BY ERIK SLAVEN
Longines’ Legend Diver series is among the most popular in its vintage-inspired Heritage collection. It’s modeled after the brand’s Super Compressor dive watch from 1959 – ref. 7042. The modern collection launched in 2007 and the classic look has a black dial, but gradient colors have been added such as blue, brown and green. Available case diameters are 42mm and 36mm, and both have been updated for 2022 with new dial colors and straps. Some are exclusive to a particular size, while others are available for both sizes. So, an already healthy collection is expanding even more and I’m certainly not complaining.
The new models aren’t true Super Compressor divers, but the design language is faithful. The polished cases have twin screw-down crowns at 2 and 4 o’clock, one to rotate the internal bezel and the other to set the time/date and wind the movement. Regardless of dial color, the internal bezel is always black with a very legible 60-minute scale in beige (Arabic numerals every 15 minutes). The screw-down case back is solid with an engraving of a scuba diver holding a spear, and water resistance is rated at 300 meters. Specifically, the two case sizes are 42mm in diameter with a thickness of 12.7mm and 36mm in diameter with a thickness of 11.9mm,and the aesthetics are otherwise identical. An ultra-domed sapphire crystal has a retro acrylic look that really completes the package.
The watches themselves haven’t changed from previous models other than the dial colors and straps, but the changes make a big difference. A sand beige dial is available for both case sizes, while ash grey is only for the 42mm case and burgundy only comes with the 36mm. The 36mm model also gets a royal blue dial, which has already been available for the 42mm model. All colors have a gradient effect, getting darker towards the perimeter until a black ring surrounds the beige indices and numerals at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock. This maximizes legibility as all markers pop against a black background, while the rest of the dial flaunts a stylish hue. Many dial elements are also coated with Super-LumiNova and the hour and minute hands have lume inserts. A date window sits at 3 o’clock.
Each case size has its own movement – the 42mm model has the caliber L888.5, which is based on the ETA A31.L11, while the 36mm model has the caliber L592, based on the ETA A20.L11. The main difference is the power reserve, which is 72 hours on the larger model and 45 hours on the smaller one.
Both have silicon balance springs that are anti-magnetic. The L888.5 beats at 25,200vph (contributing the longer power reserve), while the L592 has a faster 4Hz rate. I think the choice still comes down to case size as 45 hours is more than adequate and the other specs are more or less the same in practice.
Strap options for the 42mm models include a beige fabric and ash grey NATO, while the 36mm models get burgundy, blue and beige fabric. As a quick recap, the new gradient dial colors are: 42mm – sand beige and ash grey, 36mm – sand beige, burgundy and royal blue. All models retail for EUR 2,240 or USD 2,400, which are solid prices for such capable, stylish divers from a storied brand. They also come with a 5-year warranty.
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