Despite boasting a long and proud history of producing fine mechanical and quartz watches, the Conquest V.H.P. name had been conspicuously missing since mid-1980s from Longines’ stable. Not anymore though, as Longines recently introduced the new Conquest V.H.P. at the Neuchâtel Observatory, in the latest chapter of the long-running romance between Swiss watchmaker Longines and quartz.
V.H.P., which stands for very high precision, was first mooted in the original Conquest V.H.P. that debuted in 1984. The watch befitted the name it was bestowed as it set a precision record at the time. However, it wasn’t Longines’ only claim to fame. In 1954, the watchmaker developed its first quartz clock, which would quickly set a long series of precision records at the Neuchâtel Observatory.
Fast forward to today, the latest Conquest V.H.P. houses an ETA movement renowned for its high degree of precision for an analog watch (± 5 s/yr) and its ability to reset its hands after an impact or exposure to a magnetic field, using the GPD (gear position detection) system.
Function-wise, every watch sports a perpetual calendar, an intelligent crown for adjusting the hands and an EOL indicator which tells when the battery is about to be exhausted. The new Conquest V.H.P. collection is designed with accentuated dynamism in mind, as evident through the brushed stainless steel bracelet and bezel; yet it will still hold up well in a formal occasion with its dapper dial, available in blue, carbon, silver or black colour.
These steel watches are available in three hands/calendar (41mm and 43mm diameter cases, powered by the L288.2 calibre (ETA E56.111) and chronograph (42mm and 44 mm diameter cases, powered by the L289.2 calibre (ETA E57.211) versions. Meanwhile, the chronograph displays hours, minutes and seconds, a 30-minute counter at three o’clock, a 12-hour counter at nine o’clock and a 60-second counter in the centre.
Function-wise, for each model, changes are made using the intelligent crown, while the EOL indicator can preventatively tell the owner if the battery is about to be exhausted.