Longines has launched two versions of the ever-popular Longines HydroConquest in green. Released in two versions and offered with a silicon balance spring, this option might just scratch the itch for a Rolex Submariner ref. 116610LV “Hulk” and show the future for mid-range dive watches.
I make no secret of my admiration for the Longines HydroConquest. If you want a good quality Swiss dive watch for a medium price but with luxury features, it is the obvious choice. It is handsome, features an excellent movement and construction and is produced by a brand which really is only going up with an annual turnover in excess of CHF 1,000,000,000. Until now, the HydroConquest has only been available in blue, grey and black. Now, though, there are two new HydroConquest variants in the ever-popular green ‘Hulk’ format.
The Rolex Submariner “Hulk” ref. 116610LV
In recent years, the hotly demanded dive watch has been the Rolex Submariner and, amongst these, the most popular has been the ref. 116610LV or “Hulk”. With a green sunburst dial and matching bezel, this watch has been popular as an alternative to the black variant but also due to the commemorative nature of the green colour on a Rolex.
Irrespective of the reasons, green dials on dive watches have drawn attention and sales for some time. Consequently, it is easy to see why Longines would want to launch a model. This is even more understandable when offered on a watch which aims for the price bracket below the Submariner, thus avoiding direct comparison whilst being more accessible to those enticed by the Rolex.
Khaki Green or Forest Green?
Interestingly, Longines have released not one, but two versions of the Longines HydroConquest in Green. The first is the Khaki Green model which will, no doubt, be the more mainstream of the two.
Offered in stainless steel in both 41 and 43 millimetre sizes, the khaki model of the Longines HydroConquest in green is given a soft green painted dial with a matte finish. The bezel is, as with the rest of the HydroConquest range, constructed from matching zirconia ceramic which gives vastly enhanced scratch resistance when compared to the aluminium inserts of old.
With a steel bracelet or a rubber strap, there is very little to say about this watch which hasn’t already been said about the rest of the range. With that being said, this observation is in no way negative as the standard watch offers you something with a comparable format to the Omega Seamaster, yet with an unmistakably unique approach. The watch features either a steel bracelet or a rubber strap and remains water resistant to 300 metres. As proof of Longines’ commitment to making a watch enjoyable to all, both green variants of the HydroConquest have quick-release straps and steel bracelets.
The Real Headline Piece: Longines HydroConquest Forest Green Boutique Edition
With the standard watch presented, I think that it is fair to say that the second variant of this new HydroConquest is the more important one. In fact, it may also show a change likely to be seen across the Longines diving range in years to come. Referred to as a ‘Boutique Edition’, the Forest Green model aims for more of an enthusiast’s market than the standard one.
Putting aside shared features, this model keeps the steel case but offers it only in a 41mm size, thus appealing to current market trends. It also features both the steel bracelet and rubber strap as standard when purchased. What is immediately noticeable about the construction is that the dial is no longer the simple matte colour of the other version. With higher manufacturing costs, the dial of the Forest Green in not composed of painted brass but green zirconia ceramic as indicated at 6 o’clock.
This green surface is more severe and saturated whilst also having a beautiful brushed pattern running vertically up it.The bezel is also enhanced as, aside from matching the different dial colour, it has a metal rim around the luminous pip at 12 o’clock as seen on more expensive dive watches. This protects it from damage which can wear the pip away over time.
The Inner Workings
Mechanically, the watches are also differentiated by their executions of the calibre L.888. Developed from the ETA 2892-2, this movement has 21 jewels, automatic winding, hacking and hand winding. For Longines’ use, it has seen its beat rate reduced to 7 ticks-per-second or 25,200 vph for an increased power reserve of 64 hours. However, there is one large difference between versions of the Longines HydroConquest in green: the balance spring.
Where the khaki version is furnished with a conventional spring, the balance spring of the Boutique Edition is silicon for enhanced durability and resistance to magnetic fields. Appearing in an increasing number of models in this brand’s range, it seems that the future may hold many more variants adopting this technology.
As stated at the beginning of this article, the motives for releasing such watches seems impossible to ignore yet it does appear that Longines has launched two genuinely cracking watches. What differentiates them is that, whilst the khaki version is attractive, the forest green Longines HydroConquest heralds important changes for this line.
Availability: Khaki Green: £1,230 / Forest Green: As of yet unpriced, but I suspect that the price will be closer to £2,000.
- Dimensions: Khaki Green: 41mm or 43mm | Forest Green: 41mm
- Material: Stainless Steel & Zirconia Ceramic
- Crystal: Flat Anti-Reflective Sapphire
- Display: SuperLuminova-filled applied markers / Rhodium-plated hands / Date at 3 o’clock / Unidirectional ceramic bezel (with guarded luminous pip on Forest Green model) / Khaki Green: matte khaki painted brass dial | Forest Green: vertically brushed dark green zirconia ceramic dial /
- Water Resistance: 300m / 30 ATM / 1,000ft
- Movement: Longines cal. L888.3 (Khaki Green) & cal. L888.5 (Forest Green): 21 jewels / Hacking / Automatic & manual winding / Time & date / 3.5hz, 25,200 vph, 7 ticks-per-second / 64-hour power reserve / Quick-set date | cal. L888.5 (Forest Green): Silicon balance spring