Last year I covered Longines’ release of the HydroConquest featuring a ceramic bezel. A year later, the brand has taken the next logical step and released a full ceramic version to complement the popular HydroConquest line. Longines is so keen for you to be aware of this material quirk, they have gone as far as to print the chemical makeup of the ceramic they used right on the dial at 6 o’clock — a decorative technique that is currently enjoying its day in the sun with Omega (also a member of the Swatch Group). To ensure that this isn’t just a dull, black affair, Longines has employed multiple surface finishes. A matte dial, polished case, and satin bezel create a harmonious and visually interesting package. The Longines HydroConquest All-Black Ceramic watch measures 43mm-wide and is presented on a black rubber strap with ceramic deployant buckle.
Model: All-Black Ceramic HydroConquest
Water Resistance: 300 meters
Case Material: Black Ceramic
Crystal/Lens: Sapphire crystal with several layers of anti-reflective coating
Movement: Caliber L888.3
Frequency: 25,200 VPH
Power Reserve: 64 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Black Rubber with ceramic deployant
Price & Availability: TBA
While the price is currently under wraps, this watch could (and probably should) wind up being one of the cheaper (if not the cheapest) all-ceramic cased watches on the market. If Longines is wise and prices the Longines HydroConquest All-Black Ceramic watch aggressively, it could do very, very well. There seemed to be a positive response to the blacked-out Omega Seamaster Diver 300m in Black Ceramic and Titanium released earlier this year, but the price was a real sticking point for many potential buyers. This watch should offer an entry-level alternative that boasts a similar aesthetic and the provenance of having been made by the same Swiss conglomerate.
Additionally, Longines continues to use an impressive movement in its HydroConquest line. The L888.3 has a substantial 64-hour power reserve and proven track record. One interesting thing Longines could do would be to offer a no-date option. For me, personally, the date window taking the place of the “3” numeral is a bit of a turn-off. I’m sure a date is an essential function for some, but having the option to leave it off would widen the appeal of this design, in my opinion.
On the one hand, the announcement of an all-ceramic HydroConquest doesn’t surprise me that much, especially considering that Longines is a member of the Swatch Group and has access to the resources of brands already casing their watches in ceramic (like Omega with its Dark Side of the Moon or Planet Ocean lines). I will be very curious to see what the buy-in price of this HydroConquest turns out to be. Price aside, Longines has created a strong piece here, and I will be interested to see where the brand can take this technology. We are still waiting on final details from Longines regarding price and availability, so keep an eye here on ABTW and on longines.com.