As an owner of a Longines HydroConquest myself, the go-anywhere, do-anything dive watch presents a unbeatable blend of utility and elegance while offering some of the best value in Swiss watchmaking, bar none. Since making a splash in 2018, the refreshed Hydro now has two years under its belt as a less crowded, more refined evolution of the hero model.
Come 2021, enter the brand-new Longines HydroConquest two-tone releases we have here today available with a steel and yellow gold PVD, or steel and rose gold PVD, accented bezel and crown.
The two-tone aesthetic is one that has made a considerable comeback since its Wolf of Wall Street heyday, but those who embrace the subdued flair can rest easy knowing their jazzed-up Hydro will perform as perfectly as its all steel siblings – be it lifting Aperol spritzers by the pool or gripping and ripping jetskis around the glorious Whitsundays.
And this winter, that’s exactly what we found ourselves doing – escaping the biting cold of the southern states and trading our desks for daiquiris in North Queensland; only this time, on our wrists were touches of spectacular two-tone goodness from the new Hydroconquest lineup.
Unlike the Hydroconquest Green, which gave buyers the option of a 43 or 41mm case, the new two-tone combinations are presented only in the 41mm – a wise decision from Longines for two reasons: it is more versatile and wearable, and it streamlines the decision making process for the consumer. The L888 movement, with time and date functionality (developed in-house by ETA) returns, but has been improved, offering an impressive 72 hours of power reserve. A solid screwdown caseback guarantees the watch to depths of 300m and while you’re unlikely to ever test the water resistance to it’s limit, its an over-engineered statement that guarantees peace of mind.
Now for the colours.
The stainless steel and yellow gold PVD iterations are available with a blue, black or green dial with matching bezel, while the stainless steel and rose gold PVD options are available in the blue, black or grey colour way – all presented on colour coordinated rubber or gold PVD accented steel bracelet.
For me, if you’re going to choose two-tone, you don’t do it in halves, and that’s why the yellow gold and blue, glistening as the sun set over paradise, cocktail in hand, was my pick of the colour ways. It’s a striking combination that turns heads when you want it to but still looks at home floating around the hotel pool or relaxing on a yacht. The rose gold is more subdued, but this is only apparent once you’ve seen both watches in the flesh, so if you’re on the fence, I recommend getting into an AD before making your decision.
If diving is really your thing, it’s hard to look past the black on rubber – now with a splash of yellow gold on the bezel, enhancing its ability to be dressed up on dry land. The comfort and security of the rubber is better suited to any manner of water sports, and when paired with the clasp’s integrated diving extension, makes the fit customisable for thin stinger suits all the way up to 7mm wetties. Not to be forgotten are the grey sunray and green matte dials, now available as two-tone configurations – both on stainless steel or matching rubber.
A two-tone Longines HydroConquest on a rubber strap could be the most approachable balance of utility and elegance in its segment. Clocking in at $2750, and accompanied by a 5 year warranty from August 1st, 2021 (on all automatic watches purchased after January 1, 2021) it’s a versatile summer companion that’ll wear well beyond its price point, for many years to come.