At the same time Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck were galavanting through Italy on a Vespa in Roman Holiday, just across the pond, Longines was sealing its own place in history. The year was 1954 and the Swiss watchmaker was tightening the screws on the original Longines Conquest ref.9001; the first timepiece in the collection to have its name protected. Much like Hepburn herself, who would later become the brand’s original ‘Elegance is an Attitude’ ambassador, the watch became synonymous with style and sophistication, an ethos now built into the Longines DNA.
Seventy years on from that fateful piece, Longines is reviving an icon, unveiling an all-new Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve. With a design that appears as though it were plucked straight from the Saint-Imier maison’s archive book and a movement that rivals Longines’ most premier releases, the new Conquest Heritage isn’t so much a tribute, but rather a love letter to timeless elegance.
Reinventing the Wheel
Taking inspiration from 1959’s Conquest automatic ref.9028, the latest timepiece reintroduces one of Longines’ most mesmerising innovations; a functional power reserve indicator at the centre of the dial. Unique and exclusive to Longines, this addition allows you to conveniently view the watch’s remaining running time at a glance. It’s undoubtedly a handy function, but it is how Longines managed to achieve this process that is truly worthy of acclaim.
To bring the central power reserve to life, Longines implemented a dual-rotating disc design, with the power reserve indicator on the central uncoiling disc. In the shape of a baton widened at the top, it indicates the movement depletion level on the external coiling disc, counting down from ‘64’ to ‘0’. When you rewind the timepiece by turning the crown or moving your wrist, the coiling discs rotate and the remaining power reserve is reflected on the dial.
Ever-changing and effortlessly fluid, the aesthetics of the dial change continuously, ebbing and flowing like a natural current, which you could argue is an oddly poetic reference to the sweeping passage of time. Perhaps more importantly, it speaks directly to Longines’ long-documented history of rotating disc designs, dating back as far as the late 1920s. Make no mistake, however, this one is something special.
At 38mm in diameter, the new Longines Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve lands right in the sweet spot for vintage and contemporary collectors. A stunning ode to traditional 1950s design, the watch brings a refined sense of balance to the fold, exemplifying the simplicity of execution for which the Swiss maison has become renowned for.
To mark the release, Longines has unveiled three new references of the Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve, available in champagne, anthracite or black. As the watchmaker explains, the three-part dial is edged on its fixed part by 12 yellow-gold coloured, rose gold-coloured or silver-coloured applied faceted hour makers.
In keeping with the current Conquest lineup, the pieces also feature the characteristic circles motif, with a fine thread separating the minute track on the fixed dial. Additionally, you’ll also find a date display at 12 o’clock, with the unusual skyscraper-style hours and minute hands coated with Super-LumiNova for enhanced legibility.
Much like its predecessor, the new Conquest Heritage speaks to the brand’s instantly recognisable design language, however, it does so with the same focus on technical excellence that we’ve seen across recent releases such as the Ultra-Chron and Spirit Zulu Time.
Precision and Accuracy
This time around, Longines has bolstered the lineup with the new exclusive L896.5 calibre, an ultra-precise and durable in-house movement. Visible through the transparent screw-down case back, the self-winding mechanical movement arrives equipped with a silicon balance spring for enhanced accuracy and magnetic resistance. As Longines explains, this calibre offers resistance ten times greater than the ISO 764 benchmark standard.
The new Longines Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve is available from 25 January 2024 and is priced from AUD$6,325. All three references are fitted with either a black or grey leather strap, adorned with a new steel pin buckle in keeping with the latest Conquest Heritage models.
Longines Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve
- Brand: Longines
- Model: Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve
- Reference: L1.618.104.22.168/L1.622.214.171.124/L1.6126.96.36.199
- Diameter: 38mm
- Thickness: 19mm
- Calibre: Exclusive Longines Calibre L896.5 mechanical self-winding movement
- Power Reserve: 72 hours
- Water-Resistance: 50m
- Price: AUD$6,325