Conquering time
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Conquering time

Longines marks 70 years of the Conquest with updated model

Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve with a champagne-coloured dial.
Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve with a champagne-coloured dial.

In 1954, Longines introduced ref 9001 in a 35mm case, whose back boasted an inlaid Champlevé enamel medallion.

Besides the reference number, the elegant self-winding timepiece had a catchy name -- Conquest -- which was registered on April 3 at the Federal Intellectual Property Office in Berne, Switzerland.

Its retro aesthetic was combined with updated watchmaking technologies for the diamond-jubilee model in 2014.

The 70th anniversary of Longines' first watch family in 2024 is marked by the Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve echoing the iconic ref 9028.

Back in the mid 1950s, naming watches was a part of a new product development strategy implemented by Longines, reputed for chronographs, high-frequency movements and sports timekeeping.

The name Conquest paid tribute to the spirit of pioneers, who dared to go further than others in their quest for new horizons.

The ethos also defined the ingenuity of the Swiss company, whose Conquest ref 9028 from 1959 stood out with a power reserve indicator, displayed for the first time, on two rotating discs at the centre of the dial.

The power reserve indicator uniquely centres the black dial.

Longines drew on its expertise in watches with rotating discs, such as hour-angle models developed for the aeronautical industry in the late 1920s, to uniquely place the power reserve indicator on the central uncoiling disc.

In the shape of a baton widened at the top, it shows the movement's depletion level on the external coiling disc, graduated from 64 to 0 while indicating the balance of the power-reserve hours available.

The complex mechanism fundamentally involves a spring that stores energy produced by winding and a regulated energy release to power the mechanical movement.

Rewinding can be done either by turning the crown or moving the wrist, causing the coiling disc to rotate and simultaneously changing the aesthetic of the dial.

The choreography is staged on a champagne, anthracite or black face of the commemorative Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve matched with a black or grey leather strap.

Like on its predecessor, a date window decorated with a trapezoid-shaped applique is positioned at 12 o'clock.

The three-part dial is edged on its fixed part by applied facetted hour markers. The characteristic circular motif is rendered by a fine thread that carries these markers and separates the minute track on the fixed dial.

The hour markers along with the skyscraper-style hour and minute hands are coated with Super-LumiNova for legibility in the dark.

Conquest from 1959. Photos © Longines

The original had a diameter of 35mm while the 2024 iteration is housed in a completely-redesigned 38mm stainless steel case with alternating satin-finished and polished surfaces.

It is topped by a box sapphire crystal with multi-layer anti-reflective treatment on both sides. The back side reveals the new calibre L896.5 equipped with a silicon balance-spring and innovative components.

The mechanical self-winding movement ensures a power reserve of 72 hours and a magnetic resistance up to 10 times greater than the ISO 764 standard.

While the Conquest collection turns 70, Longines has a rich history of almost 200 years.

The Saint-Imier based brand originated from a workshop set up by Auguste Agassiz in 1832. His nephew Ernest Francillon took over operations 20 years later and opened a factory on a field locally known as Es Longines in 1867.

Francillon registered the name Longines as well as the winged hourglass logo in 1880. Today, Longines remains the oldest watch brand trademarked by the International Registry at the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Likewise, Conquest was its first product line to have its name protected as an intellectual property in 1954.

The name of the company and watch appear above and under the central power reserve indicator of the 70th anniversary timepiece, which is a member of the Heritage Classic collection.

A wide range of new-generation Conquest models, on the other hand, advance Longines' first watch family into its next decade.

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