Introducing The New Longines HydroConquest GMT Watches

When did the Longines HydroConquest start looking so good?


For once in a long while I’m taking a break from writing about Only Watch timepieces, and it’s quite refreshing. We’re looking at a piece from Longines which has become more and more eye-catching in recent years up until now when it’s become downright desirable. 

The Longines HydroConquest is the brand’s flagship diving watch among the many that it makes. It’s been around since 2007 and has done well, but it took a while for it to become attractive at least to my eyes. We last looked at the HydroConquest watches last year, and it seems that Longines has followed my train of thought entirely with the newest generation. So, you’re welcome.

The way Longines seems to have updated the HydroConquest is by making them look more like the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean than they already did. From some angles, the new watches look very similar to the Planet Ocean, especially now that Longines has removed the huge Arabic markers at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock in favour of circles and triangles. I will say though that this resemblance does seem to depend on which of the many colour combinations you go for. Omega, to my knowledge, doesn’t make the Planet Ocean with a green or brown dial, the black dial version looks closer to it, though, and the blue one looks very similar to my eyes.

The bezel doesn’t appear to have changed much, the font remains thin and the bezel insert is made of ceramic with a lume pip in the usual place. One mistake that Longines hasn’t made that I think Omega made with the Planet Ocean GMT is to mix the bezels around. There is quite clearly a diving bezel with 60-minute graduations and one direction of turning, but there are 24-hour GMT markers around the outer circumference of the dial allowing for the telling of two timezones at any time.

Behind the new dial is a new movement, the calibre L844.5 which is ETA-based. Lots of people like to comment how disappointing using a bought-in movement, but I think that just stems from some strange rumours about in-house movements being better somehow. Further, it makes sense given that Swatch, which owns Longines, also owns ETA. Anyway, the new movement has a 3.5Hz beat rate and a long 72-hour power reserve. 

The movement is hidden behind a redesigned solid caseback, and around it sits a brushed and polished stainless steel case measuring 41mm x 12.9mm. The strap options are plentiful, too, with plenty of colourful NATOs on offer. There’s also a redesigned stainless steel H-link bracelet as well and, for the first time, a folding clasp with micro adjustment.

The pricing is reasonable, too, at CHF2500 on a NATO strap or CHF2600 on the bracelet.