After a period of letting the watch languish somewhat without the updates some fans craved, Longines has placed a renewed focus on the Legend Diver in recent months. It was in November of last year that we brought you news of Longines introducing a handsome version of the watch with a bronze case and green dial (and no date), and now as part of their first batch of new releases for 2021, Longines has given us a few more variants, adding blue and brown dialed versions to the Legend Diver stable.
We often credit Longines with being among the best in the business at the vintage reissue watch. Over the years, they’ve raided their archives over and over again, and have a higher batting average than almost any brand we can think of. Longines certainly has an impressive back catalog of releases to choose from, but someone deserves credit for simply having good taste, and making the right choices time and time again. The Legend Diver was an early success for Longines in the vintage reissue game when it was first released in 2007 to quite a bit of enthusiast acclaim.
The new Legend Divers in blue and brown will of course feel familiar to fans of this model in its prior black dialed version. It retains the long lugs and internal rotating bezel, both of which have become synonymous with the reference since it first popped up. A blue dialed diver is something that’s always welcome and a standard variant across many popular models that might be competitive with the Legend Diver in a crowded marketplace, so this version feels almost predictable. The brown is more of a surprise, and takes on some of the warmer character of the bronze and green Legend Diver we looked at last year. The dial suggests tropical ageing in a way that many enthusiasts who reject faux patina might be more inclined to accept – it truly is just a color choice in this case.
The Legend Diver is water resistant to 300 meters and both the time setting crown at 4:00 and the crown used to rotate the bezel at 2:00 screw down. The case measures 42mm in diameter, and you can expect it to wear larger, as the Legend Diver tends to do, thanks to those long lugs. The way this watch wears has been a point of contention among enthusiasts since it was introduced, with many clamoring for a smaller version (which Longines delivered in 2018 with a 36mm version marketed toward women, but wearable by anyone). But the 42mm case is true to the original reference 7042 that the Legend Diver is based on, as are the long, downturned lugs.
Another element of the watch that has been hashed out ad nauseum on the forums and social media is the inclusion of a date window on the dial. The very first version of the Legend Diver reissue came with no date, and was thus an instant enthusiast favorite. Later versions include a date at 3:00, and while it certainly breaks up the symmetry of the dial, it’s undeniably functional and not implemented terribly. The date is a feature of the Calibre L888.5 movement made especially for Longines, so it’s unlikely we’ll see a version of this watch without a date until ETA develops something new. This is a strong, modern caliber, with 64 hours of power reserve and a silicon balance spring.
Longines has not provided pricing or availability information for the US market yet, but the watch is currently available to purchase on the Longines UK site for £1,750 (pretty close the current $2,300 USD asking price for the standard black dialed Legend Diver). Longines