While vintage-inspired reissue models form the backbone of many brands across the modern watch industry, perhaps no company has embraced its back catalog as thoroughly and extensively as Longines. The Longines Heritage series is a meeting place for vintage designs of nearly every stripe from early pilot chronographs to classic naval deck watches. The super compressor style Longines Legend Diver has been the face of this eclectic series since its introduction in 2007, with a wide variety of sizes and variants over the years. Longines adds even more variety to the Legend Diver line for 2021, adding splashes of color to the classic 42mm model in deep degradè blue and brown. The new blue dial and brown dial Longines Legend Diver models give this classic design a new personality, influencing its character in dramatically different ways.
The 42mm stainless steel case of the Longines Legend Diver is instantly recognizable, with long tapering lugs, a narrow polished external bezel, and of course the twin oversized screw-down crowns topped with a distinctive crosshatch pattern. This super compressor design is markedly different from what usually comes to mind with dive watches, cutting a more elegant and refined profile with ‘50s inspired lines. Like previous iterations, the lugs of these new Legend Diver models are famously long, leading to a larger than expected presence on most wrists, but this illusion of greater scale works with the concept in interesting ways. The original Longines Super Compressor model in 1959 was a massive watch for its time at 42mm, so these longer lugs help to preserve that original sense of presence on the wrist with today’s sizing sensibilities. The Legend Diver’s signature screw-down caseback with its engraved spear-wielding diver returns here, enabling the Legend Diver to reach a robust 300 meters of water resistance.
Where these new Longines Legend Diver models diverge from their predecessors is with dial finishing. The base design remains intact, with its broad internal rotating dive bezel, distinctive spearhead hour hand, and mix of aggressive stencil numerals and printed indices. With the use of color, however, this familiar look takes on two striking new personalities. The deep blue degradè dial variant captures the feel of the ocean depths, sinking gradually from rich ocean blue at the center to deep midnight at the edge in initial images. This cooler color palette gives this midcentury design a more modern, ornamental feel, injecting the utilitarian layout with a splash of marine luxury. The brown dial model is perhaps the more handsome of the pair, capturing a warm spectrum of shades from worn leather to tobacco, chocolate, and black coffee. This warmer palette handsomely complements the khaki lume in initial images, while emulating the feel of a patinated tropical dial.
Longines powers the new blue and brown dial Legend Diver models with the ETA-based Caliber L888.5 automatic movement. The Caliber L888.5 is something of a staple in Longines’ arsenal, with a silicon balance spring and the brand’s unorthodox beat rate of 25,200 bph. Power reserve stands at a solid 64 hours.
In an unorthodox move, Longines pairs both these new Legend Diver models with leather straps. For the blue dial variant, this is a structured navy blue leather strap with a contrasting cream topstitch and a textured pattern reminiscent of woven fabric. The brown dial model opts instead for a weathered leather strap in saddle tan, adding a rugged aged feel to the tropical-esque colorway.
By emphasizing both the tropical aged and oceanic facets of the watch’s personality, these new blue and brown dial Longines Legend Diver models offer a fresh and handsome perspective on this iconic super compressor design. The new blue dial and brown dial Longines Legend Diver models are available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of 2,260 CHF each. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.