We love it when Longines reminisces on its past and brings back some of the pieces. You may remember last year I added the Longines Legend Diver Heritage to the Christmas Buyer’s Guide. For $2,300 you’d get a true diving watch with twin crowns, one for adjusting the time and one for adjusting the diving bezel.
This is another Longines piece back for some more of the action with a modernised design and specs that we’ll go through later on. But is this watch a zombie or have they created something beautiful?
Well for starters it looks epic. I’ve always said to myself that even if the movements aren’t in house any more Longines Heritage pieces always look amazing and this one is no different. First there’s the subtle claret coloured bezel with the correct diving markers on it as well as 12 hour indicators. Because this is a dive watch and not a pilot’s watch the bezel on this will only rotate in one direction. As on all dive watches with a bezel, you can use it to plan a dive and calculate how much air is left in the cylinder(s).
In case of knocks or bombs under water, the bezel on a dive watch is ratcheted, meaning it will go one way only, counter clockwise. This means if it does get knocked and you don’t notice it you’ll come up to the surface earlier than planned, which is always better than later. Although almost all divers use a sophisticated computer to help them out, some find the nostalgia of wearing a mechanical piece designed for diving a great feeling, myself included.
On the inner bezel of the watch is a tachymeter scale which works in unison with the chronograph seconds hand. The other chronograph registers are at 3 O’clock for the hours and 9 O’clock for the minutes. There’s also a sub seconds dial at 6 O’clock but rather than style it the same as the other two sub dials, Longines instead opted to simply apply indicators to the black dial, rather than fit a creamy sub dial. There’s also a date window at half past 4 on the dial.
The original Longines Diver Chronograph ref. 7981 from 1967
The movement in this piece is an automatic L688.2 movement and is sat inside a 42mm case. The water resistance of this watch is 300m which is pretty much the standard for a diving watch. Also, to help with legibility under water, the hands and hour markers are given a small amount of SuperLumiNova. You won’t find any movements on display around the back of the watch, sadly, but there is an image of a scuba diver instead. The watch is available in steel on a bracelet (as shown), but both a rubber strap or a leather strap are also available. For more info, please visit longines.com
First introduced to horology with the Patek Philippe Calibre 89 by his father few years ago, Harlan enjoys his passion for fine horology. He prefers to spend his time in the boutiques of upmarket brands, trying out new pieces constantly. His preferred 3 brands are A. Lange & Söhne, Breguet and Vacheron Constantin. Although not much for the smaller brands, he still finds the complications intriguing and wishes to own one watch from each of his three favourites. Read his articles here.