Longines is a way more dynamic model than many within the watch world give it credit score for.
As certainly one of Swatch Group’s mid-tier marques, the Saint Imier-founded horological juggernaut crested $1.2B in income in 2022, having remodeled 50 million timepieces since 1832. Given these figures and its market positioning, one would possibly suspect a “spray and pray” method to watchmaking — and certainly, there’s a few of that at play — however the model’s technique has confirmed downright prescient at occasions: Certainly, it was Longines that heralded the approaching of the “classic watch reissue” increase of the 2010s/2020s with the 2007 introduction of its Legend Diver (which has since expanded with gobs of equally nostalgic fashions).
Likewise, Longines has supplied up dozens of comparatively reasonably priced watches within the vein of, nicely, numerous different extremely well-liked watches which are much less reasonably priced. Diehard watch fanatics (learn: snobs like me) would possibly discover the 2007 HydroConquest dive watch a bit too spinoff of the Rolex Submariner, for instance — however I for one get it. Cue some Swiss model of Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine: “We within the enterprise of sellin’ watches, and lemme inform ya — enterprise is a-boomin’!” (One other level we’ve heard made by Longines executives: You wanna promote heaps of watches? Put date home windows on them.) Level being: Longines isn’t any area of interest, privately-owned marque catering to we fanatics. These persons are in Macy’s, for God’s sake.
Nevertheless. Swinging again within the fanatic path, for a remark, takes us to at the moment’s information: Particularly, the discharge of the HydroConquest GMT, a mix diver-GMT with a “caller” GMT perform — credit score to James Stacey for the time period for a dual-time watch with an independently adjustable native 12-hour hand, like that of the Rolex GMT-Grasp — and each a standard dive bezel in addition to a 24-hour scale. Now that’s a watch I’d put on the shit out of!
Why? As somebody who’s continuously on the street (and continuously conserving monitor of individuals in numerous time zones across the globe) I like the thought of a GMT-equipped watch. Nevertheless, I’m additionally a type of merry few weirdos who truly makes use of the dive bezel on his dive look ahead to all kinds of stuff, from timing segments of my follow routine on the guitar, to timing laundry within the dryer, to — nicely — precise dive timing. (You recognize — like, underwater, and stuff.) On prime of that, given my frequent journey, a GMT watch with regionally adjustable hours is a pleasant contact, as this makes altering one’s native time zone — versus one which one is monitoring — a cinch. Imagine it or not, all these items collectively represent a tricky characteristic set to search out in a watch.
Which is why the brand new HydroConquest is fairly darn thrilling. Would I choose it in a bundle that’s much less spinoff of a Submariner? Certain. However do I additionally get that Longines is within the enterprise of sellin’ watches? Sure. Sure I do. So with out additional torching and pitchforking, let’s dive in, we could?
The brand new HydroConquest GMT is a 41mm chrome steel watch measuring 12.9mm thick, which undercuts a watch like Tudor’s Black Bay GMT (a fantastic friggin’ watch, for the file) by about 2mm. It does this through the inclusion of the brand new Longines Caliber L844.5, which is produced by ETA, a Swatch Group-owned, Swiss motion producer. (This motion itself is a notable growth, as till pretty not too long ago, there’s been a dearth of third party-produced GMT actions with independently adjustable native 12-hour palms.) All that is welcome information for many who want to put on the watch in additional formal settings — ones during which it ought to conceivably slip underneath a shirt cuff, for instance.
Out there in 4 dial colours, the HydroConquest GMT comes both on an identical chrome steel Oyster-style bracelet, a rubber dive strap, or nylon NATO strap, the primary two of which characteristic a micro-adjust clasp. Catering to varied tastes, there’s a traditional black dial choice; a blue variant; a cool OD-green variant; and eventually, a brown variant that appears vaguely “tropicalized” — and all of those sport a good-looking sunray end. Water resistance measures a helpful 300m, and a ceramic bezel insert with a diving scale fastened upon a unidirectional bezel makes for a distinctly fashionable timing instrument.
Bear in mind the bit about this watch being a combination-diver/GMT? Take a detailed take a look at the dial and also you’ll see a 24-hour scale across the periphery. This, when mixed with the watch’s fourth GMT hand, permits for monitoring of a second time zone, whereas the dive bezel permits for standard dive timing. In the meantime, ample Tremendous-LumiNova offers the much-needed legibility all of us crave in low-light environments, and a date window at 3 o’clock makes journey and straightforward time zone adjustments a cinch.
A “weekend-proof” 72-hour energy reserve, genuinely helpful performance, numerous dial choices, attractiveness — the HydroConquest GMT has fairly a bit going for it. However what about worth? You’re $2,675 for the NATO-equipped model or $2,775 for the rubber or steel-paired references. So considerably lower than, for instance, Tudor’s vintage-inspired divers and GMT watches, however definitely greater than easier fare from the likes of varied microbrands on the sub-$1,000 worth level. Actually, nonetheless, neither firm has a watch matching the HydroConquest GMT’s specific remit, with combined diver/GMT options.
Let me be frank: The Longines HydroConquest GMT will not be an ideal watch, nevertheless it’s a watch that’s going to make a lot of folks very, very blissful. Even we choosy fanatics!
- Diameter: 41mm
- Motion: Longines Caliber L844.5 automated
- Water Resistance: 300m
- Particular Options: GMT performance; dive bezel
- Value: $2,675-$2,775
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