If we’re guilty of one thing when it comes to Longines watches here at Time+Tide, it’s that we maybe focus a little too hard on their heritage heat. It’s something that Andrew realised a while back when he explored their outstanding Master collection, and it’s something I realised at Basel when I saw the latest generation HydroConquest.
Yup, the Longines HydroConquest was the recipient of a pretty serious upgrade in 2018, making the sporty line a serious contender in its price point. This diver, offered as an automatic in 43 and 41mm case sizes, comes in a few flavours: black, blue or this new option — grey. Aside from the colourway, the big change here is the bezel, offered now in shimmering ceramic, which is very well matched to the sunray dial. But the material isn’t the only change to the bezel. It looks a bit sleeker, with simple hash marks and 10-minute interval numbers instead of the numbers, broad marks and minute dots of the outgoing design. The dial is a little simpler, too — the date and oversized numerals at the cardinal points are still there, but the dot-plus-hour-marker layout has been simplified to just dots. From the front on, this cosmetic makeover is a clean and welcome update. The case is still the classic HydroConquest, rated to 300m, and possessed of that large, and almost aggressively angular crown guard, which gives the watch a very modern feel. With its long lugs and large crown, I think the 41mm is plenty of watch, but the larger watch size is a good option to have if you’re a believer that bigger is better.
The version we shot is the 43mm on a pretty classic steel bracelet — hard to go too wrong there — but the new textured rubber straps are well worth checking out too. The movement is (naturally) ETA, the L888.2, based on the slim 2892 — a worthy choice, and just what we’d expect for a watch with this sort of sticker price.
On the whole, I’m a big fan of this updated HydroConquest (even though it’s not heritage). It’s a solid, well-built watch, and a great contender for a range of duties. The finishes ensure it can pull off dress diver duties, but it’s strong enough to handle most knocks you could throw at it.
Longines HydroConquest Australian pricing
Longines HydroConquest 43mm, on bracelet, $2100