Does the new Longines HydroConquest GMT signal a collection redesign?Fergus Nash
- The Longines HydroConquest GMT departs from the cult-classic look for a more familiar case shape.
- The green and brown dial options are especially sumptuous, with gold details and colour-matched date wheels.
- The new GMT design may be divisive among HydroConquest fans, but will certainly attract a wider audience.
Longines are one of the biggest players in Swiss watchmaking, especially when it comes to divers. Occupying a wonderful niche of attainable luxury, there aren’t many other brands who can offer the same kind of value for money. The HydroConquest has been one of their key models since the late 2000s, garnering a cult following for its contemporary stature and personality. Well, established fans of the old models could be divided by this new Longines HydroConquest GMT, as it takes on more of a heritage influence in a complete redesign.
Longines reserve historical veracity for their models within the Heritage collection, though watches such as the Spirit range of pilot’s watches have benefitted from an expertly designed vintage flavour. It’s no secret that dive watch sales also tend to benefit from retro inspiration, and so the Longines HydroConquest GMT has undergone some drastic changes. The more modern pieces with their 6, 9, 12 markers are still around for the lovers of the originals, but ironically it’s this new model which doesn’t look as modern. The Arabic numerals have made way for indices, with circles at 6 and 9, and an inverted triangle at 12.
Although the case of the HydroConquest GMT still carries some hallmarks of modernity, its evolution does stray closer to a more familiar and established style. From the stubbier lugs to the more broadly shouldered crown guards, the case design edges closer to the likes of a Submariner than the 2007 HydroConquest. The bracelet follows that pattern too, using an H-link arrangement rather than the wide three-link we’re used to from the collection. It does retain the 41mm diameter, while the height sits at 12.9mm – a little on the taller side, but acceptable considering the complication and 300 metres of water resistance.
Where the new Longines HydroConquest GMT really shines is its colour options and attention to detail. For example, the green and brown-dialled references have darkened date wheels with colour-matched printing, so there isn’t any white to stand out from the creamy fauxtina of the luminous paint. The gold details on those two models are warm and sumptuous, especially on the brown model when surrounded by a brown ceramic bezel. The black and blue models are much more versatile, with a crispness that’s more suited to daily or office wear.
Powering the Longines HydroConquest GMT is the new calibre L844.5, one step up from the one used in the Longines Spirit Zulu Time GMT. It not only boasts a silicon balance spring and 72-hour power reserve, but also uses magnetic-resistant materials for anti-magnetism 10 times stronger than the ISO standard 4,800 A/m, totalling around 600 Gauss. The movement beats at 25,200 vibrations per hour, or 3.5 Hz.
Longines HydroConquest GMT pricing and availability
The Longines HydroConquest GMT is now available from Longines retailers. Price: A$4,225 (NATO-style strap) / A$4,400 (rubber strap or steel bracelet)
|Case Dimensions||41mm (D) x 12.9mm (T)|
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Dial||Black, blue, green, brown|
|Strap||NATO-style strap, rubber strap, or steel bracelet|
|Movement||L844.5, automatic, 3.5 Hz|
|Power Reserve||72 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds, GMT, date|
|Price||A$4,225 (NATO-style strap) / A$4,400 (rubber strap or steel bracelet)|