While the vintage inspired dive watch trend dominates the current diver market, in many ways the trend began in 2007 with the release of the original Longines Legend Diver. The Legend Diver has been a cornerstone of the brand’s lineup ever since, and despite its status as a potential spearhead for the entire retro diver movement Longines has never intersected the Legend Diver with the other popular modern dive watch trend of bronze case material. Longines’ latest release changes this, rendering the super compressor case in bronze with a rich new color palette. The Longines Legend Diver in bronze pairs this new warm case material with a charismatic desaturated, patinated look that emphasizes the design’s vintage feel.
Apart from the bright, slightly coppery tone of the bronze case material, this new Longines Legend Diver shares the same 42mm case design as its stainless steel counterparts. The signature dual crosshatched crowns and famously long, narrow lugs are still here, which may make this a difficult proposition for smaller wrists. The warmer bronze material looks in initial images to complement the unorthodox midcentury diver design well, creating a bolder statement without compromising the period feel. The solid caseback is rendered in titanium, displaying the clean and classical embossed diver with spear shared across all Longines’ heritage divers. Like the stainless steel models, the dual screwdown crowns and super compressor design allow this version of the Legend Diver to reach a hefty 300 meters of water resistance.
Although the case of the new bronze Longines Legend Diver is certainly the most attention grabbing addition to the line, the dial brings a fresh new take on the formula as well. The mix of stencil Arabic numerals and printed line indices is carried over from the rest of the series, but while the dial printing still shows a touch of khaki faux patina the tone is much subtler than many similar heritage models in the Longines stable. The distinctive spearhead handset is finished in a sandblasted pink gold tone to better echo the case, which looks in images to lessen the visual blow of the khaki dial text as well by allowing the markers and hands to blend together optically. Of course, the most striking addition to the dial of this particular Legend Diver is the deep forest green lacquered dial surface itself. The green shade looks to complement the coppery hues of the case and hands dramatically, with a pronounced degradè effect that drops off sharply to nearly pure black by the edge of the dial. This effect is made even more stark thanks to the jet black rotating inner bezel. The other major change is the return of the no-date dial to the lineup, which disappeared shortly after the Legend Diver’s revival in favor of a 3 o’clock date window. With the 3 o’clock numeral restored, dial symmetry and balance is nigh-on perfect, with even distribution of visual weight throughout.
Like its stainless steel counterparts, the bronze Longines Legend Diver is powered by the Caliber L888.5 automatic movement. Made exclusively for Longines by Swatch Group partner ETA, the L888.5 boasts a handful of modern technical tricks including a silicon balance spring and a tenacious 64 hour power reserve. In order to accommodate this longer power reserve, however, the beat rate for the L888.5 is a touch slower than average at 25,200 bph.
Longines packages the bronze Legend Diver with a pair of included straps. The first is a cocoa brown leather strap with minimal beige contrast stitching. While the merits of dive watches on leather straps are endlessly debatable, for those that prefer a more waterproof option Longines also provides a NATO strap in army green nylon. In addition to echoing the green tones of the dial, this NATO also features contrast woven raised edges and clean nylon keepers. Both straps are finished with a signed bronze buckle.
As one of the pioneers of the vintage diver reissue movement, it’s almost difficult to imagine the Longines Legend Diver has never before been cased in bronze. However, the bronze cased Longines Legend Diver looks to be one of the most complete, enthusiast focused versions of the long running series. The Longines Legend Diver in bronze will be available through authorized dealers in January 2021, with an MSRP of $3,000. For more information, visit Longines’ website.