Back in the old old days, Rolex, Omega and Longines used to be considered close competitors. Longines was the first watch company in the world to register its logo and there are not many brands that can compete against Longines when it comes to heritage.
Unfortunately, since Longines became part of the Swatch Group, it was positioned as a mid-high tier in terms of brand positioning. Below Longines, there are brands such as Tissot, Certina, Mido and Hamilton and Swatch considers Longines to be in the same tier as Rado. This means that Longines watches are quite affordable and for me personally, it is a brand I recommend to people who wants to buy their first "luxury" Swiss watch.
The quality, heritage, design and brand power you get from Longines watches are amazing and there are no brands that can compete with Longines at this price category. Take this 41mm HydroConquest for example - for under $1,300 USD, there aren't many dive watches you can get at this price range with the brand presence - the only other watch I can think of is the Mido Ocean Star.
I personally like this design of the HydroConquest better than the new one because this one has more character and has a unique design. Some people may say it is too busy but I like its different look.
The picture above is the new model. I definitely like it but apart from the Rolex Explorer-inspired Arabic numerals, the new design is a little too plain.
Longines certainly are not where they were like back in the days but it still is one of the best mid-level luxury watch brands offering a lot of value for money. So if you are looking to buy a Swiss dive watch but don't have a budget for an Omega or a Rolex, definitely check out Longines.
Founder & Editor | Say Seowon Song
I run Caramel, a hospitality strategy and creative agency, and teach business and life strategies to ambitious people. I am also heavily involved in other industries such as restaurants, cryptocurrency, NFT and design.