The Longines HydroConquest has always been a standout in terms of value, if not in design. Mind you, this isn’t to say that it isn’t a handsome addition to the somewhat crowded ranks of gentleman divers on the market – it most definitely is – but it never fully stood out from the crowd. Well, Longines seems hell-bent on changing that with the release of two new HydroConquest models in dueling shades of green.
While it’s true that Rolex paved the way for green divers with the Submariner “Hulk,” at the price point that the HydroConquest is coming in at (more on that later) it definitely offers fans of the former who don’t want to wait a couple of years – or don’t want to pay the Rolex tax – to get their hands on a similarly kitted piece RIGHT NOW.
The standard version of the HydroConquest comes replete with a matte green dial – “khaki green” in Longines parlance – a matching glossy green ceramic bezel and can be had on either a matching textured rubber strap or bracelet. Swapping between the two is a breeze thanks to a novel quick-change system integrated into the ends. Under the hood beats the L888 caliber movement, which offers a very generous 64 hours of power reserve. As with all HydroConquests, the case, which can be had in either 41mm or 43mm sizes, is alternately brushed and polished, with a sapphire crystal on the front and solid case back. The whole shebang is good for 300 meters.
Now, for those who dig green but want something a bit more exclusive, Longines is also releasing a boutique-only version, which ups the ante with an absolutely gorgeous vertically brushed ceramic dial in a deeper shade of green – “forest green” – and rounds out the package with an upgraded version of the L888 that sports a silicon balance spring. In addition to the steel bracelet, it also comes with an exclusive dive strap with a micro adjustable clasp. Unlike the Khaki Green HydroConquest, the Boutique Edition defers to contemporary trends and is only available in 41mm.
And now, the sordid topic of coin… This is one area that the HydroConquest truly shines. With an MSRP of $1,600 for both the strap and bracelet versions, the Khaki Green represents terrific value. And should you opt for the Boutique Edition, the ticket to ride is a reasonable $2,400 (remember, it comes with the strap and bracelet).
While there’s ultimately not much to see here beyond the new color ways, as the old saying goes, “it ain’t easy being green.” Unlike other, more traditional colors, this is a difficult shade to get right, and Longines really nailed it, not once, but twice. Irrespective of one’s budget, these two new additions to the HydroConquest family shine.
Self-winding Caliber L888.3; 3.5Hz; 64 hours power reserve
41mm or 43mm stainless steel case; green ceramic bezel insert; sapphire crystal; water resistance to 30 bar (300m)
Green rubber strap or steel bracelet with diving extension
Longines HydroConquest Boutique Edition
Self-winding Caliber L888.5; silicon balance spring; 3.5Hz; 64 hours power reserve
41mm stainless steel case; green ceramic bezel insert; sapphire crystal; water resistance to 30 bar (300m)
Stainless steel bracelet and rubber strap with quick change system