. And what a dial. Glossy, black and surprisingly deep thanks to the internal bezel, it’s shown off to full effect under the domed sapphire crystal, with creamy printing and generously long markers that effortlessly combine legibility and vintage chic. Aside from the markers and arrowhead handset, the look is relatively sparse, with brand, hourglass logo and cursive ‘Automatic’ text the only other features. (Incidentally, Longines initially made versions of the LLD with and without a date function, but discontinued the no-date version, so obviously that’s now very much in-demand from collectors.)
The LLD is rated to 300m, achieved using screw-down crowns and caseback rather than the compression style case that inspired it. It’s powered by an ETA 2824, hidden away behind a solid caseback, replete with a handsome engraving of a skin diver. The strap is one of the more polarising elements of the watch. Made in the padded sailcloth style, it’s very stiff at first, and I know many people swap it out quite quickly, but I think it suits the overall vibe of the piece.
It’s strange to think that this heritage reissue is 10 years old – it was one of the first models that really caught my eye when I was getting into watches. For me it still stands out as one of the best examples of its type, and an important release that went a long way to popularising the vintage revival that has dominated the industry in the past decade.

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Longines Longines Spirit Zulu Time

The Queen’s House, an impressive architectural masterpiece in Greenwich, London, played host to an exceptional event organised to mark the launch of the new Longines Spirit Zulu Time. This event, focused on heritage and innovation, took its guests on a journey across time and Longines’ history. The launch was the ideal occasion for international media to discover – on site and online – the winged hourglass brand’s latest design.

The Longines Spirit Zulu Time features multiple time zones and typifies the watchmaker’s century-old expertise in timepieces of its kind. Its origins and its name come from the first Longines dual-time zone wristwatch manufactured in 1925, which featured the Zulu flag on its dial – Zulu referring to the letter “Z” which designates universal time for aviators and members of the armed forces.

Many adventurers have crossed the world’s time zones with a Longines watch on their wrist. Renowned aviators including Amy Johnson, Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon conquered the air and set new records – all with Longines’ assistance. A guarantee of safety and reliability for these early pioneers.

A link between history and innovation, the Longines Spirit Zulu Tim pays homage to the brand’s rich heritage, resulting in an exceptional timepiece to be used by all modern pioneers. An exclusive new Longines in-house calibre with a silicon balance-spring drives the time zone display. A state-of-the-art technology that allows the hour hand to be adjusted independently of the GMT indicator. Additional time zones are read using a 24-hour hand and a bidirectional rotating bezel, also graduated over 24 hours. Extremely accurate with a power reserve of 72 hours, this new movement is chronometer-certified by the COSC (the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute), in a nod to the five stars stamped on the dial which, in the history of Longines, was a guarantee of a movement of the highest quality.

Aesthetically, the Longines Spirit Zulu Tim stands out with its meticulous execution and the particular care given to the various finishes on the details – whether shiny, matt, polished, in relief or embossed. This model features a bezel enhanced with a coloured ceramic insert, and is available on a matt black, sandblasted anthracite or sunray blue dial, with a date window now centred at the 6 o’clock position. Its hands and numerals, coated with Super-LumiNova®, enable the time to be read under all circumstances. The 42 mm steel case has an interchangeable stainless steel bracelet or an interchangeable brown, beige or blue leather strap. These straps all have a folding clasp fitted with a new fine adjustment system for maximum comfort and a perfect fit.