It’s like we always say: every year is an anniversary year. As surely as the sky is blue and the tax bill comes every spring, watch brands will celebrate major (and not so major, to be honest) anniversaries with new watch releases. This year, Longines is celebrating what is actually a fairly big milestone for their Conquest collection, which turns 70 in 2024. This line is pure mid century elegance, which in my opinion never really went out of fashion, even if sportier watches have been the focus of the watch world for much of the last decade. The Conquest watches immediately evoke a period of time when you could wear a fedora unironically, and smoke cigarettes indoors. A simpler time, before we felt the need to place watches into distinct categories, and they were just watches. You get a little taste of that with the new Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve, as well as a very cool execution of a common complication.*

The new reference seen here is a reinterpretation of a watch that made its debut in 1959 and featured a power reserve indicator in the center of the dial, which functioned with two rotating discs. The modern version uses the same principle as the watch from the 50s, with a power reserve indicator tied to an uncoiling disc marked with a baton shaped indicator that tracks the movement’s power over the course of its 64 hours of running time. Seeing the power reserve at the center of the dial seems remarkably intuitive, and Longines, for their part, take credit as the inventors of this particular centrally located power reserve indicator.*

There are three dial options for the new Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve: champagne, anthracite, and black. All three look very nice to my eye, though I think the champagne certainly has the most classic, straight out of Mad Men vibe of the three, with the anthracite version presenting as the most contemporary, but not by much, and that’s of course largely subjective. All three have applied and faceted hour markers to mark the time, and feature a date window at the 12:00 position, another unusual quirk of this watch. You’ll also notice the hands are in a “skyscraper” shape, which is a great detail and very evocative of the Conquest’s mid century heritage.*

The case measures 38mm in a straightforward, circular design, and has alternating satin and polished finishing. A box style sapphire crystal serves another connection to the Conquest’s roots. This Conquest runs on the Longines exclusive L896.5 caliber, and can be seen via a display caseback. While the watch is dressed in 50s clothes, under the hood it’s quite contemporary – the movement is built with a silicon balance spring and Longines claims magnetic resistance ten times beyond the ISO 764 benchmark for that metric.*
Retail pricing for the new Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve is set at $3,800. Longines

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