Longines Heritage Diver 1967 Chronograph Hands-On
Longines has added a new dive watch to its Heritage collection, and this time, it’s a chronograph. The new Longines Heritage Diver 1967 is a great-looking vintage-inspired piece that, as is all the rage these days, draws inspiration from a past Longines model. With classic good looks, strong proportions and an enthusiast-approved movement, the Longines Heritage Diver 1967 manages to standout in the crowd at Baselworld 2015.
The Longines Heritage Diver 1967 is based on a design from Longines‘ back catalog that dates back to 1967 (duh). This new chronograph carries many similar traits from the original, from the black opaline dial to the tachymeter scale and lop-sided “squinty” sub dial layout (where the three o’clock sub dial is considerably larger than the nine o’clock sub dial). As part of the collection at Longines’ museum in Saint-Imier, the original is an excellent point of reference when the goal is to make a new watch with a vintage appeal.
The Longines Heritage Diver 1967 has a 42mm-wide steel case with a bordeaux aluminum bezel which has not only a dive time scale, but also a 12-hour scale that allows for a fast and easy view of another timezone. To use a 12-hour bezel you simply rotate the bezel so that the hour differential (the number of hours between the timezone currently showing on your watch and the timezone you wish to track) is at 12 o’clock. You can now read the 2nd timezone hour using the bezel scale.
My home is in PST, so if I wanted to know the time in Basel I would rotate the bezel to place “8” at 12 o’clock on the dial. It’s a deceptively simple and very powerful feature that can, depending on the timezone, challenge the practicality of any independent 24 hour hand, but at a fraction of the cost.
The dial is a mix of opaline black with cream sub dials and accents. There is also a subtle red cross emanating from the center of the dial and a date display at 4:30. Legibility of the time display is generally good, but in some lighting, the polished main time hands can disappear against the black backdrop of the dial, despite their inclusion of a luminous segment on each hand. Being polished, all one would need to do is slightly rotate their wrist to catch some available light and reveal the hands.
The case is polished with thin and faceted lugs that really work well with the vintage aesthetic. Being a dive watch that is water resistant to 300m, the crown screws down. The front sapphire is anti-reflective and has a raised box edge to further highlight the old school vibe. The case back is solid with a diver logo similar to that seen on the Longines Legend Diver a few years ago.
Being a modern chronograph from a very capable brand, the Heritage Diver 1967 gets Longines’ L688.2 automatic column wheel chronograph. While the L688.2 is produced by Swatch group sibling ETA (as the A08.231), its use is exclusive to Longines.
The L688 has been a strong movement for Longines, as they attempt to corner the market at their price point. Running at 4 Hz, the L688 offers a maximum chronograph record of 12 hours and has a power reserve of 54 hours.
The Longines Heritage Diver 1967 will retail for $3,150 USD with either a steel bracelet (double folding clasp with dive extension), a black alligator leather strap, or, to my preference, a black rubber strap with a fold over clasp and dive extension. That is a considerable value when compared against much of the Longines Heritage Diver 1967‘s price competition, which will more than likely be powered by an ETA 7750. With a historically Longines look and feel, a noteworthy movement, and strong value at its price point, the Heritage Diver 1967 is a very appealing watch and one of my favourites from Baselworld 2015.