Editor’s note: Ever since its release, I have picked up a lot of chatter on even though the new Longines Legend Diver Fume Brown is a stunning watch, the large lug-to-lug is a turn-off. I have been wanting to test this out, and am glad to note that despite my slim~16cm wrists, the watch wore fine. There may be an overhang, but the watch case architecture and dial design negate that visually. And it is currently available at official retailer Linda & Co Designer Jewellers for only 3’190 AUD. For our detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here.
Fast & Furious
“The right ingredients can create a legend,” said Coco Chanel. True to its nomenclature, the new Longines Legend Diver Fume Brown features just the right mixture of elements that lend it a distinctive vibe and make it a stellar offering for the price.
The vintage-inspired Legend diver re-issue made its first swim in a black avatar back in 2017, and has since managed to retain the same charm but in various iterations.
Besides this new version, we also briefly checked out two other existing models — the ref. L3.7188.8.131.52 and ref. L3.7184.108.40.206 — and they all sit well as part of the one family but bring their own characteristics and unique talents to the mix, somewhat like Dominic “Dom” Toretto’s Fast & Furious franchise family.
On The Wrist
The watch comes as a 42mm in diameter — 46mm with the crown — and 12.6mm thick all polished stainless-steel cased beauty, with a closed caseback, a 22mm lug interhorn spacing, and a decent weight of 86g.
The Bronze version ref. L3.7220.127.116.11 on the the other hand features the same diameter of 42mm but a slightly larger 52.4mm lug-to-lug reading and is a bit more thick at 13.2mm.
I like how both of these are a bit different on the wrist in terms of dimensions and do not simply bear the different bronze material and dial colour, lending to watch collectors more opportunity to include both in their burgeoning collections.
There is also something else I noticed that increased my personal interest in the watch, given I have slimmer ~16cm wrists and conventionally any lug-to-lug reading of <50mm is a no-go zone for me.
But here, I am happily willing to make an exception.
The ref. L3.718.104.22.168 we are reviewing today features a domed sapphire crystal that reads at 38mm. Then the main central fume dial without the internal bezel is 28mm only, lending it a more slim wrist friendly appearance.
I appreciate how the watch may not be very small with long slender lugs coming in at 52mm lug-to-lug, but thanks to the internal layout and smaller domed crystal, it will work well for both slim and large wrists.
So before you say no to this simply based on the lug-to-lug measurements, I would recommend trying it on first. And for those who are still wary of the sizing, the brand does offer smaller 36mm versions within this collection.
Now it may be called a ‘Legend (Diver)’, but like the Russian athlete Aleksei Oleinik quote, “If you want to be a legend you have to fight with legends,” the real test here is, how does the new Longines Legend Diver Fume Brown compare with the rest of the dive-watch heavy watch industry?
The answer is short: it stands strong on its own laurels, and manages to carve out a space for itself thanks to the combination of a number of features.
At first glance, it may look like the iconic Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris divers may have had lent a helping hand in the design of the Longines Legend diver series, but in reality, it is a reinterpretation of Longines 1960s divers.
Inspired by the ref. 7594 and ref. 7042 series that featured similar 42mm stainless steel case (albeit with a super compressor style), screwed backs and tritium hands and dial with bi-directional inner rotating bezel, this modern release charmingly mimics that aesthetic.
Though even if this was inspired by the JLC Polaris, after noticing the initial similarities, one begins to unravel details unique to this offering.
The bi-directional bezel in black is very legible and Longines has also matched the date wheel, giving it a nice sense of coherency. And with superb attention to detail, even the date colouring complements the numerals, all featuring a welcome vintage personality. If the date wheel or the date were in traditional white, it would have looked quite jarring. The date aperture also has a frame, again in the fauxtina inspired colouring of the numerals, lending the entire package that extra bit of flair.
If you are someone who loves the idea of owning timepieces that have been given some thought before being sent out, this is one piece where you can’t go wrong.
In regards to comparison with other dive watches in the market, the most obvious would be with Tudor’s Black Bay 41 and Fifty Eight models. Without going into all the technical specifications that you can read about in our recent detailed Tudor hands-on reviews here, here, here, and here, any Tudor offering is above the 4k mark. The new Longines Legend Diver Fume Brown is not only less expensive, but also offers an increased 300m water-resistance, an in-trend fume dial that is in season thanks to H. Moser & Cie, and the date complication.
Though at the end of the day, both the Tudor Black Bay range — I personally own the BB58 Navy Blue and can attest for its accuracy and stylish looks — and the Longines Legend Divers are exceptional value for money offerings that you simply can not go wrong with. Though I wouldn’t mind seeing chronometer status for these pieces.
Compared to the Tudor versions, the Longines Legend Diver also has an internal bezel, and while not as common as an external bezel, the internal option can be found in watches such as Bremont AC-R-II, IWC Aquatimer, Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver, Ball Engineer Master II Diver, Bell & Ross 02-94 and the JLC Polaris as mentioned above. All great watches in their own rights, except they are all costlier than the new Longines Legend Diver Fume Brown.
There are also a number of micro or smaller brands that offer dive watch with internal rotating bezels, but then the brand heritage, history and legacy of Longines is sadly missing.
The ref. L3.722.214.171.124 features the calibre L888.5 that uses the ETA A31.L11 as its base. The L888 family is based on the ETA 2892-A2, and for those that care, the new Longines diver features a movement that is both trustworthy and is based on reliable workhorse movements.
Personally I am just pleased to see that its not the generic SW200-1 or ETA 2824-2 powering this release. Nothing wrong with these movements, but pretty much every micro brand is using them, and for three to four thousand bucks, I would like to have my watch feature a different movement with a much better power reserve than 38-hours of the above two.
The generic calibre ETA A31.L11 is a 25.60mm diameter — same as SW200-1 — movement that beats at the slightly lower frequency of 3.5 Hz, comprises 21 jewels, and offers a 64-hour power reserve.
This is, let’s just say, an updated version of the ETA 2892-A2. The 2892-A2 version is a more ‘premium’ version of the SW200-1 or ETA 2824-2 movements that offer only 38-hours, is the same diameter as the A31.L11, and offers a lower power reserve of only 42-hours.
So you can understand my relief in knowing that the new Longines Legend Diver Fume Brown features a movement based on the ETA A31.L11. The kicker here is that the Longines calibre L888.5 is not only exclusively modified for the brand but it even ups the power reserve to ~72-hours.
That’s All Folks!
The new Longines Legend Diver Fume Brown is a great package, aided by competitive pricing.
The design architecture of the dial is very identifiable and rather unique-ish to this collection, and I particularly like those distinctive spearhead-shaped hour hands and the minimalistic use of text.
Besides being a dive watch, it’s also got a certain element of elegance to it. The absence of an external bezel, 300m water-resistance, great power-reserve and less than 13mm height means I would recommend, and personally wear if I had it, on a daily basis or even in a smart-casual environment.
Simply put, if you are in the market for a solid dive watch that doesn’t look like a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms or a Rolex Submariner clone, and you don’t wish to burn a hole in your pocket as well, the new Longines Legend Diver Fume Brown is an excellent offering.
If brown is not your colour, it is also available with a blue fume dial for the same price, ref. L3.7126.96.36.199. There is also the green-dialled bronze version for seekers of a no-date option (though in person I found it to be slightly more busy on the dial).
That said, if I was going for one of these, on my skin colour, this Fume Brown looks excellent and stands out for all the right reasons. The bronze version is very tempting too, but the lack of a date window still makes the ref. ref. L3.7188.8.131.52 my preferred choice.
It comes on a complementary brown leather strap with a branded pin-buckle with a sort of hobnail treatment that matches well with the criss-cross etchings pattern on the two pushers.
The new Longines Legend Diver Fume Brown also comes with a 5-year warranty and a silicon balance spring to resist the evil ways of magnetic forces, and to be honest, for only 3’190 AUD (from the official retailer Linda & Co or even for the RRP of 3’625 AUD), it is a bargain.
To find out more about the new Longines Legend Diver Fume Brown and other Longines timepieces, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise specified are ©Watch Ya Gonna Do About It. Today’s quick hands-on review has been brought with the grateful assistance of Linda & Co Designer Jewellers. Make sure to check out our reviews of Watches & Wonders 2021 releases here.