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Hands-on – The 2021 Longines HydroConquest 41mm Two-Tone Collection

hands-on-–-the-2021-longines-hydroconquest-41mm-two-tone-collection

Longines has secured a solid reputation in the field of chronographs and elegant, vintage-inspired watches these days. Yet, we should not forget that the brand also has a sizeable collection of sports watches, including one competent, quite accessible diver’s watch named HydroConquest. First launched in 2007, the model has since made its way up in the category and was fully revised in 2018, with upgraded materials, a simplified design and strong mechanical credentials. This year, the collection expands again with the addition of 11 new editions. Stylish, less instrumental, a bit more lifestyle-oriented yet still robust dive watches to be used and abused, here is the Longines HydroConquest 41mm Two-Tone Collection.

Longines is no stranger to the dive watch concept. Certainly, its pilot’s chronographs and elegant 1940s models might be the first to come to mind, but that would be without mentioning two extremely desirable models, the Skin Diver and the Legend Diver. But these are historic models, which have, of course, been re-edited. The HydroConquest is something different; it’s more mainstream but no less capable. This collection, which has been around for nearly 15 years now, is the essence of the modern, sporty, aquatic-oriented watch. A robust dive watch with 300m water-resistance, contemporary design, a clean overall look and all the necessary equipment for recreational diving. Yes, it’s classic, but in a good way.

An important step in the life of the Longines HydroConquest came in 2018 when the brand decided to update it. The design became cleaner, slightly less rugged but more contemporary, the materials were upgraded to include a ceramic bezel insert, and the movement was updated with the brand’s latest technology to keep its competitive advantage. Available in multiple editions, it is also possible to choose between 43mm and 41mm cases. And since 2021, there is the option for two-tone cases.

The cool look of two-tone

We’ve seen a strong resurgence of two-tone, steel-and-gold watches recently, something that might have to do with the comeback of the 1980s in fashion… And, admittedly, when done right and when well dosed, a discreet inclusion of gold on a sports watch can be rather enjoyable. As long as it’s not too flashy, it can even bring a certain freshness and laid-back flair to usually super-serious models.

So, has Longines managed to pull this off with its new HydroConquest 41mm Two-Tone Collection? Short answer: yes. The idea with these new models was to include relatively discreet golden elements located on the bezel, crown and dial (applied indexes and hands). You can even opt for a two-tone metallic bracelet, but that will certainly be less low-key. Note that all golden elements are obtained via a PVD coating process, so the impact on the final price is also minimal – quite important in this category. The golden elements are available either in yellow or rose gold tones. And, as you can see in our photos of two watches with these rose gold contrasting parts, the result is quite discreet and adds a cool warmth to the watch – especially true in the grey model (the best looking of all, in my opinion) where the combination with rose gold works particularly well.

What Longines has done here is to add a lifestyle-ish flair to its modern dive watch collection, making it less serious, less consensual and, in all fairness, it adds to this watch that little “je ne sais quoi” that was missing to the classic steel models… an extra layer of personality that makes it more attractive. But don’t think that the watch has lost any of its diving capacities. It remains the same, capable, robust diver.

The case of these two-tone Longines HydroConquest measures 41mm in diameter and about 12mm in height. The shape is pretty bulky but not devoid of interest,  specifically in the angular crown guard. The case is entirely brushed and feels very well manufactured and assembled. It has everything you need in a recreational diver, meaning a sapphire crystal with AR coating, a large and easy to use screw-down crown, a solid steel caseback with nice engravings and a unidirectional rotating bezel. In these recent editions of the Longines HydroConquest, the insert is made of scratchproof polished ceramic with the all-important 60-minute scale and luminous pearl at the 0 mark.

As for the dial, and in combination with these gold-coloured elements, there is a wide choice of colours: blue, black and mid-grey are available with a sunray-brushed pattern, and a matte green has also been presented, even though we haven’t seen it yet. Apart from new gold-coloured applied indexes and hands that match the bezel and crown, the dials are identical to classic steel editions, with the same oversized Arabic numerals and applied dots and a date window at 3 o’clock – which makes sense in the more mainstream vocation of this collection.

The new Longines HydroConquest two-tone is fitted with the self-winding L888 calibre. The movement comes with an improved 72-hour power reserve compared to the previous 64-hour running time of 2018 models. It also comes with a silicon balance spring to protect against magnetic forces and beats at a rhythm of 25,200 vibrations per hour. As always, this movement sets the watches apart from the rest of the 2824-powered models and brings a strong competitive advantage.

Availability & Price

The Longines HydroConquest 41mm Two-Tone is available in 11 different references, with options for rubber straps matching the dial colour fitted with a folding clasp with a push-piece opening mechanism or a metal bracelet with a folding clasp and diving extension. Whatever the colour or the type of bracelet/strap you choose, all models are priced at EUR 1,680 and are now available from Longines’ online boutique or retailers.

For more details, please visit longines.com.

https://monochrome-watches.com/hands-on-2021-longines-hydroconquest-41mm-two-tone-collection-price/

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