Longines has released a host of historically inspired pieces from its Heritage Collection over the past few years (I’m wearing the Avigation Type A-7 1935 for an upcoming wrist review as I type this), but the most recent, unveiled to the press at Baselworld 2018, has a decidedly modern twist: a black-PVD-coated version of the Swiss brand’s popular Legend Diver watch.
Like its steel-cased predecessors, the first of which launched in 2007, the new Longines Legend Diver is a contemporary version of a dive watch that Longines first produced in 1960. In this execution, however, the watch’s 42-mm stainless steel case, which faithfully reproduces the sporty silhouette of the original, is coated with a black PVD coating for a sleek, modern look.
Also aping the 1960s model, this watch has two crowns — one for winding the watch, the other for operating the internal rotating divers’ bezel, a feature that evokes the technical limitations of the original’s era. Both the crowns and the caseback are screwed, helping to ensure a professional-grade water resistance level of 300 meters. The inner rotating bezel, which serves as the flange of the watch, can also be locked in place by its dedicated crown, ensuring that a diver wearing it knows exactly how long he has been underwater. The black lacquered dial is punctuated by indices, numerals, and hands coated with Super-LumiNova; the 12, 6, and 9 Arabic numerals are executed in clean, extra-legible typography, while a date window marks the 3 o’clock position. The polished, rhodium-plated hands are also treated with the luminous substance.
There is a substantial upgrade from the previous Legend Divers inside the watch, under a solid caseback with an engraving of a diver: Longines’s automatic Caliber L888.2 (a modified ETA A31.L01), with a 64-hour power reserve, replaces the L633 Caliber, whose power reserve was 38 hours. This Longines-exclusive movement also features 21 jewels and a balance frequency of 25,200 vph. The black rubber strap is also intriguing, as it replicates the look and texture of the steel Milanese mesh bracelet introduced on the most recent Legend Diver models. It has a double security folding clasp made of titanium, with an integrated divers’ extension. The Longines Legend Diver will retail for $2,700.