Editor’s Note: Need a quick watch fix? This preview of the expanded Longines Legend Diver Collection is a GET TO THE POINT (GTTP) review with all the info you want / need to know QUICK. For our actual hands-on reviews, please head to the dedicated section here. Now let’s get to the point.
What Is It
A few months back we went hands-on with a few Longines Legend Divers, namely the Fume Brown ref. L3.7188.8.131.52, the Bronze with green fume dial version ref. L3.7184.108.40.206, and the traditional black ref. L3.7220.127.116.11.
I remember acquiring a deeper appreciation for the LLD family, and was impressed with how Longines had branched out and released dials of this well loved collection that sees its roots spread back as far as one of the very first diving watches from 1959 (sans a date window).
Now for 2022 the brand is adding colourful new models featuring sand beige, ash grey, royal blue and vivid burgundy dials into the mix.
Besides established smaller brands like Christopher Ward and Farer, proper Swiss dive watches with internal bezels usually come at a premium.
Watches such as the Bremont AC-R-II, IWC Aquatimer, Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver, Ball Engineer Master II Diver, Bell & Ross 02-94 and the JLC Polaris are all great watches in their own rights, and are also costlier than the Longines Legend Diver Collection.
The Longines Legend Diver Collection for only 3’625 AUD is definitely an impressive release, offering way more than its price tag.
From the time the modern avatar of the Longines Legend Diver Collection debuted in 2007, it has taken watch enthusiasts in its stride.
And the added new colour-ways in both the traditional 42mm diameter and the more unisex 36mm diameter range are sure set to not only send its fans into frenzy but also convert those who may have gone the other route.
Longines Legend Diver Collection – Basic Specifications 36mm
Inside the smaller 36mm diameter ref. L3.318.104.22.168 (burgundy) / ref. L3.322.214.171.124 (blue) / ref. L3.3126.96.36.199 (beige) ticks the calibre L592 (ETA A20.L11).
It is interesting that the brand lists it as calibre L592 because that’s based on the ETA A20.L01. If we go with ETA A20.L11 that’s also mentioned by the brand, then it should be the calibre L592.4.
My guess is that since calibre L592.4 is COSC-certified and the new Longines Legend Diver Collection in 36mm is not, they have upgraded the existing calibre L592 with a silicone balance spring as found in the L592.4 and also with a slightly increased power reserve of ~45-hours.
It is now called calibre L592.5 (aka the non-COSC version of calibre L592.4).
Anyway, the calibre L592.5 measures the same 19.4mm x 4.1mm, beats at the frequency of 4Hz, and features 22 jewels.
The calibre L592.5 is encased inside a 36mm diameter, 11.9mm thick stainless steel case with a lug-to-lug spacing of around 44.5mm and lug interhorn spacing of 19mm.
Longines Legend Diver Collection – Basic Specifications 42mm
Inside the traditional 42mm diameter ref. L3.7188.8.131.52 (beige) / ref. L3.7184.108.40.206 (grey) ticks the calibre L888.5 (ETA A31.L11). This 25.60mm diameter movement beating at 3.5Hz and featuring 21 jewels is technically based on the classic ETA 2892-A2, and is more commonly found in many micro-brands as Sellita SW300-1.
On a side note, the SW300-1 in itself is an advanced version of 2008’s SW300 with a modified lower bridge, reversing wheel and auxiliary reversing wheel. Recently, Sellita has updated the SW300-1 to feature typical 56-hours power reserve (and minimum of 50-hours).
One of the main benefits of Longines Legend Diver Collection with the calibre L888.5 is that the power reserve is even further bumped up to about ~72-hours, giving it an edge over the stock-standard ETA A31.L11 or ETA 2892-A2, and puts it in direct competition with the likes of the Tudor BB58 series (and the similar generous five-year warranty adds to this dynamic as well).
The calibre L888.5 is encased inside a 42mm in diameter — 46mm with the crown — and 12.6mm thick all polished stainless-steel case with a 52.4mm lug-to-lug spacing and 22mm lug interhorn spacing. This closed case-back beauty has a decent heft of 87.2g (not too heavy, not too light).
How Does It Do
Inspired by the ref. 7594 and ref. 7042 series that featured similar 42mm stainless steel case (albeit with a super compressor style design), screwed backs and tritium hands and dial with bi-directional inner rotating bezel, this modern release charmingly mimics that aesthetic.
My favorite out of them is the sand beige version with the sand beige fabric strap; not only is it available across both the size categories, but it also reminds me of Swatch’s other brand Blancpain’s exceedingly handsome Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition.
Of course the burgundy version looks amazing too, and should entice more lady enthusiasts to become Longines converts. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be too surprised if a watch enthusiast bought both the 36 and 42 versions, simply to add the burgundy to their collection.
It is here I wish that the brand launched a Burgundy 42mm version, but limited release and without a date window. Mamma Mia, that should sell out like lemonade on a hot, dry desert day.
I also like that Longines has retained the same black internal turning diving bezel across the board, bringing in a sense of continuity to the collection.
The 300m water-resistance is again something worth mentioning, and the incorporation of a screw-down case back — with the inclusion of an embossed emblem of a diver just like the originals — and two screw-in crowns should appeal to many.
The dial can appear a bit busy but thanks to the polished rhodium-plated hands in-filled with Super-LumiNova®, readability is never a concern.
As for the sizing and fit, now I understand that 52.4mm lug-to-lug spacing courtesy those long slender lugs will be of concern to those with slim wrists — including myself with ~16cm wrists — but the dial design visually helps counter that large sizing.
The 38mm in diameter box-shaped domed sapphire crystal makes it blocky and stout; then the main central fume dial without the internal bezel reads to about 28mm only. Together, thanks to the internal layout and smaller domed crystal, the 42mm Longines Legend Diver Collection lends itself a more slim wrist friendly appearance.
I also appreciate that regardless of which size you prefer, both the 42mm and 36mm versions of the latest Longines Legend Diver Collection retail for the same 3’625 AUD. And for those men who would like the classic black dial version such as the ref. L3.3220.127.116.11 or those ladies who prefer the white mother-of-pearl dial ref. L3.318.104.22.168, those can be picked up for a slightly lesser 3’400 AUD. There is also the Bronze version ref. L3.722.214.171.124 that features a 42mm diameter but a slightly larger 52.4mm lug-to-lug reading and thicker 13.2mm case. It retails for 4’475 AUD.
No matter your pleasure, now you can choose your flavour. The Longines Legend Diver Collection has your wardrobe, horological, and diving needs covered.
To find out more about the new expanded Longines Legend Diver Collection and other Longines watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy are © 2022 Longines Watch Co. Francillon Ltd., All rights reserved