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The Millennium Watch Book
Longines  - HydroConquest : Designed to Last

Longines HydroConquest : Designed to Last

Discover this exclusive extract from the Millenium Watch Book. The HydroConquest transcends fashions, periods, and catalogues with disconcerting ease and has become a pillar not just of Longines sports collections, but also of the entire Longines brand

In 2007 Longines moved back into the sports watch segment with a vengeance, deploying all the resources needed to establish an entire pillar comprising four collections: HydroConquest, Conquest, GrandeVitesse and Admiral. The press release at the time proudly boasted of a “decisive move into sports”, asserting that “the HydroConquest line intends to become the favourite watch of divers and water sports enthusiasts”. Fifteen years on, the HydroConquest is indeed alive and well.

Hydroconquest: Taillée pour durer

HydroConquest © Longines

The HydroConquest isn’t a disruptive or extravagant dive watch. It must also be said that while it is indeed a dive watch, it’s above all a Longines: perfectly designed, elegant, reliable, accurate and affordable. These may not be very radical specifications, but the timepiece has proven its worth. Moreover, mastery of these specifications demands technical and aesthetic skills — and at Longines, these draw on almost two centuries’ worth of experience.

Modern by Definition and by Birth

Nonetheless, the HydroConquest doesn’t directly draw its inspiration from this heritage — which is quite unusual, as the heritage in question is not only huge, but also perfectly preserved. Right from the start, the timepiece was instead designed to be contemporary. The 2007 HydroConquest can absolutely be worn today, with hardly any alterations needed. 

Longines offered a record five diameters at its launch in 2007, bearing witness to the brand’s confidence in its latest creation: 47.5mm for automatic movements, 41mm for quartz and automatic chronograph movements, 39mm for three-handed watches with quartz and automatic movements, 29.5mm and 25mm for ladies’ watches with quartz movements. Each version has the regulatory features required to qualify as dive watches: cases water resistant to 300 metres, screw-down crowns, luminous hands and hour-markers, safety straps, graduated unidirectional bezels, and luminous indications. The small seconds hand at 9 o’clock serves as a running indicator, also mandatory for divers’ watches.

Hydroconquest: Taillée pour durer

HydroConquest © Longines

The Sport Collection pillar to which the HydroConquest originally belonged still exists, with new products still being introduced. Its hallmark feature is a large figure 12, curiously positioned in the middle of the 30-minute counter in certain versions of the chronograph. This Arabic numeral has had a very modern, sporty style right from the outset; over the past 15 years it’s been very slightly slimmed, whilst still preserving perfectly balanced proportions. 

Quiet Strenght

The HydroConquest was first unveiled at Baselworld in 2007 and hasn’t aged at all since. The automatic movement has been improved and now boasts a 72-hour power reserve. The price has remained pretty much the same, too: just under €1,000 for the entry-level quartz version, and just over that amount for an automatic. 

A lot of people might complain that it’s a no-frills, unadventurous piece. Others might well challenge them to do any better. The fact is that the HydroConquest was and is the Swiss Made diving watch that’s offered the best value for money since 2007 — and will no doubt continue to do so for many years to come. 

This year GMT Magazine and WorldTempus have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the divers watch since 2000 in The Millennium Watch Book - Divers watch, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book - Divers watch is available in both French and English here:

 

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Based in St. Imier since 1832, Longines has a long tradition in watchmaking, characterised by the elegance of its watches. Using expertise gained as the company has evolved, Longines has gradually forged ties with the world of sport, where it demonstrates its excellence in precision timekeeping. Today, Longines is the oldest brand still in business, unchanged, in the international registers held by the World Intellectual Property Organization...

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