Longines’s HydroConquest collection has sometimes struggled to stand out in the dive watch market, but a brooding all-black ceramic case and some tasteful updates go a long way in changing that. In an odd product tier, straddled by entry-level and mid-range luxury dive watches from its Swatch Group sibling brands, the HydroConquest needs to offer value and something distinct — and with a “technical” material, strong legibility, and serious look, that is precisely what its latest incarnation delivers.
While the dial and bezel markings have also been refined to good effect, the 2019 Longines HydroConquest stands out for its 43mm-wide black ceramic case (water-resistant to 300m). Recent watches in the collection have offered a ceramic bezel insert, but here the bezel itself, along with just about every other element, is in full ceramic with brushed and polished finishes.
Ceramic is not only an interesting watchmaking material, but it is lightweight and virtually scratch-proof. Another upgrade is the ETA A31.L01 automatic movement, which — similar to the Powermatic 80 based on the ETA 2824-2 found in many Swatch Group brand watches — is based on the ETA 2892 but tweaked to offer 64 hours of power reserve and slowed slightly to the quite uncommon 3.5Hz (25,200vph) frequency. The HydroConquest comes on a black rubber strap and is priced around $3,500.
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