Longines HydroConquest Review
(Black, Automatic - Ref L3.7188.8.131.52)
The Longines HydroConquest is a timeless dive watch from a classic Swiss watchmaker. As a dive watch it can be worn in the water, of course, but it is equally at home under a shirt or on a night on the town.
It has all the features you need on a watch and with an automatic movement, it will almost never need a visit to the watch shop.
But is it worth forking out the high price most Swiss made watches command? Let’s find out…
Longines HydroConquest Automatic Features
There are a variety of models in the Longines HydroConquest, but these are the specs of the black automatic:
- Automatic movement (Cal.L888) with 25’200 bph and 64 hours power reserve
- Sapphire crystal glass; anti-scratch, anti-reflective coating
- 39 x 12 mm stainless steel case (also available in 41 & 43 mm diameter)
- Stainless steel bracelet with double safety folding clasp and integrated diving extension
- 300m / 990ft water resistance (screw-down crown)
- Date window at 3 o’clock position
The dial of the Hydro Conquest screams diver from the outset. The large, applied hour markers are reminiscent of the Rolex Submariner, except for the 6, 9, and 12 which are oversize Arabic numerals. They all have top-notch Swiss Super-LumiNova which is great news for those who work in low-light or might actually take this watch diving.
The black is a sunray color with the hands highly polished and also sporting a decent amount of lume, with a helpful red tip on the second hard. But, the second hand is not lumed, which is not a huge dealbreaker as most of us don’t worry about seconds, most of the time. Longines have also included a small, but handy date window at 3 o’clock, of course without the cyclops window Rolex loves, but somehow I find it far less obtrusive this way.
The rest of the dial is very clean and easy to read, as it should be on a diver, with only the logo and other related information on display (water resistance, swiss made etc). This is very much helped by the sapphire crystal they have used, which also has a coating of anti-reflection underneath. So, less problems in bright conditions, which is a good thing.
The Case, Bezel & Bracelet
Like most cases on a dive watch, this one features a combination of brushed and polished stainless steel in all the right spots. The portion making up the lugs is all polished on the top, with a center portion brushed to line up with the bracelet centerlink.
The diagonal crown-guard is completely brushed and does a great job of protecting the crown, but also of annoying you, If you need to bend your wrist a lot. Again, this is only something some of you might notice, but if you will use this at the gym for example. If this is something that you think will bother you, consider something like the Seiko SKX range as they have an offset crown.
Longines have added their signature to the caseback as well, which a lot of manufacturers like to do these days. It certainly adds an element of class to an otherwise sporty watch.
The bezel is fairly standard diver style with minute markers all the way around, which is nice, and Arabic markers every five.
The bracelet is well-made and works well with the overall stainless steel brushed/polished design of the case. It also comes with some nice features like a diver’s extension, to help easily change sizes over a wetsuit, and a double fold-over clasp with safety. To ensure you don’t accidentally open it underwater (or anywhere else for that matter). Longines have added their logo to the clasp in various ways as well, a detail I certainly appreciate.
Like many a Swiss watch maker today, Longines does not produce their own movements. The L619 movement in the HydroConquest is basically an adapted version of the ETA 2892 movement.
That is not to say it is a bad thing, costs have to be saved somewhere to get a top-notch watch like this for affordable prices. It is still a great automatic movement with 28800 bhp and over 64hr power reserved, which is significantly above most watches. And don’t forget the date complication.
Of course, it is not a high beat watch, nor does it come with hacking or manual winding, but most of you won’t be too worried about those features I feel.
Final Impressions Of The Longines HydroConquest
Those of you looking for a Swiss Made diver at an affordable price will certainly find the HydroConquest line of watches hard to beat. The range of styles and sizes also means that you can find almost the perfect watch for you too.
It might be the robust quality of this watch with the Swiss automatic movement, 300m dive quality water resistance or perhaps the look of the watch that sells if for you. Just keep in mind a few of the negatives like the lack of lume on the second hard, the jutting crown and the lack of fine features in the movement. None of those will be a dealbreaker for most, but certainly something to be aware of.
All in all, this is a solid diver that normally retails at around the three figure mark, although you can always find bargains online at places like Amazon. One way to save is to take a Quartz version, this will already shave off a few hundred on the price!