In 1954, Longines launched the Conquest — a modern watch that incorporated the very latest technology within its 35mm gold case. Water-resistant and self-winding, it was the first Longines model to have its name protected by the Swiss Federal Intellectual Property Office. The Conquest would go on to become a pillar of the Longines lineup, lending its name to the ultra-precise quartz Conquest VHP in 1984 as well as modern pieces like the new Conquest line of sports watches and the HydroConquest dive watch.
As a watchmaker with a unique affinity for modern reproductions of archival pieces from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, Longines has taken every opportunity to pay homage to the Conquest’s golden era. Following the release of the Longines Conquest Heritage, a faithful reproduction of the original 1954 Conquest to mark the line’s 60th anniversary in 2014, the brand is returning the the Conquest’s early days with another noteworthy re-introduction from the archive, the Conquest Heritage Power Reserve.
Released in 1959, the Conquest automatic ref. 9028 (the watch on which the Conquest Heritage Power Reserve is based) was a 35 mm sports watch with a unique feature: a power reserve indicator at the centre of the dial. Power reserve indicators, which display the amount of juice remaining in a watch’s mainspring, are commonplace on high-end watches these days but were still relatively unusual in the ‘50s, particularly on sports watches like the Conquest. More unusual still was the design of this complication, which displayed the movement’s remaining power via a rotating disc and a baton indicator at centre-dial. The new Conquest Heritage Power Reserve revives this unique complication in all its vintage glory while adding a few updates for modern times.
While the 2014 Longines Conquest Heritage featured the same 35mm case size as the original, the new Conquest Heritage Power Reserve takes a more modern approach with a 38mm case made of satin polished stainless steel and fitted with a box sapphire crystal. Three dials are available in champagne, anthracite, and black accompanied by 2 N yellow gold-coloured, 5 N rose gold-coloured, or silver-coloured indices and hands. The strap is available in grey alligator leather on the anthracite model, and black alligator leather on the other two, both with a vintage-inspired stainless steel buckle clasp.
In addition to a coating of luminous Super-LumiNova on the hour and minute hands, the new Conquest Heritage Power Reserve joins the 21st century with the Longines Calibre L896.5 mechanical self-winding movement, which is exclusive to this watch. In addition to a silicon balance-spring, the movement boasts a power reserve of up to 72 hours which is displayed on the dial via the watch’s namesake complication. Interestingly, in addition to the unusual layout of the power reserve dial, the Conquest Heritage Power Reserve is the only piece in the current Longines collection with that particular function, making it as distinctive today as it was in 1959.