The fumé dial re-entered modern watchmaking lexicon thanks in part to a small watch Manufacture from Schaffhausen, opening our eyes to a rainbow assortment of red gold fumé, midnight blue fumé or its brand new jade-green incarnation. The fervour of its aesthetic appeal and elegance is matched by only by over 200 complex production processes, each hand machined and then painted and finished to obtain its signature sunburst pattern. A visual leitmotif immediately known by its possessor and when the light happens to play across the smoked dial in just the right way, a thing of beauty to other onlookers around you.
Today, thanks to the enterprising work of Longines, the latest Legend Diver Watch, now available in 36 mm versions, is possessed of its own “smoked” dial (but more likely meant to replicate faux patina reminiscent to aged school diving watches), in addition to shimmering white mother-of-pearl.
Introducing new Longines Legend Diver 36 with fumé dials
A reimagined version of the iconic 1960s diving watch, the Longines Legend Diver Watch 36 joins the heritage model as a series intended for women. The new Legend Diver is thoroughly emblematic of the Saint-Imier company’s watchmaking and aesthetic know-how. The introduction of fumé dials into the Winged Hour-Glass’s design lexicon is a boon for watch aficionados who’ve always loved the smoked effect but never had a wallet large enough to stomach the mid five figure price tags.
Last year, Swatch Group’s swan-song appearance at Baselworld, sister brand Hamilton introduced the Intra-Matic H38465501, a dressier timepiece with a similarly smoked dial. The new Longines Legend Diver 36 takes the contrast of robust tool watch, the diminutive proportions of a female-oriented size (but the release does say it’s can “grace the wrists of women AND men”) with the sophistication of one of watchmaking’s rarely utilised dial aesthetics.
That said, topped by a domed sapphire crystal, the smoked dial does not follow the same traditional techniques as those practiced by more expensively positioned watchmakers, the fumé or patina effect is created via lacquer rather than hand created. The new 36mm Longines Legend Diver also has dial iterations in white mother-of-pearl and its original black.
Polished rhodium-plated hands coated with Super-LumiNova return, a functional requirement required for diving watches, driven by a self-winding movement. As with the model that inspired them, the stamped image of a diver adorns the screwed back of these timepieces. A Milanese-style steel bracelet subtly emphasizes the simplicity of these watches, while white, brown or black leather straps harmoniously blend with the colours of the dial are also an option.
Longines Legend Diver 36 Price and Specs
Movement Automatic Calibre L592 with 40 hours power reserve
Case 36mm stainless steel with 300 metres water resistance
Strap Leather or milanese
Price From S$3200