At its core, the Longines Legend Diver stands as one of the most wearable and enduringly popular vintage-inspired dive watches on the market. It’s not just about looks; it delivers on every front – from the celebrated design DNA to robust water resistance and a reliable workhorse movement. What sets it apart is the super-compressor case, featuring twin crowns and an internally rotating dive bezel.
The super-compressor case has its roots in the late ’50s with the ref. 7042, marking the dawn of recreational scuba diving. Its unique design tightened the case against moisture incision as water pressure increased, making it a pioneer in maintaining structural integrity. The dual-crown configuration we see today became an iconic hallmark, with the rotating dive bezel relocated under the crystal above the dial.
First re-released in 2007, the Legend Diver has seen various references, mostly preserving the original 42mm proportions of the 1959 ref. 7042. The 2023 version introduces an all-new stainless steel 39mm case, finding a sweet spot between the original and the smaller “ladies” size. Despite the size reduction, proportions are maintained at a thickness of 12.7mm, adorned with a blend of brushed and polished finishes.
The screw-down dual crowns, adorned with a cross-hatched pattern, add a touch of elegance. One operates the bi-directional rotating bezel at 2 o’clock, while the other at 4 o’clock manages time and winding. The solid steel caseback, depicting a vintage scuba diver holding a speargun, ensures a rock-solid 300m water resistance.
The black and navy blue dials, featuring crisp white Super-LumiNova and printed markings, mark a departure from the creamier aged-looking dials of previous models. This fresh design feels contemporary and aligns with modern aesthetics, a move less contentious in the collector community.
A standout feature of the new range is the option for an extremely comfortable beads-of-rice bracelet, a nod to early diving watches. Tapering down to a double-folding clasp for maximum comfort, the polished center links and vertically brushed outer links create a captivating contrast.
Driving the 2023 Legend Diver is the automatic calibre L888.6 movement, boasting antimagnetic qualities from a silicon balance spring, improved accuracy with COSC certification, and an impressive 72-hour power reserve.
The collection is currently available online and from Longines boutiques, with a recommended retail price of $5,300 AUD.