There’s little doubt that the Longines HydroConquest series has stood the test of time. That’s no small feat given the number of high-end sharks trawling the deep waters of the dive-watches market. The enduring formula is simple: Longines has raised the bar every few years by making several impactful improvements to the watch. They’ve upped the ante yet again with the recently launched HydroConquest Full Black Ceramic.
What sets this latest variant apart is that it’s made entirely of black ceramic — a highly-technical, scratch-resistant material. A bezel embellished with a black ceramic insert creates a black-on-black aesthetic that makes for a stylish and modern timepiece.
While the use of black ceramic is not exactly new — Rolex and Omega have both used it in their own creations of luxury dive watches — it is an increasingly popular base because of its durability and the fact that it’s next to impossible to scratch. Add to that the sophisticated, classy look, and you have a winner in all categories.
The different finishes of each of its components further heighten the boldness of the black mode. The 43mm polished case features an eye-catching matte dial — this is because the radiant white of its Super-LumiNova coated indexes and hands contrasts sharply with the deep black of the dial. As a result, the visibility of all the markings — the hours, minutes, seconds and even the date — is enhanced quite substantially. This is a critical requirement for divers.
Keeping the unique demands of the underwater sport in mind, the HydroConquest Full Black Ceramic, like the other versions in this series, is water-resistant to 300 metres and features a self-winding mechanical movement (L888.3) that has been developed especially for Longines. The round, unidirectional, rotating bezel also adds to the convenience factor, as do the screw-in crown and double-security folding clasp.
The strap has also been given a facelift and, unlike the brushed steel in other models, this one comes with a black rubber strap. It’s also extremely easy to adjust to any wrist size and another key to the watch’s ability to achieve a reassuring, snug fit.
Divers looking for a watch they can take to the blue and the boardroom should definitely consider this for their arsenal.