A sure sign of the popularity of diver’s watches is the Foundation of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) having changed their Sports Watch Prize to the Diver’s category this year. The GPHG is the most prestigious awards programme in watchmaking and recently published its much-anticipated list of 84 watches pre-selected by the 2019 jury for the 19th GPHG Awards. Included in the running for best diver’s watch is a rather stealth-looking black all-ceramic Longines HydroConquest, alongside a Seiko Prospex LX (Seiko won last year with the Seiko Prospex 1968 Diver's Re-creation), De Bethune DB28GS Grand Bleu, Reservoir Hydrosphere Blackfin, Ressence Type 5, and Ulysse Nardin Diver Great White. The winners in each of the 14 categories will be announced on November 7 at a ceremony in Geneva.
Ceramic is having its moment in the sun, and presented in black alongside PVD, DLC or blackened chrome is the go-to for a trending style statement on the wrist. Although Rado has always led the way with revolutionary materials like Ceramos, the strength, scratch- and corrosion-resistant properties of lightweight ceramic has made it an attractive, practical alternative for many watch brands seeking to push boundaries with new materials better suited to our contemporary lifestyles.
Among this year’s releases are the IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun in Ceratanium and Tudor’s matte black ceramic Black Bay Ceramic One for the Only Watch charity auction.
The gorgeous new 43mm all-ceramic version of the HydroConquest broadens their often underrated collection of good-looking tool watches, which to date have only featured coloured ceramic bezel inserts on steel cases. Its radiant white hands and indexes are coated in Super-LumiNova for excellent contrast against the matte black dial that displays “ZrO2”, the chemical composition of the ceramic. Brushed and polished finishes have been applied to the ceramic surfaces to highlight each aspect of the case, which comes on a practical black rubber strap.
The HydroConquest meets all the requirements of a great diver’s watch with water resistance to 300m, unidirectional rotating bezel, screw-in crown and double security folding clasp. It also features a power upgrade on previous models with the Calibre L888.3 automatic mechanical movement, based on the ETA 2892, now offering a 64-hour power reserve. Priced at 3,500 CHF (approx R55,000).
• For enquiries call the Swatch Group 011-911-1200 or visit Longines.