Launched in 2007, the HydroConquest is Longines’ answer to a contemporary dive watch with all the features of a resilient 300m water-resistant diving instrument at an accessible price. Apart from its practical features for divers, for many non-professional divers, the solidity of a dive watch makes it a perfect companion for outdoor adventures. The good news is that Longines is upping the functionality of the HydroConquest with the incorporation of a practical GMT complication. With its redesigned 41mm case and bracelet and new anti-magnetic in-house calibre, the HydroConquest GMT makes its debut with four attractive dial colours.
As one of Switzerland’s oldest (founded in 1832) and most respected brands, it might not come as a surprise that Longines had developed a wristwatch with multiple time zone functions as early as 1925. GMT watches allow you to consult the time simultaneously in two different time zones, usually local and home time. This very watch is the spiritual inspiration behind the Longines Spirit Zulu Time for instance.
Similar to the original HydroConquest 41mm case, some design aspects were tweaked for the new GMT collection. Although the thickness of the case has only increased to 12.9mm (compared to 11.9mm on the regular HydroConquest), the unidirectional rotating bezel has wider notches and the crown guards protecting the screw-down crown are less angular with a more rounded shape. True to its function as a dive watch, the all-important 15-minute countdown area of the glossy ceramic insert on the bezel is highlighted with minute markers and the triangle at noon has a luminescent dot.
Most of the case displays a matte brushed finish, perfect for a tool watch that doesn’t want to shine too much or expose its polished surfaces to scratches. However, certain areas like the crown, the notches on the bezel and the inner link of the bracelet are polished to add a bit of contrast. The H links of the stainless steel bracelet have also been redesigned, and for the first time at Longines, the bracelet is equipped with a micro-adjustment clasp.
Available in four colours – green, brown, black or blue – the dial has an attractive sunray finish and, depending on the colour selected, gilt of silver-coloured hands and hour markers. Since the bezel maintains its countdown functionality, the GMT function is displayed via a 24-hour scale on the inner flange. Making a sharp distinction between night and day, the bezel is two-tone in colours that complement the dial. The hand indicating the 24-hour scale has a prominent arrow-shaped tip with luminescent material matching the one used on the hands and indices.
A signature HydroConquest trait, the large hour hand with a diamond-shaped area filled with Super-LumiNova has a flat central facet to avoid any unwanted reflections. The longer minutes hand has a luminous centre and the lollipop zone of the central seconds hand is also luminescent. Another difference that sets this GMT model apart from the regular HydroConquest line is the use of rectangular, round and triangular hour markers replacing the large Arabic numerals found at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock. The date window, which might be a bone of contention for a diver, is actually very useful in a GMT context and appears here at 3 o’clock with a bevelled aperture. Also important to note is the fact this is a proper traveller’s watch, a so-called “flyer” GMT.
Beneath the redesigned screw-down steel caseback – now with an engraving of a globe and the winged hourglass beneath – is Longines’ new GMT calibre equipped with a silicon balance spring and innovative non-magnetic components. The automatic in-house calibre L844.5 is ten times more resistant to magnetic fields than the ISO 764 standard. Beating at a frequency of 25,200vph, it delivers a robust 72-hour power reserve.
The black and blue dial versions of the HydroConquest GMT come with a stainless steel bracelet with micro-adjustment and a double-safety folding clasp or a rubber strap; the green and brown dials also come with a stainless steel bracelet or a khaki or beige NATO strap made from recycled material. The models with a steel bracelet or a rubber strap retail for CHF 2,600; those with a NATO strap for CHF 2,500.
For more information, please consult longines.com.