Longines Conquest Automatic Cal.291 18ct 1961
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Very Lightly Used and Completely Original Example
Heavy Waterproof 18ct Yellow Gold Case in Tip-Top Condition
Very High-Grade Cal.291, 24 Jewel Automatic Movement in Sparkling Condition!
Original Unrestored and Untouched Ivory-Cream Dial with Wonderful Vertical Grain
Waterproof Screw-Back Case, Size 35mm Excluding the Correct Unsigned Crown
High Quality Brown Crocodile Strap & Longines Yellow Gold Plated Buckle
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
VGWL 12 Months Warranty Included*
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
Longines is one of the oldest Swiss watch manufacturers with an unparalleled history of invention, innovation, patents and awards. The company is also responsible for some of the most beautiful watches ever made, but something of a Cinderella among the watch collecting fraternity until recently. Longines is now rightfully returning towards the elevated status it once held in the pre and post-war years when it ranked among the very best among of the Swiss watch manufacturers. It is really only within the past three years that Longines vintage watches have risen again to the admiration and popularity they deserve, with values rising of by around 15 – 20% per year, and on certain models, such as the now legendary Longines Calibre.13ZN chronograph, prices have sky-rocketed.
Here we have a rare example of a Longines Conquest automatic with the date window at 12, otherwise, typical Longines elegance and style in the form of a beautiful 18ct yellow gold gentleman’s dress watch from 1961. This was a period when technically, Longines was approaching its peak and competing head to head with all of the top-tier Swiss watch manufacturers. Notable highlights on this watch are its wonderful straight lugs, 18ct yellow gold case, beautiful dial and the case and high grade Calibre 291 movement, which are all in stunning condition.
The dial is in the classic Longines style, in that it is simple, clean, classy and understated. Original unrestored ‘Index’ style hands are matched with the original unrestored baton hour indices, all over an original, unrestored and untouched ivory-cream dial. A very unique aspect of this watch is the wonderful date window which has been perfectly placed at the prime position of where the 12 would be.
The dial is simply signed ‘Longines’, with the applied Longines ‘flying hourglass’ brand below, also with ‘Conquest’ and ‘Automatic’ just above 6.
Longines always seems to aim for and achieve dials which are that bit closer to perfection. It does this so often and so effortlessly. Even the Longines signature looks more ‘in place’, which incidentally is the oldest registered of any watch manufacturer. The company certainly made a fine art of this during the 1940s and ’50s. Perhaps the evolution of a certain style became part of the company’s DNA, but Longines dials seem in a class of their own. This sense of style has certainly won Longines a great many loyal customers, who only later came to appreciate the accuracy and reliability of its movements.
Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however, we decided in this case due to its exceptional condition, to retain its originality and charm for the many collectors who prefer this. It also helps to contrast with most of the other watch dials you see on our website, which have been restored.
Please note, studio lights, professional-grade digital cameras, and macro lenses can be very unkind to an unrestored vintage watch dial. Also the dial here measures less than 1.25 inches across, so the image you’re seeing may be between 5 – 25 times larger than the watch itself. Therefore please keep in mind you are seeing many tiny flaws which cannot be seen, or will be very hard to see with the naked eye, even under close examination. Suffice to say, on the wrist, in natural light, this dial looks much better and carries a great deal more charm than the photographs portray.
The Longines Conquest was always blessed with the company’s most advanced automatic calibre movements. Introduced in 1958, the Longines Calibre 290 series was more robust and reliable than a great many of the competitors of its day and any other automatic Longines had created to this point. The design used an eccentric rotor with ball bearings around the pivot and a toothed circular ring as part of the rotor to help minimize wobble by keeping it on track. The balance wheel had an unusually large diameter compared to the overall movement size.
Longines relentless pursuit of the efficiency of the winding mechanism led to this movement being the best in its class. The automatic system’s gears were made from beryllium bronze (like a Glucydur balance wheel) and instead of the usual 60 small-tooth ratchet wheel, two 15 large-tooth pawl wheels with hook levers were used. No springs were required, which alleviated any pressure on the system which increased the lifespan and operation efficiency.
The rotor’s perimeter weight was made slimmer – this made much more space available for the rest of the works at the heart of the movement, which provided room for larger components. The balance wheel has an unusually large diameter compared to the overall movement size. All else being equal, the larger the balance wheel, the more accurate the watch. The quality of finishing and build is exceptional. Each jewel is held in its own threaded gold sleeve, which is then in turn screwed into the plates.
As can be seen, the movement is in tip-top condition having just completed an overhaul and service by our watchmaker. This means it has been completely disassembled, cleaned, inspected under high magnification then rebuilt using only original Longines parts where required. After testing and final calibration, this watch is running to within +9 seconds per day which is outstanding for a vintage watch of this age. The movement also has a power reserve of 45 hours.
The movement is correctly signed ‘LONGINES’, with the Calibre number 291 and the movement serial number 11442942 which dates this watch to 1961.
These movements are very robust, reliable and accurate making this watch perfectly suited for regular everyday use. This particular movement is in top condition and with regular servicing, every 3 years, we would fully expect this watch to provide faithful service for many more decades to come! We are therefore more than pleased and confident to offer a 12-month warranty on this watch movement*
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The 18ct yellow gold, three-piece watch case is beautifully constructed. The lugs are straight and swept-back and the flat case-back is blemish free. The case measures 35mm in diameter, excluding the correct Longines unsigned crown. In fact, from any viewpoint, the case is immaculate with no scratches, dings or other marks visible to the naked eye.
Inside the case-back, the case is correctly signed ‘Longines’, ‘Fab Suisse’ and ‘Swiss Made’ along with London UK 18ct hallmarks and the case reference number 9025 2.
This watch has obviously been very well cared for and has seen only occasional use, as evidenced by its condition, and has only required a professional clean and light hand-polish as part of the restoration.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap and Buckle
The strap fitted is a high quality brown crocodile strap with a Longines gold-plated buckle. However, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please do let us know and we will do our best to oblige, free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin, however we can also obtain most types and colours from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range of straps if you wish here.
Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1961.
Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
The high quality hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included.
If you would like to pay by bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and unfortunately out of our control.
We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges, however attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.
For those that happen to visit the UK on occasion we are of course more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and your watch directly to you there.
As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.
This is a truly first class example of a vintage Longines which is ready to wear and completely practical for everyday use. If treated with care, it will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece. Even though vintage gold Longines prices have risen markedly recently, we still feel good examples such as this are still undervalued and as each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold Longines watches continues to expand, prices will continue to climb ever higher.
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post-sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well-known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We, therefore, consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or a small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions please call us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.