One to watch: The Longines Skin Diver

With the release of another sleek heritage model, Longines is cleaning up in the retro watch stakes

Longines is on a roll. In the space of more or less a year, we’ve had the excellent Heritage 1945, the Heritage Military (that was unveiled just last month), and now this; the brand’s first modern diver’s watch – and the latest addition to its military collection.

It’s called the Heritage Skin Diver, in homage to the original piece that inspired this new diver’s clean looks. An original from 1959, Longines’ first dive watch was introduced at a time when water sports were gaining mainstream popularity and ceasing to be the sole preserve of the elite. Consequently, the original Longines dive watch (which at the time mixed clean looks with an attractive price tag) was a serious hit among diving enthusiasts.

The modern Skin Diver holds a similar appeal. Clean lines, a well-balanced shape and cream Super-Luminova digits that pop against sober dial mark it out as a handsome thing, true to the original. Authentic ‘50s-cum-’60s details like the lume plots for the cardinal hours, and the black PVD-coated bezel also set it apart as a looker – a watch that, while practical, wouldn’t seem out of place beneath the cuff of a dinner suit.

Longines Heritage Skin Diver review

It also comes with a choice of three straps, to help your dress it for its intended environment. There’s classic mid-brown leather for day-to-day wear, a black tropic rubber strap for beneath the waves, and a mesh steel bracelet to dress it up.

Aesthetics aside, it’s also worth pausing to consider the movement. The Skin Diver’s powered by Longines’ precise L888 movement – an automatic with an impressive 64-hour power reserve – so you can be sure it’ll keep running to time. And of course, it’s water resistant to a healthy depth of 300 metres– a feat helped by its screw-in crown.

In short, there’s nothing not to like, especially considering the watch’s price – less than £2,000. Moreover, we do really like its looks. A diver’s watch this might be, but it’s sleek enough to be worn in any number of different ways. Whether you’re into your water sports or not, this represents a smart buy.