The Longines Conquest is Making A Comeback

by Charmian Leong
26 Feb 2024

Longines revives its highly original central power reserve for the 70th anniversary of its Conquest line.

With almost two centuries of watchmaking heritage, Longines has enjoyed many opportunities to celebrate and rejuvenate historic models in its Heritage collection. And now, on the 70th anniversary of its Conquest line, it has brought back a real gem from 1959 – the Longines Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve.

Watchmaking in the 1950s was defined by freedom and exploration. Longines was quick to leverage the know-how it had acquired from developing aviator-centric watches into civilian-friendly ones designed for everyday use, resulting in the automatic, water-resistant Conquest collection in 1954. The first models valued simplicity, with basic three-hand dials that prioritized legibility and everyday wearability.

But in 1959, Longines began to flex its creative muscle, using the rotating dials it had developed earlier in the 1930s for models like the Weems Second Setting watch and the Lindbergh Hour Angle for a new Conquest watch. While this inner dial was originally meant to help synchronize the seconds with a time signal for navigation purposes, Longines adapted it to display the power reserve in the Conquest instead – a design that was, and still is, unique to the brand.

(Related: Heritage comes alive with the Longines Master Collection)

Like many of Longines’ historical re-issues, the refreshed Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve remains faithful where it counts. Applied, faceted hour markers are still joined by a circular thread, the date window remains at 12 o’clock in a trapezoid-shaped applique, and the hour and minute hands follow the charming outline of skyscrapers.

What little aesthetic changes Longines did make is in service of clarity and comfort, such as the removal of the winged logo and the three stars above the model name, a more substantial crown, and redesigned lugs. The steel case has also been given a bump from 35mm to 38mm, and the case back no longer bears a medallion, but is covered by sapphire crystal to allow a view of the self-winding L896.5 calibre. The calibre is equipped with a silicon balance spring – which is advantageous for its anti-magnetic properties and temperature insensitivity – and offers a power reserve of 72 hours, which is a significant upgrade over the original’s 45, as well as water resistance of 50m.

The new Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve is available in three dial colors. The champagne model, with yellow gold-colored hands and appliques, exudes the most vintage charm, while the anthracite- and black-dialed models, with rose gold- and silver-colored accents respectively, lean toward a more contemporary aesthetic. The case alternates between satin-finished and polished surfaces and comes attached to a black or grey leather strap fastened with a steel pin buckle.

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