The Longines Legend Diver Ref.L3.7126.96.36.199, or “LLD” for short, is a contemporary redesign of a venerable old classic. In the late 1950s, Longines released the Nautilus Skin Diver. This was their response to an explosion of dive watches at the time. Indeed, the period from the 1950s to the early 1960s gave us some of the most iconic dive watches ever made, such as the Rolex Submariner.
Longines didn’t sit on this design. In fact, they expanded it with the Reference 7042, a beefier dive watch that was one of the first to take advantage of the Super Compressor principle. This is a patented process where the case relies on water pressure to get a better seal. Essentially, the case has a slightly loose fit. As it’s submerged, the water pressure increases, forcing the case tighter and tighter together. The deeper your depth, the more secure your seal. The crowns are also highly secure against infiltration, with concealed pegs that don’t have an opening around them.
The Legend Diver takes its inspiration primarily from the Reference 7042. However, it also steals the more popular hands from the later 7594 watch. The LLD even comes with a 3 o’clock date window, a modern feature that you couldn’t find on older watches in this series. In fact, the very first production run of the LLD came without a date window, which makes that particular run unique. Finally, the LLD has modern screw-down crowns, which hadn’t been invented when the 7042 was produced.
So, is this a worthy redesign from a longstanding manufacturer, or did Longines miss their mark with this one? I managed to get my hands on one of these new watches; here’s what I found.
The Case and Crystal
The Longines Legend Diver has a slim, round profile, with a 42mm diameter and a 12.7mm thickness. This gives it a medium wrist presence, while still keeping the weight to a minimum. Its 22mm lugs accommodate mid-sized straps, allowing for plenty of other options if you don’t like the stock strap. The steel is brightly polished, with a smooth finish and no bezel to speak of. In fact, the steel seems to curve into the side of the crystal prematurely, which makes the already highly-arched crystal seem to pop even further out. The sapphire crystal itself is scratch-resistant, with an anti-reflective inner surface. This makes the dial easy to read, although the arched design will obscure details at a wide angle.
As you might imagine, a lot of the Legend Diver’s features are centered around top-notch underwater performance. The crown has a screw-in design, ensuring that it won’t pull out by accident if it gets snagged. The case back also has a screw-down design. This allows for the use of a heavy-duty gasket further improving waterproofing. Finally, there’s an internal diving flange that tightens as the water pressure increases, much like the older 7042. All of this combines to provide an impressive 300 meters of water resistance. Despite the absence of any other dive features, this is a reliable underwater watch.
A Rich Monochrome Dial
The Legend Diver’s dial has a classic, monochrome design, with white numerals and indices painted on a black satin lacquered background. The outer index consists of bold hashes, with larger hashes at the five-minute marks. Arabic numerals are sparse, located only at the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions. At the 3 o’clock position, you’ll find the aforementioned date window. All of the index pip markings, are painted with a Super-LumiNova finish that glows bright in the darkness.
The minute hand is similarly painted, with a slim profile and stainless steel skeleton that’s as elegant as it is functional. The hour hand is shorter and broader, with an arrow-shaped Super-LumiNova-coated head and a thicker frame. The second hand is nearly as fine as a needle, and practically invisible in the dark.
A Reliable Movement
The LLD utilizes Longines’ modified ETA Caliber L888 movement. As you might expect, this is a self-winding automatic movement that keeps running as long as it’s being worn. In fact, it will keep running for a good while afterwards. With a 72-hour power reserve, you can take the Legend Diver off on Friday, and put it back on on Monday morning with nearly a full day’s worth of power to spare.
This is an impressive movement, with an accuracy of +/- 5 seconds per day. It’s also very smooth-operating, with a frequency of 25,200 beats per hour.
An Embossed Leather Strap
The Legend Diver comes with an attractive black leather strap, which is stitched around the edges and reinforced with nylon at the lugs. It’s mostly smooth, but the inside is embossed with a Longines logo that you’ll never even notice.
For more information visit the official Longines website here.