Longines’ heritage-inspired Heritage Diver 1967 was released at Baselworld 2015, and with thanks to Longines Australia, we were loaned a prototype for a few days. With its roots in a 1967 piece called the ‘Skin Diver’, this new version is, as is commonly the case when it comes to reissues, bigger than the original. In this instance, by 2mm.
It comes in a 42mm stainless steel case with what they’ve called a ‘bordeaux’ coloured aluminium bezel that is graduated from 0 to 60 and 1 to 12. The bezel is dual use. The outer numerals from ‘5’ to ’55’ measure elapsed time for diving, and ‘1’ to ’11’ on the inner track is a second time zone indicator. There is a tachymeter scale, whose font I found a fraction small. If your eyesight isn’t that great, you may find that you need to squint a bit if you wish to use it. The rhodium-plated hands and hour markers are coated in Super-LumiNova.
Inside is the automatic Calibre L688.2 with column wheel chronograph with a 54-hour power reserve.
The L688.2 is a three register chronograph but this functionality is realised in the form of one black (to blend with the dial for balance) and two silver-coloured counters on a black opaline dial. The small seconds is at 9 o’clock, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, and there is a centre seconds hand.
There is, as you can see, the inevitable Longines re-issue date window which has caused the usual rift between traditionalists and those who want to know the date. Me? In this instance I’d probably rather it wasn’t there, but it’s a case-by-case basis model wise, and at least the window’s background is the same colour as the dial, which makes it more discreet. Also, note that that changing the date is done via the use of a pin for the embedded pusher at 11 o’clock.
Unfortunately, this was not a functioning model, so I was unable to test the chronograph functions.
The case back is cast with a skin diver in relief, just as it was on Longines’ vintage dive watches. Water resistance is 30 bar (300m) and it comes on a leather strap, rubber strap, or a steel bracelet.
It sits well on the wrist, and its build quality is pretty solid. It is quite a polished shiny watch, so for those who are worried about marks to the bezel or case, you might need to take note of this.
Here is a comparison with another Longines Heritage reissue from a few years ago, the immensely popular and very attractive Legend Diver, and the the Pulsometer re-issue about which I wrote here.
The Heritage Diver 1967 is available on a steel bracelet with a folding clasp and integrated diving extension, black alligator, or black rubber with an integrated diving extension. The Australian RRP for this model is $3,950.