A bold statement piece on the wrist doesn’t suit everyone’s style, so it was refreshing to find this elegant watch in the lineup of new diving watches launched in Basel this year. The dressy Longines Legend Diver is a reimagined piece from the 1960s, and celebrates Longines’ long association with pioneer adventurers, especially of the deep. The Longines Legend Diver is almost identical to the original, with all the ’60s period lines and design elements maintained, including the boxed glass and unusual bidirectional internal diving bezel, except for the addition of a new quickset date window at 3 o’clock. Its 42mm stainless steel case is updated this year in a more modern black PVD coating and houses a new self-winding Calibre L888 movement. It is complemented by a Milanese mesh-style black rubber strap.
The indices, numerals and hands are finished with the Super LumiNova date window, for optimum legibility against the black lacquered dial. The screw-down back with its charming engraving of a diver guarantees water resistance to 300m. There are two screw-in crowns, one located at 2 o’clock to activate and stop the bezel to determine dive time, the second at 5 o’clock for hour and minute adjustments.
Although the focus on this category fits with the growing demand for useful, sporty tool watches from younger collectors, the deepest one of these divers might go this summer is the bottom of a swimming pool. Needless to say, the sporty Longines Legend Diver will accompany you to great depths, but does not compromise on elegance: it will look just as good with a pair of Vilebrequin trunks as it will with a sports jacket this summer.
A smaller 36mm version with Caliber L595 automatic movement was also released to appeal to female customers; however, its classic vintage size means that it is also well suited for men. There is also an explosion of colour in the industry this year through straps, dials, and cases. Accordingly, Longines has presented the 36mm dials in black, pearl, purple, teal, and deep pink with a choice of matching leather straps or Milanese-style steel bracelet.
The Longines Legend Diver will become your indispensable companion on open water dives and is also an excellent everyday watch. It is priced at R31 000 for added appeal to younger consumers who appreciate fine watch-making with a dose of neo-vintage nostalgia. The Swatch Group 011-911-1200 longines.com
• In the August issue of Wanted magazine, we mistakenly published an image of a Rolex watch with this Longines article. Wanted would like to apologise unreservedly to the author Gary Cotterell, Rolex and Longines for any embarrassment caused by this error - Editor