Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Reviewing Longines’ Conquest Central Power Reserve Model Watch

Created for the 70th anniversary of the Conquest collection this year, the display neatly puts the complication on the same axis as the hours and minutes.

May 12, 2024 | By Ashok Soman

If you are wondering what a central power reserve is, well you are not the only one. Longines presents a unique take on the humble power reserve indicator with its Conquest Central Power Reserve model. In short, the discs beneath the hands turn and this gives the watch a truly prominent and unusual arrangement for this feature. While this is exactly as per the original watch from the Longines archive (1950s), this new interpretation still surprised us. The new watch features an automatic movement, which further adds to how unusual it is.

Longines is justifiably famous for the depth of its collection, thanks largely to how rich its archive is. Lately, the brand has been betting on what are effectively idiosyncratic pieces, like the Majetek, but Longines also has a history here – consider the Avigation and Lindbergh Hour Angle watches for example. Establishing such a track record is no mean feat, and the Central Power Reserve could also make its mark here. The key point, in our opinion, for collectors and enthusiasts is to look for very special horological touches that are also priced in the friendly range because the goal is to have fun. In the case of this watch, the fun is in the central discs, one listing 64 to 0 and the other being a marker, that shows how many hours are left in the tank, so to speak. Yes, the watch has a stated power reserve of 72 hours, not 64, hence the disc does go beyond that number but it is not marked. It all takes a bit of getting used to, but that is what happens when you want to amuse yourself.

Now, you might be up in arms about the date window at 12 o’clock but if you know your Longines, then you will know that the original from 1959 had the date in the same place. Similarly easy to take is the automatic calibre L896.5, which is made exclusively for the brand by ETA. It is equipped with a silicon hairspring (and perhaps other bits too but the release is unclear) that helps this watch be as antimagnetic as you could wish. Longines says that is an order of magnitude greater than benchmark standards (ISO 764 in this case). Something that sticklers for adaptation will want to take note of is the 19mm lug width, which necessitates some caution in how and what you can play with in terms of straps. More in line with contemporary mores is the 38mm case size, and three dial variants: black, anthracite and champagne.

MOVEMENT: Automatic calibre L896.5 with central power reserve; 72-hour power reserve
CASE: 38mm in steel; water-resistant to 50m
STRAP: Alligator leather
PRICE: SGD 5,810

This article first appeared on WOW’s Spring 2024 issue.

For more on the latest in watch reads, click here.

Back to top