Editor’s Note: Need a quick watch fix? This preview of the expanded Longines HydroConquest XXII Commonwealth Games 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
Longines is the Official Partner and Timekeeper of the 2022 Commonwealth Games being held this July in Birmingham, England. The new Longines HydroConquest XXII Commonwealth Games with a RRP of 2’900 AUD in 41mm diameter and with a vivid display of event logo colours on its dial/bezel is launched in limited numbers of 2022 pieces only to mark this sporting event.
Longines HydroConquest XXII Commonwealth Games – Basic Specifications
Inside the ref. L3.7126.96.36.199 ticks the same movement as found in the recently launched gradient-dialled Longines Legend Diver Collection, the calibre L888.5.
This 25.60mm diameter movement is based on the ETA A31.L11 that is based on the ETA 2892-A2.
The calibre L888.5 beats at the frequency of 3.5Hz, features 21 jewels, and provides with an impressive power reserve of about ~72-hours, giving it an edge over the stock-standard ETA A31.L11 or ETA 2892-A2.
The calibre L888.5 is encased inside a 41mm diameter and 11.9mm thick brushed stainless-steel case with a ~50mm lug-to-lug spacing and odd 21mm lug interhorn spacing. This closed case-back watch has a fair heft of 185.8g courtesy the stainless steel bracelet (with double safety folding clasp and integrated diving extension).
One tiny beef I have here is that even though I appreciate the case back featuring an engraving of the Birmingham 2022 logo, I am not a big fan of the “Limited Edition – 1 out of 2022” writing. If it’s a limited edition release, it should in my opinion include individually numbered watches.
How Does It Do
The new Longines HydroConquest watches in general have a lot of ‘dive-watch ready’ features to boast about: a unidirectional rotating ceramic bezel, a sapphire crystal with several layers of anti-reflective coating on both sides, a stainless steel case with a screw-down crown and case back and water-resistance to 300 metres, and a comfortable bracelet with a double security folding clasp with an integrated diving extension-piece.
For this particular release, I particularly appreciate the presence of the minute fine-tunings to incorporate the Commonwealth Games theme. Present on the bezel, and on the minute-track of the dial are the subtle colours, inspired by the colours of the Commonwealth Games logo.
But if you notice carefully, these colours are also present on the date-window frame. Anyone who has read our reviews on a regular basis will attest my love/hate relationship with date windows, and their execution and location. Not only the new Longines HydroConquest XXII Commonwealth Games gets it right with a 3’o clock placement, they also frame it rather nicely, with the same colours of the aforementioned event logo.
The regular production Longines HydroConquest retails for 2’575 AUD. For a small premium of only 325 AUD, watch enthusiasts can get a limited edition release and also one that with a sun-ray black dial allows watch enthusiasts to enjoy some pop of colour.
As is with regular Longines HydroConquests, the legibility is of course top-notch courtesy the appliqué (3) Arabic numerals and (10) cabochons, and silvered polished hands, all featuring Swiss Super-LumiNova®.
With a large-ish lug-to-lug spacing and prominent flared lugs and crown guards, it is a watch that’s bold and wears rather big, those with wrists 7” or more should find this an absolute delight to strap on.
On the whole, the new Longines HydroConquest XXII Commonwealth Games pays the homage to the sporting event in style. Colourful yet restrained, sporty yet elegant, the ref. L3.7188.8.131.52 sure ticks a lot of boxes for watch collectors and enthusiasts alike.
To find out more about the new Longines HydroConquest XXII Commonwealth Games 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.