The Longines Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve

While it’s quite the challenge indeed for a dress watch to achieve certified “hyped” or “viral” status, I will say that the release of Longines’ Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve back in January received a novel amount of buzz despite this fact. The relative fervor around this launch definitely piqued my interest, so when I had the chance to explore what the buzz was all about, I didn’t think twice.
Longines’ signature Conquest collection celebrates its 70th birthday this year, and the Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve we have here was created in large part to honor this milestone. As the name suggests, the most novel detail of this piece, is, of course, the central power reserve indicator disk, which traces its roots back to a Longines design from 1959. Outfitted in contemporary 38mm sizing in stainless steel, this model remains true to its vintage predecessor but has just enough updates in terms of design, construction, and functionality to make it feel relevant right now – which is arguably the key to the success of any revival piece in this oversaturated genre, after all.
While I would normally subconsciously gravitate toward the champagne and yellow-gold model — undoubtedly the most, well, heritage-looking of the trio released in January – I thought it might be a fun time to exercise some flexibility, try something different, and challenge my tastes. And, I will say, that I liked the combination of grey and rose gold much better than I thought I would. Generally speaking, it’s a smart move for brands to present a model that stylizes a vintage reboot design in a modern color palette alongside more classic options for the traditionalists. The “something for everyone” ethos continues to be an effective one.
If you were to take a look at the 1959 model and compare it with this one, you’d notice that the dial layout is nearly identical between the two – the only thing missing is the brand’s winged hourglass emblem. While there is quite a lot of text (and quite a lot of typography), the date window at 12 and the power reserve disk give it an overall balanced impression. The design language is, you guessed it, decidedly mid-century – an era that lends itself particularly well to the dress watch category. From the applied indices to the shape of the hands to the trapezoidal outline of the date window, all of these elements work in concert to help maintain a classic – you might even say timeless – feel.
A unique feature of the central power reserve function is that it isn’t just one disk that rotates, but two concentric disks that can be wound automatically or by hand thanks to the Longines caliber L896.5 within. Another quirk of the power reserve disk is that while it is only numbered up to 64, the reserve is capable of up to 72 hours of power, and is indicated by the last pip. This movement beats at a VPH of 25,200, is equipped with a monocrystalline silicon balance spring, and can be seen in action through the sapphire crystal caseback.
Here is where I will launch into my main gripe about this piece – the lugs (which have a 19mm lug width, for those interested). While I was excited about their short, truncated size, having it on my wrist I immediately felt that they were not quite curved enough. On each side, a gap was created between the lugs and leather strap and my wrist, a space hovering between that made me feel ill at ease. However, I will say that this could have been due to the strap that this watch was paired with was fresh out of the box, and its stiffness exacerbated this hovering dynamic in a way that a more well-worn strap would not. Additionally, I will note that if you have a wrist larger than mine, this complaint will likely not be so acutely noticeable. That said, I didn’t mind the look of the 38mm diameter itself aesthetically and was quite taken with this watch’s slightly oversized presence on my wrist.
This watch, along with its two contemporary siblings, has joined the permanent lineup of Longines’ heritage collection – though its $3,800 price tag is significantly higher than many other members of the line. Is that price justified by the novelty of the central power reserve indicator itself? I don’t know, you’ll have to tell me. But after spending a few leisurely afternoons with this model, I will say that I understood why this watch so effectively charmed many of my fellow watch enthusiasts out there. And, it might have made me reconsider my misgivings about the combo of rose gold and grey that seems to be reaching peak popularity lately.