It’s always a challenge for watch enthusiasts to get good mechanical watches with moderate price tags and still be satisfied with all of its technicalities. This is why many Watch enthusiasts love to mull over the good old days when mechanical/tool watches had a quality that can be rarely found in recent watches. Although they came at a relatively high price, they were quite affordable.
Some of these watches are still available in the market, but it’ll cost you a fortune to get just one of them. However, there are still watch brands that offer tool watches with similar technical qualities and capabilities of the old tool watches without having to break the bank.
One of Longines’ recent iteration of their conquest watch models is the Conquest V.H.P reference L3.718.104.22.168. Aesthetics is one way to impress people, but what are those technical specifications and little details that distinguish it from other watches? Can technical innovations speak louder than beauty? Let’s find out!
Conquest VHP Watch Design
While the Conquest V.H.P GMT series is being updated in newer models, each time with subtle changes to the watch design, colors, dials and strap configuration, the Conquest V.H.P in picture is in general a 43mm diameter stainless steel case watch water resistant up to 5ATM with a polished stainless steel bezel and a sapphire crystal sporting an interior AR coating.
This new 43mm version selected over Conquest’s typical 41mm watches is offered to suit people that are after a more significant wrist presence.
It features a versatile case finishing with minimal polished surface as well as a dominant satin brush finish, a finish that doesn’t shout for attention. Its elegance is only shown in the polished bezel offering a nice contrast against the brushed surfaces.
The nicely signed screw-in crown is easy to operate, it’s well protected by a pair of large crown-guards. Turning to the back of the case, we can see Longines’ Wings-Hour Glass logo well engraved on the back.
Attached to the case is a stainless-steel bracelet with a solid and well-designed triple safety folding clasp.
Generally, the watch is well built and should be able to withstand the rigors of traveling and daily abuse. The only rather surprising feature is its water resistance rating of only 50m when other models of the mechanical Conquest series can boast of a 300m water resistance rating.
Dial and Hands
With the watch industry full to the brim with tool watches without proper legibility, Longines establishes a well-known fact that a good tool watch should have a legible dial. This timepiece features a black dial with a fine concentric circle pattern texture radiating from the center, giving a hint of visual depth.
The dial is well balanced with a minimal amount of text and unnecessary details while it brings the much-appreciated details into the limelight. An example of little attention to details is the date aperture at 3 o’clock with black background bordered by a white rim.
Readability is further enhanced with the lumed and darkened steel hour and minute hands. The 12- and 6-hour markers are in Arabic numeral while the others are Applied darkened steel.
Other features worthy of being noted are the Fine printed minute track and the Anthracite dial flange with a second time zone.
Longines’ Exclusive Caliber
A notable detail of this watch is its movement due to all the features it comes with. Longines is part of the Swatch group, and you typically would imagine that this timepiece is equipped with an ETA-based movement. You’re not wrong! The Conquest is powered by Longines exclusive Caliber L287, an ETA E56.411 based Quartz movement with an eyebrow-raising precision of +/-5 seconds per year.
There are only a few other models that offer this degree of accuracy, such as the Citizen Chronomaster and the SBGT241. However, they are available in limited edition timepieces.
The L287 boast of an array of well-thought features with the standout ones being the Gear Position Detection (GPD) system and the Flash setting function. The GPD system automatically resets the hands after a shock or exposure to a magnetic field. It also protects the watch by freezing the hand movement on the detection of magnetic fields.
Adding to the already discussed features is a perpetual calendar that is accurate till 2399 closer to 2525 accuracy of the Zanger and Evans.
Flash Setting Function
As with all GMT watches, the Conquest’s L287 features a second time zone that can be operated through a light-driven management system called the Flash Setting. Any information recorded in the Longines app can be transmitted through a smartphones flash to an opening on the watch dial at the 12 o’clock.
The V.H.P Conquest’s crown has an interesting twist to its features. The pressure exerted on it determines which of the hand is being set. Quick turns of the crown will set the hour hand in one-hour increments while slower turns will adjust the minute hand. The watch prevents time-set exceeding 24 hours backward/forwards to preserve the accuracy of the perpetual calendar.
Also, the watch’s battery can be conserved by putting it in a sleep mode. How cool is that? The hands reset themselves to 12 and stay there after pulling out the crown for 2 minutes. Time is kept internally until the crown is pushed back in, and the watch resumes its normal operations.
It is all about the details; the details in the Longines Conquest V.H.P shows us the effort Longines is willing to put into the design of a good timepiece. The overall build quality is of a very high standard, and it showcases technological innovations that revolutionize both the watchmaking industry and the user’s experience.
Though this timepiece might not get any beauty contest awards, it shows that technicality details also speak volume.
To have a look at all of Longines offerings you can visit their official website here.