Based on one of their models from the 1950s, the 2014 limited-edition Longines Conquest Heritage 1954-2014 comes in a compact 35-millimeter case which is available not only in an expensive rose or yellow gold but also in a lot more affordable stainless steel. Combine it with a nice business dress and you have a clear winner.
As you have probably already noticed, Longines is quite proud of its watchmaking heritage. Staying in the business for more than 180 years, the Swiss brand has a great number of models that, although not legendary (well, at least not as legendary as timekeepers issued by Rolex or Omega during the last eighty years or so, still hold a place in the world history of fine watches.
This new Longines Conquest Heritage 1954-2014 limited edition three-hander, for example, is based on an old model 19J Conquest, which is still quite popular among collectors. Although the watch didn’t offer much new in terms of industrial design, it still looks cool (especially now when demand for all things vintage goes through the roof) and relevant.
To a bit of regret, Longines management didn’t dare to go the hard way by making an exact recreation of the vintage timepiece: the 32 mm body of the original seems a bit too small even now when the trend of making gargantuan timekeepers has finally reversed. Just to be on the safer side, they have increased its dimensions to a more acceptable 35 millimeters and also replaced the original 19 jewel movement with a modern Caliber L633 (base ETA 2824/2) that delivers better performance and is just more reliable and easier to get.
Thankfully, the rest is the same. The Conquest Heritage 1954-2014 still features the same slightly oversized applied hour markers and the same dauphine hour and minute hands (all of these elements are still crafted from either rose or yellow gold), and still sports the same silvered three-dimensional dial with a trademark sunburst finish. Although the new mechanism allows equipping the gadget with a calendar window (and the brand indeed had a similarly styled watch with this functionality), they decided not to use it, which is probably for the best: a cleaner dial always makes a better dress watch.
What you will probably not like about the device, especially if you plan to buy it as a daily beater, is the “Hesalite” crystal that protects the dial from dust and moisture. Although originally designed as an inexpensive and shatter-proof alternative to glass (and also probably historically correct), this acrylic plastic not only doesn’t look as cool as modern synthetic sapphire but is also more prone to scratches and will possibly need more attention to keep looking good.
However, if the choice of the crystal is not an issue, this is indeed a nice watch. With its dial clean and readable and the body compact and discreet, the Longines Conquest Heritage 1954-2014 may be a good choice for a person looking for a classic-styled dress watch that would not make him break the bank to get one.
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5 (for the model in stainless steel, ref. L1.6184.108.40.206)
Longines Conquest Heritage 1954-2014 Limited Edition specification
Price: €1160 (stainless steel) / €3710 (rose and yellow gold versions)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber L633 (base ETA 2824/2), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 38 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Case: Stainless steel / Rose gold / Yellow gold
Size: 35.00 mm
Dial: Silvered sunburst
Hour markers: Rose or yellow gold
Hands: Rose or yellow gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with standard buckle
Crystal: Hesalite plastic crystal (aka “acrylic glass”), shatter-proof
Back: Solid, decorated with a gold and enamel medallion