The heritage trend has definitely saturated the marketplace with virtually every manufacturer looking to their past to create interest in their products. Some do this better than others. With the current ubiquity of the faux-patinated aesthetic, designs have to be pushed even further to stand out. Re-interpretations of heritage designs typically signal that the design is largely unchanged besides minor elements being modernised to ensure they are faithful tributes. Longines, however, has taken a more interesting route of late – leveraging heritage frameworks but issuing them with new skins that cater to modern trends. We saw the Longines BigEye Avigation freshen up a past design with a shaded petrol blue dial. Now a similar shade of smoked blue lacquer has been introduced to the Longines Legend Divers collection, alongside a smoked coffee brown lacquer dial for those hankering for a warmer aesthetic.
The dimensions remain the same as the original 2007 black dial model that helped usher in the vintage-inspired trend with its stainless-steel case 42mm in diameter (just like the original 7402 diver it was inspired by), 12.7mm thick, and 52.4mm lug to lug. The 300 metre water-resistant watch has a screw-down caseback, as well as two screw-down crowns – one to control the inner timing bezel and the other to adjust the time and date. Interestingly, although a dive watch, the case is entirely mirror polished – a finish typically associated with elegance rather than utility. The result is a very classy wearer that you can rest assured is as robust as it is stylishly sporty.
There are two fume style dials to choose from, a blue dial (reminiscent of the shaded petrol blue on the BigEye Avigation watch) and a chocolate/coffee brown dial. Both have their merits. Each have coloured inner dials that fade to black as you reach the outboard hour indices, minutes track, and inner timing bezel. The heritage quirk to the dial is sage-toned indicators for the hours, minutes, and inner bezel timing scale. There are 12′, 6′, 9′ hour Arabic numerals with a three replaced by a date window that blends well into each dial tone with a sage on black date disc. My one nitpicking critique is that the SuperLuminova® is a pale green akin to when tritium patinates to that less desired hue than the warmer sage or creamy tone. You’ll see each hour baton or numeral has a corresponding square or rectangular luminous pip in green. If they had kept it uniform in colour, I personally think it would have better tied the youthful vintage look together.
The strap pairings I have mixed feelings about. They definitely pair very nicely with each watch, the blue dial matched with a blue structured leather strap and the brown dial with a vintage brown leather strap. But as a diver, I would have preferred both of these offerings to be on the bracelet we have seen in previous Longines Legend Divers. The bracelet is better suited for water activity, a large selling point when buying a 300 metre water-resistant diver such as this. Above the surface, the straps definitely create a more fun and colourful aesthetic, but I can’t help but wonder if perhaps tropical rubber straps in these tones would have better suited the watches.
Inside this vintage and value-driven diver is the Longines calibre L888.5 (base ETA A31.L11). The automatic movement has 64 hours of power reserve, a quirky beat rate of 25,200 vph, hacking seconds, a date complication, and most notably: a silicon balance-spring. Silicon offers a greater level of anti-magnetism than more traditional hairsprings and, while some traditionalists are hesitant to adopt the technology, it is an absolute must nowadays to stay competitive with other offerings in the marketplace.
2021 Longines Legend Divers pricing and availability:
The 2021 Longines Legend Divers are available now via Longines boutiques, authorized dealers, and online at Longines.com
Price: $3625 AUD
Made in partnership with Longines. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.