Longines is one of the few brands that has mastered the craft of creating historically accurate modern re-issues of popular vintage references. A short while back, the Saint-Imier based brand, released the modern avatar of its Silver Arrow watch from 1955. And now, Longines is back with two new stunning variations of the famous Legend Diver, featuring blue and brown gradient dials.
When it was released in 2007, the Legend Diver re-issue caused quite a stir in the dive watch community for offering a great blend of authentic vintage looks and modern build quality. Since then, the watch has created a cult following for itself, and thankfully, these new 2021 Legend Diver variations stick to the good old recipe for the most part. So, what that means is you still get the same 42mm bold stainless-steel housing with long lugs to offer a nice presence on the wrist. Being a super compressor style case there are two crowns at 2 and 4, and both have been threaded, to ensure 300 meters of water resistance. A domed sapphire crystal protects the face of the watch, whereas the case back is closed and has been decorated using a deeply stamped motif of a diver.
The dial is where these new watches receive their biggest update. While the 2007 re-edition came equipped with a Matt black dial, the 2021 variations come with colorful blue and brown fume dials. The gradient effect is well-executed and accentuates visual interest by starting with a lighter tone at the center and culminating into an almost blackish hue towards the outer periphery. On the layout front, you still get a combination of rectangles and Arabic numerals for hours and long hash marks for minutes. All the details have been printed in beige color to offer a retro vibe. Furthermore, every marker features a strip of luminous paint, which combined with lumed hour and minute hands should make it easy to read the time in dimly lit situations. There is a date window at 3, which is functional, but it does disturb the symmetry of the dial especially compared to the 2007 release. Finally, on the outer periphery of the dial is a rotating diving scale, that can be operated using the crown at 2.
Like their Heritage siblings, these new watches come equipped with modern internals. Ticking inside these watches is the Longines calibre L888.5. An automatic movement, the L888.5 is a heavily modified version of the ETA 2892. It operates at a frequency of 3.5Hz and offers an autonomy of around 64 hours. The movement also features a highly anti-magnetic silicon balance spring that improves accuracy and enables Longines to offer these watches with a 5-year warranty.