Re-issues seem to be popular the last few years. Especially the revival of the super compressor dive watches is quite remarkable.
In my ‘chronicle‘ on Worldtempus.com i write about the popularity of the re-issues the last few years. Although TAG Heuer already started with re-issues in the late nineties, most other brands are catching up the last few years. Among others Omega, Jaeger LeCoultre and IWC presented some lovely re-issues. In my opinion Longines came with the most striking of them all…. the Legend Diver.
Super compressors are dive watches pur sang. Together with other dive watches with external dive bezel, like the Rolex Submariner and Sea-Dweller and the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, they are the most important representatives of vintage dive watches. Since the very first time i saw a vintage super compressor, quite some years ago already, i liked them. So you can imagine i was very exited when Longines presented the Legend Diver at Baselworld 2007.
Several years ago i owned a vintage Lusina super compressor, shown in the small photo. Due to it’s small size, around 35mm without crown if i remember it corerct, i sold it again. Visually this is however a perfect example of a super compressor.
Virtually all super compressors have two crowns. There are some super compressors with three crowns, like the Jaeger LeCoultre Memovox Polaris. Last year Jaeger LeCoultre released a re-issue this model, a tribute to the Memovox Polaris. The third crown is for adjusting the alarm function, typical for all Jaeger LeCoultre memovox models.
A super compressors can be identified by their crosshatch engraved dual crowns. The lower crown winds & sets the movement, the upper crown turns the rotating inner bezel. Most vintage super compressors have large 5 minute markers and small minute markers on the dial, often complimented with roman numbers at 3, 6, 9 and 12. Because super compressor are dive watches, they need a rotating bezel to keep track of the dive time. Most other dive watches have an external dive bezel, but the super compressors have an inner rotating bezel.
Since the release of the Longines Legend Diver in 2007, Jaeger LeCoultre and IWC also released a re-issue of a super compressor. This year Longines comes with two new Legend Divers, featuring a date function, in rose gold and in steel.
All Legend Diver models have a 42mm case with a domed sapphire crystal. This dive watch is waterproof to 300 meters and of course has the typical internal rotating bezel. When i asked the local Longines AD, juweler van Willegen, if it was possible to get a closer look at the new Legend Diver with date, i was surprised to hear they had a rose gold version. I haven’t seen a press release from Longines, so only more reason to show some photos 🙂
Although i’m no fan of divewatches in precious metal, but this one is just stunning. And i had some more doubts… After seeing a few photos of the new Legend Diver with date i thought adding the date function was a bad choice. But again, after seeing it in the metal i must admit it looks very good.
The cool thing is that Longines prized the Legend Diver with date the same as the previous model without date. And i might add it is a very friendly price for such an amazing watch. In the Netherlands the list price of the Legend Diver in steel is € 1440,-, in rose gold it is available for € 5050,-.
Many thanx to juweler van Willegen in The Hague for letting me take some photos. Of course they have this watch available… and if you’re lazy or have no time you can always order it online from Ace Jewelers.
Read my second ‘chronicle‘ about the popularity of re-issues on Worldtempus.com.