Longines x Otis Hope Carey is a stylish and significant Australian watch collaboration Longines x Otis Hope Carey is a stylish and significant Australian watch collaboration

Longines x Otis Hope Carey is a stylish and significant Australian watch collaboration

Jamie Weiss

Longines is a brand that’s always particularly resonated with Australians – to many Aussies, Longines is shorthand for ‘doing well’. It used to be that if you were making a bit of money, you’d get yourself a DolceVita or a Master. It was just the done thing. This is why it’s so significant that Longines has become the first luxury watch brand to collaborate with an Indigenous Australian artist, teaming up with Gumbaynggirr/Bundjalung man, rising art star and former pro surfer Otis Hope Carey on a collection of four unique NATO straps featured on the Longines HydroConquest GMT.

otis hope carey
Otis Hope Carey. Image courtesy of Longines

I had the chance to chat with Otis about the collaboration, the significance of his signature motifs and what it means to work with a brand like Longines – you can read my interview with him here. Following that interview, I had the chance to experience the collaboration for myself by wearing it out and about for a week. Sadly, I didn’t get to take it surfing (sorry Otis), but it was a treat to be able to experience this Australian collaboration for myself.

Strap in

longines hydroconquest gmt otis hope carey in hand

Let’s start with the strap first, as it’s the focus of the collaboration and its most transformative element. A special edition NATO strap created from recycled materials, it’s available in four different colours: black, blue, orange and green. It’s the latter that I had the chance to review, paired with the green-dialled HydroConquest GMT. Otis explains that the black variant is the ‘base design’ that the other colours were iterated from, with the different colours inspired by the flora and natural features of Australia’s beautiful coastal headlands. All four straps look great, but I’m quite drawn to the green-on-green. It’s on trend, don’t you know?

longines hydroconquest gmt otis hope carey strap

Comfortable and textural, the black and white lines that pockmark the green of the strap create a surprisingly eye-catching effect – the strap dramatically changes the HydroConquest GMT from being a handsome but conventional dive watch to a real statement piece. The juxtaposition between the HydroConquest GMT’s traditional tool watch aesthetic and the organic, dynamic vibe of the strap is visually very pleasing. For those of you who might be sceptical about how much a simple NATO strap can change the look of a watch, look no further.

Aesthetically the strap is great, but one gripe I have is its length. It’s really long. I’ve got pretty big wrists but as you can see from our photos, I was wearing the watch on the strap’s third-tightest hole. However, I suspect these hole placements intend to facilitate wearing the watch over a wetsuit, befitting Otis’ use case as a surfer and the HydroConquest’s positioning as a proper tool watch.

The significance of Otis Hope Carey’s design

longines hydroconquest gmt otis hope carey crown out

It’s worth talking about the significance of Otis’ design for these special edition straps, as they’re not just pretty patterns. “The artworks I designed for this collaboration are a direct reference to my spiritual connection with the ocean,” Otis explains. “The body of work I have used in this collaboration with Longines is the totem of my Gumbaynggirr people. In our native tongue, we call the ocean Gaagal. The ocean is always there when you need it so I thought it would be fitting to carry the ocean not only with me in my heart and soul but on my wrist with a beautiful watch face.”

For a watch that’s intended to be used in nature; in the ocean, I can’t think of anything more fitting or meaningful. It’s exceptionally classy and elevates this collaboration far beyond your usual luxury brand and artist collab.

Hang on, what about the watch?

longines hydroconquest gmt otis hope carey bezel

While the substance of the Otis Hope Carey collaboration is the four NATO straps, it’s worth talking a bit about the watches they’re paired with, too. The HydroConquest GMT takes Longines’ sporty modern dive watch and adds a GMT hand, adding to the popular timepiece’s functionality and subtly modifying its aesthetic. Its fundamental look is the same – same ceramic unidirectional diving bezel, same brilliant sunray dial, same bullet-shaped crown, same 300m of water resistance – but have a closer look and you’ll notice a few changes beyond the additional hour hand.

longines hydroconquest gmt otis hope carey dial

Firstly, to facilitate that GMT hand, the HydroConquest GMT’s dial now features a thin 24-hour graduated chapter ring. More substantially, the Arabic numerals at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock that grace the three-handed HydroConquest have been swapped out for a lume-filled arrow at 12 and two circular pips at 6 and 9. I appreciate this change – while those large Arabic numerals help give the HydroConquest stand out among the pack, they’re a bit unwieldy. I also like the slight asymmetry the circular pips bring to the dial: they actually help balance the date window at 3 o’clock, I feel. Oh, and that date window? It’s colour-matched. A big tick in my book.

longines hydroconquest gmt otis hope carey profile

Ergonomically, the HydroConquest GMT maintains the same 41mm case diameter and 50mm lug-to-lug of the standard HydroConquest but is 1mm thicker at 12.9mm to accommodate its Longines L844.4 movement, which is based on the Longines-exclusive ETA A31.411 and boasts a silicon balance spring plus an appealing 72-hour power reserve. This movement also powers the Longines Spirit Zulu Time, which we’ve also reviewed recently.

Closing thoughts

longines hydroconquest gmt otis hope carey pocket

“My approach to painting is bold and masculine yet soft and feminine, and that’s exactly how I see Longines’ approach to watches,” Otis has said of his collaboration with the Saint-Imier brand. In my opinion, that also beautifully describes this collaboration: it takes Longines’ tough, bold dive watch and gives it a softer, more vivacious look thanks to Otis’ beautiful, heartfelt artwork. It radically transforms the watch… Which is already a pretty compelling proposition in its own right. Hats off to Otis Hope Carey and Longines for bringing something so different to the watch game – hopefully, we’ll see other Indigenous Australian artists collaborate with luxury artists like this.

Longines x Otis Hope Carey pricing and availability

The Longines x Otis Hope Carey collaboration is now available from Longines retailers. The Otis Hope Carey straps are purchased separately from the watch: the straps retail for A$299 while the HydroConquest GMT retails at A$4,575 on a steel bracelet and A$4,400 on a standard non-collaboration NATO strap. Therefore, the complete package starts at A$4,699 – although if it was me, I’d buy the watch on the bracelet (just to have the option), which would bump the price up to A$4,874.

Brand Longines
Model HydroConquest GMT + Longines x Otis Hope Carey
Reference Number (as tested) L3.790.4.06 (watch)
L682171018 (strap)
Case Dimensions 41mm (D) x 12.9mm (T) x 50mm (LTL)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 300m
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Black, blue, green or brown sunray
Strap Otis Hope Carey-designed recycled NATO strap in black, blue, green or orange
Movement Longines L844.4, ETA A31.411 base, automatic, silicon balance spring
Power Reserve 72 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, GMT, date
Availability Available now
Price Longines HydroConquest GMT: from A$4,400
Longines x Otis Hope Carey strap: A$299