Since it was founded 1832, Longines has built its reputation on crafting beautiful, yet utterly functional timepieces. From the slimline design of the Longines Dolcevita to the high-tech functionality of the Longines Master Collection, Longines watches are synonymous with craftsmanship and reliability. However, it’s Longines’ iconic range of waterproof and divers’ watches that have, for nearly a century, been revered as some of the most innovative and most in-demand pieces in the world.
And there’s a good reason why. Longines created the world’s first waterproof chronograph wristwatch, with mushroom-shaped water-resistant push buttons, back in 1937. The luxury Swiss watchmaker patented the design early the following year, and as a result water resistance became a new standard in watchmaking. Less than a decade later, their Hydrographic Survey Military Diver’s Wristwatch was released. It was so ingenious it even attracted attention from the military, with the British Royal Navy Hydrographic Survey Department commissioning 50 pieces. However, it wasn’t until 1958 that the legendary watchmaker released its much-awaited civilian diver’s watch – the Longines Nautilus Skin Diver.
What made the Skin Diver stand out was that it could withstand water pressure down to 120 metres, and it also featured a black, bi-direction revolving bezel. This game-changing watch was followed shortly afterwards by the Super-Compressor, which became immediately more popular, largely due to the replacement of the external bezel with a rotating inner disc. For divers, this was crucial. It not only made the moving parts less likely to be damaged underwater, but also gave it a dressier appearance on land. Several iterations of the Super-Compressor were designed over the next few years, with minor upgrades to the features and to the depth capacity.
Over the following decades, Longines continued creating diver’s watches that changed the game, but arguably none as iconic as the Legend Diver watch. The timepiece that’s emblematic of the brand’s Heritage segment was originally released in 2007, but the perennially in-demand line has expanded over the years to become a true classic. Conserving the spirit, clean lines and technical excellence of the original timepiece, the Legend Diver watch has been redesigned with modern expertise, featuring a box-shaped sapphire glass, two screw-in crowns, and a screw-down case back. It’s also, quite impressively, water resistant to a depth of 300 metres. And, just as it is on the original model, the 42mm case is engraved with the image of a tiny diver on the back. A charming nod to a legendary history.