What to Know Before Buying the Longines HydroConquest

What to Know Before Buying the Longines HydroConquest

The Longines HydroConquest features a boldly contemporary design and a sturdy, water-resistant construction that have made it one of the most popular dive watches in its sport-luxury price segment. Since its debut in 2007, the Longines HydroConquest has expanded into a versatile collection with an array of sizes, colorways, and materials to appeal to a wide audience of dive watch enthusiasts. Here are seven things to know if you're looking at adding a Longines HydroConquest watch to your collection.

The Longines HydroConquest has its roots in Longines’ very first named collection from 1954.

Longines Conquest 1954-2014

Longines, which derives its name from “les longines,” aka “the long meadows” that surround the Swiss village of Saint-Imier where it was founded, has been making timepieces since 1832. It wasn’t until 1954, however, that Longines began engaging in the modern marketing practice of introducing product families with distinctive names. “Conquest” was the first such name to be registered, on April 3, 1954, with the Swiss Register of Intellectual Property. The original Longines Conquest (reproduced above) was designed as one of the first generation of “modern” wristwatches, i.e., equipped with a highly accurate automatic movement and a water-resistant case that also protected the movement from magnetism and shocks. 

Longines Conquest blue dial

Despite its utilitarian elements, the original Conquest was undeniably a dress watch, with a very modest 35mm case; a clean, minimalist dial; applied diamond-shaped indexes; and Dauphine hands. The modern version, above, is more sporty in character, with steel cases starting at 39mm, a dial distinguished by a combination of rectangular applied indexes, prominent applied Arabic numerals at 6 and 12 o’clock, a date window at 3 o’clock, and sword-shaped hands. The cases sport a very robust water resistance of 300 meters.

The Longines HydroConquest is inspired by water sports and designed for underwater functionality.

Longines HydroConquest Gray Dial

In 2007, with the revival of the mechanical sport-luxury watch in full swing and the divers’ watch genre in particular gaining popularity, Longines introduced the HydroConquest, which built upon the contemporary Conquest design for an even more rugged and sport-oriented architecture, one aimed squarely at recreational divers and those who wanted to emulate their look. The core Conquest model’s stationary, brushed steel bezel gave way to a unidirectionally ratcheting bezel with a 60-minute dive-scale insert, with the first 15-minute sector delineated by minute markers and Arabic numerals at each subsequent 10-minute interval. An applied Arabic numeral at 9 o’clock replaced the rectangular index on the non-diving model, while the 3 o’clock date display was retained. The more traditional sword handset was replaced by a short, faceted hour hand with a bulging luminous diamond, a baton minute hand, and a lollipop-style sweep seconds hand.

Longines HydroConquest dial CU lumeBigger, bolder round indexes were added at the 12 hour positions, and a generous coating of Super-LumiNova was applied to the hands, indexes, and the orientation dot at 12 o’clock on the bezel. The water resistance remained at 300 meters, more than sufficient to meet ISO requirements for a diving watch, secured by a screw-down crown flanked by crown protectors and by a screw-down caseback with a relief engraving of Longines’ historical winged hourglass logo. The three-link steel bracelets have a double security folding clasp and an integrated divers’ extension. 

The Longines HydroConquest models in all steel offer a variety of sizes and movement options.

Longines HydroConquest steel bracelet

As a watch brand historically concerned about price-value ratio and practicality, Longines makes most of its watches in steel, and despite dabbling in some very notable titanium sport-luxury watches recently, this remains the case with the HydroConquest family — with one notable exception that I spotlight later. At the collection’s most entry-level price point (just over $1,000 before taxes) are the all-steel models with Swiss quartz movements, namely the ETA Caliber L157, which is outfitted with an end-of-life indicator for its battery. These movements beat inside brushed steel cases at three sizes: 39mm in diameter and 10.1mm thick; 41mm in diameter and 11.9mm thick, or 44mm in diameter and 11.9mm thick. The 39mm and 41mm quartz models sell for $1,050, while the larger 44mm version tacks on just $50 more for the additional metal, retailing for $1,100. If you prefer an automatic movement, all three case options offer one and all are priced at the same MSRP of $1,325. These models, which are available with either a sunray blue or sunray black dial and matching-colored bezel insert, contain the Longines-exclusive Caliber L888, built upon the ETA L31.L11 base movement (ETA and Longines are both part of the Swatch Group) and souped up with a 72-hour power reserve and a frequency of 25,200 vph.

The Longines HydroConquest models in steel and gold PVD add a touch of luxury for a minimal price difference.

Longines HydroConquest steel/gold PVD 

Taking a small step upward in price, Longines has embraced the two-tone look for an array of HydroConquest models, adding yellow-gold or rose-gold PVD coatings to various elements like the bezel, bracelet center links, and screw-down crown and gilding dial details like the hands, hour markers, and the applied winged-hourglass brand emblem. The entry-level, two-tone HydroConquest models are all in the “midsize” 41mm case, with sunray black or blue dials and mounted on steel-and-PVD three-link bracelets. The watches with the Swiss quartz Caliber L157 are priced at $1,200; the automatic versions retail for $1,475 and contain Longines’ proprietary Caliber L888.

The Longines HydroConquest finds its most colorful variations in the models that combine stainless steel and ceramic.

Longines HydroConquest Green Dial

Longines first used high-tech ceramic for a HydroConquest diver’s bezel in 2018 and has expanded the number of models outfitted with them in the subsequent years. Branching out to these models, which crank up the “luxury” component of this sport-luxury dive watch, opens up a plethora of additional options in size, bracelet type, and color combo. The case sizes range from 39mm (12.9mm thick), to 41mm (11.9mm thick) to 43mm (also 11.9mm). Black and blue dials are joined by dials in military green and smokey sunray gray. The ceramic diver’s bezels and the textured rubber straps echo the dial color for a well-coordinated wrist ensemble.

Longines HydroConquest caseback

All of the models that incorporate ceramic bezels are equipped with the automatic L888 movement, which ticks behind a solid, relief-engraved, screwed caseback that ensures the professional-grade 300-meter water resistance. True to its mission of offering value for the money, Longines doesn’t charge a premium to upgrade from strap to bracelet in these models, all of which start at $1,700. The price of admission only creeps up to $1,950, just below the $2,000 threshold, on the models for which Longines has also added some yellow-gold or rose-gold elements, i.e. the center bracelet links, the crown, and the bezel housing the ceramic insert. 

The Longines Hydroconquest Chronograph features vibrant colors and a proprietary column-wheel movement.

Longines HydroConquest Chronograph

Adding a chronograph to a popular sport-watch collection is nearly always a crowd-pleasing move, and Longines somewhat predictably introduced one to the HydroConquest family in 2011. The HydroConquest Chronograph is currently available in four iterations, with two dial executions (the ubiquitous sunray blue and sunray black), both paired with either a bracelet or a blue or black rubber strap. The stainless steel case is 43mm in diameter, 15.9mm in thickness, water-resistant to 300 meters, and topped with a unidirectional ceramic bezel. The dial retains the applied Arabic “12” numeral and large dot indexes but displaces the other hour numerals with three subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock to display 30 elapsed minutes, 12 elapsed hours, and running seconds, respectively; the date window moves to 4:30. Behind the solid steel, screw-down, relief engraved caseback, Longines has installed another of its ETA-based, brand-exclusive movements, the automatic L688, which uses a classical column wheel system to power its built-in stopwatch functions and a respectable 60-hour power reserve. The HydroConquest Chronograph comes in at a very reasonable price point for a chronograph with a Swiss-made, proprietary automatic movement: just $2,600. 

The Longines HydroConquest is available in an all-matte black ceramic version for under $4,000.

Longines HydroConquest Black Ceramic

The only HydroConquest model with a case that is not predominantly in stainless steel is the “stealth-look” matte-black version introduced in 2019, which uses a zirconium oxide ceramic for its entire case rather than just the diver’s bezel. Despite its monochromatic look, the watch is visually stunning with its subtle array of alternating finishes: matte on the dial, polished on the main case, round satin-brushed on the bezel, and a combo of matte and circular satin brushing on the caseback. The case is 43mm in diameter, slightly thicker than its steel cousins, at 13mm, and mounted on a black rubber strap whose folding clasp is also constructed from black ceramic. The water-resistance remains the same as that of the steel models, at 300 meters. Inside is the Longines Caliber L888.3, descended from the L888. The priciest option in the HydroConquest family, it nevertheless still represents quite a value for an all-ceramic watch with a Swiss automatic movement, at an MSRP of $3,950.

Click here to shop for Longines HydroConquest watches on TeddyBaldassarre.com.



Join the Conversation

John W.

I love wearing, swimming, and Scuba Diving with my blue, with Longines blue rubber strap, automatic Longines HydroConquest. For a quality dive watch with 300 meters water resistance, with many of the attributes of several of the more expensive luxury Dive Watch brands, the Longines HydroConquest is indeed a tremendous value for its price. It is also a very beautiful, as well as a very tough and resilient watch, that I can wear as an everyday watch. I am proud to wear it, and show it, and share the Longines history story with my Scuba Diving, and dive watch enthusiast friends. In fact, I recently was on a whale and dolphin watching boat trip with Jean-Michel Cousteau (ocean explorer and son of the legendary Jacques-Yves Cousteau) and some of his divers, and I showed and shared my HydroConquest with him. There are many in the dive watch community who are unaware of Longines excellent dive watch offerings. As a big fan of Longines (I own several different Longines watches), I think the Longines company needs to do more in promoting their dive watch story and become more active in their marketing to the diving community as other companies are doing.

Peter B.

Uncertain whether I am duplicating this question. My new hydroconquest will not change the date. But will change the date when I manually wind the time hands. Am I doing something wrong.

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