Inspired by the launch of the Longines Avigation Watch Type A7 1935 last week, which is the new offshoot in the Longines Heritage collection, I’ll wear my Longines Legend Diver this week.
If I’m correct, the Longines Legend Diver was the first watch in the current Heritage collection from Longines. Even, the Legend Diver wasn’t named a ‘Heritage’ model, however obviously a ‘Legend’. Longines hereafter came up with the name ‘Heritage’ for the rest of the collection.
In the distant past Longines already made some re-editions from the Lindbergh Hour Angle, Conquest and Flagship models. I think these were part of a heritage collection avant la lettre, as they weren’t specifically named like this (Longines named them ‘Replicas’).
[picture from longinespassion.com]
The Legend Diver was taken from and inspired by the illustrious divers models from Longines which were produced in the late 50’s until the late 60’s. Models references were like 7042, 7150, 7494 and 7594.
As you’ll see above, the original divers from the 50’s/60’s did not have a date indication. The nice thing with the re-edition was that Longines at first brought a model as close to the original as possible without a date indication (reference L3.6220.127.116.11), as well as a version with date indication (reference L3.618.104.22.168). So customers could choose for either the original looks or the comfort of a date indication.
I knew I wanted this watch from the moment I saw it for the first time, and I knew I only wanted the version without the date. I’m quite a purist so there was no doubt about that. As the watch wasn’t at the top of my priority list I didn’t buy it right away, I knew there would come a moment that I would buy it. However, then once in a sudden at the time was there I was ready to buy the Legend Diver without date (currently nicked LLDND) it pointed out that Longines had ceased production of the no date version!
What!? How did that happen so quickly, and why? Anyhow, by the time I noticed it seemed that all No Date’s were sold out everywhere, so I was left without a LLDND. During one of my interviews with Longines at Baselworld I learned that the sales figures for the No Date version proofed too low to keep it in production. Certainly against the very popular Date version.
That was around 2007, now ten years later Longines still remembers that lesson. As you can see the new Longines Avigation Watch Type A7 1935 has a date function, while the 1935 original had not.
Years and years later I luckily found my LLDND. Pre-owned however in like new condition, complete with the original huge wooden box, booklets and papers. As you can see I wear it on a brown leather strap, rather than on the original textured black strap which comes with the watch.
At the moment the No Date version is highly sought after by watch purists like me. At the time of writing, worldwide there are 33 Longines Legend Divers listed for sale at Chrono24, from which only 1 is without Date. I hope it’s still there by the time you read this.. 😉
Gerard has been in the watch industry for over two decades now. He owned a watch shop in The Hague, The Netherlands, and besides that he has journalistic and photographic activities in the field of watches. Collecting watches since he... read more