The Longines Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve is a recreation of a rare 1959 releaseBuffy Acacia
- Longines are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Conquest range.
- The Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve is based on a rare model from 1959.
- The unique power reserve display is powered by the new Longines calibre L896.5.
As Longines themselves are within sight of their 200th birthday, they certainly have no shortage of anniversaries. With as many significant developments as they’ve had, it’s surprising that they don’t celebrate something different every week. However, this year is the 70th anniversary of the Longines Conquest range, which has been at the forefront of their catalogue ever since 1954. Rather than reissue the original, which they’ve done before, Longines have selected a rare model from 1959 to bring into their modern pantheon. The Longines Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve re-introduces a beautiful and unique dial layout.
Longines’ approach to their Heritage models perfected the retro-reissue early on, choosing the most iconic features to accentuate while coaxing its design into something more contemporary. Comparing this new Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve with the 1959 original clearly shows that one belongs to a previous generation, but looking at the new version, it’s draped in echoes of the past. The dial, gently domed, is impeccably appointed. No element is overlooked, with all of the applied hour markers, the hands, and even the date window given an angled flair which stands out. The old-style logos are printed with precise imperfection, looking as though they were actually produced 70 years ago. Then of course, there’s the twin-disk power reserve indicator, which constantly evolves as the watch runs and winds.
Powered by the new Longines calibre L896.5, the eccentric concentric power reserve display is quite mesmerising. The inner disk has a printed hand with a thick paddle on one end, and the paddle points to the current number of hours remaining on the power reserve disk. Both of these disks move as the mainspring’s power fluctuates, increasing the dynamics of the dial from just the movement of the hands. The movement, which beats at an unusual 25,200 vibrations per hour, offers a 72-hour power reserve despite the dial’s maximum marking of 64 hours. It’s an impressive increase from the 45 hours of the 1959 original, and more than enough for a daily wearer.
A contemporary watch requires contemporary dimensions, and Longines have entered the Goldilocks zone for the Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve. At 38mm in diameter, it’s large enough to carry some wrist presence but small enough to maintain its classical dignity. The case itself has been entirely redesigned from the ‘50s original, taking on a silhouette which is admittedly bland but compliments the style of watch well enough. The alligator leather strap comes in black on the champagne and black dial models, while the anthracite dial comes with a grey strap. If you want to find an aftermarket strap, then the 19mm lug width isn’t as hard to shop for as it used to be.
With every new release, Longines keeps cementing their new positioning, aimed squarely at the gap that Omega has left with their recent price increases. At over A$6,000, the Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve faces some stiff competition. In fact, it competes with several Omega De Ville Prestige models, though admittedly adds the central power reserve function.
Longines Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve pricing and availability
The Longines Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve is now available from Longines boutiques and retailers. Price: A$6,325, US$3,800
|Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve
|Sapphire front and back
|Champagne, anthracite, or black
|Alligator leather in grey or black
|Longines calibre L896.5
|Hours, minutes, seconds, date, central power reserve