Longines old gold Watches
When we first heard about the Longines Conquest Heritage, we had to do a double-take; was Longines really re-releasing a 35mm dress watch to celebrate its 60th anniversary? The answer is a resounding yes and we couldn't be happier with the results. Sure, vintage tribute watches have been something of a trend as of late, but rarely do we see something that remains this faithful to the original inspiration. The Conquest Heritage is a limited edition available in steel, yellow gold, and pink gold, and here we have a closer look at all three.
Today the Conquest name is utilized by Longines mostly for sport watches, though its roots go back to an elegant mid-century dress watch. You can see above just how similar the Conquest Heritage is to the 1954 Conquest. Longines made a bold move by sticking to original 35mm case size in a market where almost every homage is up-sized by at least a few millimeters. We think it will pay off and those who truly love vintage watches will find it hard to not get excited about the Conquest Heritage.
These watches also retain many of the distinctive dial features, including the multi-faceted applied markers, the sloped "pie-pan" dial, and even the thin slivers of lume residing in the dauphine hands. There are small lume plots added just inside the hour markers as a part of the minutes track to make reading in the dark even easier.
While the Conquest Heritage is available in three metals, it actually comes in four variations. All three metals are available with the silver sunburst dial and gold applied markers, but there is an additional option for the yellow gold case, a gilt dial with a gold track between the hour markers that looks identical to one of the quirky original Conquests from the 1950s. This last variant is definitely the boldest of the bunch, but for the vintage nerd it's very exciting.
Turning the Conquest Heritage over, you'll find a caseback style familiar to anyone familiar with vintage watches. These sorts of backs are found on Longines, Omegas, and other dress watches from the 50s and 60s, with a smooth outer ring surrounding an enameled and engraved center decoration. You'll also find the limited edition numbers engraved below these seals. These decorated screw-down backs are a nice finishing touch that adds to the overall feel of the Conquest Heritage.
Beating away inside the Conquest Heritage is the Longines caliber L633, which is an ETA 2824/2. Some purists might jump up and ask, "Why aren't they manual?" but the original Conquest was actually an early automatic dress watch, making this a completely appropriate choice.
On the wrist, the Conquest Heritage really feels like a vintage watch. It's thin, lightweight, and has that certain intangible quality to it that makes it feel like it's from the past. It doesn't feel cheap or delicate, though it doesn't feel over-engineered and stiff either. The balance achieved is spot on and if you saw a friend wearing one, you would have to look twice to figure out whether it was a vintage Conquest or the Conquest Heritage. It was one of the more understated watches of Baselworld 2014, but undoubtedly one of the standouts for me.
The Conquest Heritage is a limited edition of 600 pieces in stainless steel ($1, 850) and 60 pieces in each of the gold variants ($5, 500). Each piece is individually numbered on the caseback and they will start hitting stores in fall 2014.