The Longines Legend Diver is certainly the most emblematic watch from the brand’s Heritage collection. Based on a 1960s diver’s watch with a typical compressor case, Longines revived this model in a modern way in 2007 and the watch has now become a collection with multiple versions, all equipped with a date display (which was added in 2012). For 2020, the winged-hourglass brand introduces a new edition of the classic LLD, which not only features a bronze case and gradient dark green dial, but also marks the comeback of the no-date display. We take a closer look at the new Longines Legend Diver Bronze.
The modern Legend Diver is a faithful recreation of a very desirable dive watch created by Longines in the early 1960s, the Ref. 7042. This watch featured an oversized compressor case – with twin crowns and an internal rotating bezel – as well as a highly recognisable, rather elegant black dial with painted, luminous Arabic numerals and elongated minute markers.
At Baselworld 2007, Longines reintroduced this design with the Legend Diver. It featured a glossy black dial, a 42mm steel case with 300m water-resistance, the same compressor architecture with internal bezel and, at least for the first years, a no-date display. The look was great, the price was right, the quality beyond reproach. A true success story. The model was later updated with a date window at 3 o’clock.
More recently, Longines created variants of the LLD in addition to the classic steel and black dial version. For instance, a more feminine 36mm edition was introduced, as well as a bold black PVD-coated model with a textured rubber strap. In addition to these visual updates, the movement (with date) was also upgraded, moving from a standard ETA ébauche to a more efficient automatic movement named L888., with extended power reserve and anti-magnetic silicon balance spring.
The addition of a date on the LLD was not really appreciated by some enthusiasts and, following the launch of the date model, early versions of Legend Diver became quite collectable. The collecting community was asking for a comeback of the no-date display, which the brand teased with earlier this year with the Poland-only gold limited edition. But today, the No-Date LLD is back, and without limitation of production.
The Longines Legend Diver Bronze
The launch of this new model comes with several pleasing announcements. First of all, it looks quite stunning with this combination of bronze and a green dial. Second, as mentioned above, the LLD is back with its handsome no-date display. Will this also impact the steel edition in the near future? While we can’t be sure, we clearly hope for it.
Back to the Longines Legend Diver Bronze. Basically, regarding the overall design of the watch, no surprises here. The elements that have made the success of the original LLD are still present. The case, while now made of bronze, still measures 42mm in diameter and approx. 13.5mm in height – and still with its relatively long lugs. The surface is entirely brushed and, as always with bronze, it will gain oxidation patina over time (depending on how you wear the watch). And the colour of bronze, contrasting with the dark dial, really suits the overall old-school look of the Legend Diver; the LLD is a watch that has always looked great in warm metals, such as rose gold, which somehow enhances its vintage appeal.
Like the watch that inspired its creation, the Longines Legend Diver Bronze is a so-called compressor, with an internal rotating bezel actuated by a secondary crown – here positioned at 2 o’clock. Both crowns are screwed and have a chequered pattern. The watch is equipped with a highly domed sapphire crystal, providing the desired vintage touch and some cool distortions. For hypoallergenic reasons, the caseback (with the classic diver’s emblem) is made of titanium. The watch is still rated for 300m water-resistance.
In addition to the case’s material, the second important evolution on this Longines Legend Diver Bronze is its dial. First and foremost, the date window that is positioned at 3 o’clock on the steel version has been removed and is replaced by an Arabic 3 numeral – and as such, returns to the classic look of both the vintage watch and the 2007 model. Second, the colour of this version is also new. Longines opted for a lacquered gradient style dial with a very discreet hint of green in the centre and black on the periphery. The hands are sandblasted and rose gold-coloured to match the case. The rest of the elements, however, have been retained, including the elongated minute and hour markers, the historical logos and the arrow-shaped hour hand.
While Longines isn’t per se a manufacture (the brand doesn’t produce movements), it can rely on Swatch Group’s production tools, such as ETA, to provide solid and accurate automatic movements made according to its own requirements. As such, the Legend Diver Bronze is equipped with the proprietary calibre L888.5, a self-winding movement based on an ETA 2892, later upgraded with a longer power reserve of 64 hours, a frequency of 3.5Hz and a silicon balance spring for anti-magnetic properties.
The Longines Legend Diver Bronze is presented on a smooth brown leather strap with vintage beige stitching. An additional green NATO nylon strap and a tool to swap straps are also included. The watch benefits from a 5-year warranty.
Availability & price
The Longines Legend Diver Bronze No-Date (Ref. L3.7220.127.116.11) will be released as part of the permanent collection (not limited). It will be priced at CHF 2,800.
More details at www.longines.com.