Longines Conquest Cal.491 Automatic 18ct 1966

£2,950

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed

A Very Lightly Used and Well Loved Immaculate Example

Heavy Waterproof 18ct Yellow Gold Case in Immaculate Condition

Beautifully Restored Ivory-Cream Dial with Original Dauphine Hands

Very High-Grade Cal.291, 24 Jewel Automatic Movement in Sparkling Condition!

Waterproof Screw-Back Case, Size 35mm Excluding the Longines Signed Crown

New Brown Camel Grain Strap & Longines Gold Plated Buckle

All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition

Original Vintage Longines Presentation Box Included

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

VGWL 12 Months Warranty Included*

Free UK Next Day Delivery

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

VGW Reference: L686
Price

£2,950

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Description

Est. 1832 in Saint-Imier, 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. Throughout the last century, the company maintained close links with many sports and outdoor activities, notably Olympic events, equestrian, skiing and more recently, tennis. However, this really only scratches the surface and the Longines Conquest, first launched in 1954, has considerably more heritage than most of us realise. As early as 1899, Longines supplied timekeepers for the Arctic expedition led by Prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy. Later, in 1947, Longines began providing ships with chronometers and other timing devices for the ‘Expeditions Polaires Francaises’, founded and led by scientist and polar explorer Paul-Emile Victor, who launched several research expeditions to the Arctic (Greenland) and the Antarctic (Terre Adelie). More significantly for our purposes, these expeditions were also supplied with specially designed Longines wristwatches.

This was a full six years before the Rolex supported ‘conquest’ of Everest, by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953, which as many know led to the launch of the Rolex ‘Explorer’, also in 1954.

Perhaps prompted by the huge celebrations surrounding the Hillary expedition success, Longines released its Conquest model, coinciding with the launch of Rolex’s Explorer Oyster Perpetual model. As Longines carried a considerably higher status than Rolex at the time, the Longines Conquest was the more expensive watch by a considerable margin.

The beautifully restored 1966 example we see here in 18ct yellow gold, carries the highly advanced Longines Calibre 291 Automatic movement with date function.

Following its restoration of the movement, case and dial by our specialist team, this example is in immaculate condition.

It is certainly a tribute to the original Conquest model range that Longines has recently released a number of Conquest Heritage models which celebrate the success of the original Conquest range. Not only this, but Longines has taken a further step towards making the Conquest Heritage a real tribute by using the same 35mm case size.

The Dial

The beautifully accomplished dial carries an individuality and style, the Conquest claims all its own.  Ivory-Cream, with baton and pencil pink gilt hour indices, matched with the original pink gilt Dauphine hands provide a beautiful combination. Completing the dial, the winged hourglass brand below the 12 is actually the oldest of all Swiss watch manufacturers.

We firmly believe Longines vintage dial designs are a step ahead in terms of elegance and sophistication. As in the case, again here, it just works beautifully.

This is the original dial, restored to the highest standards by our dial restorers who are considered to be the best in the UK.

The Movement

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). 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 had 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 +7 seconds per day, which is outstanding for a vintage watch of this age. The movement also has a power reserve of 45hrs.

The movement is correctly signed ‘LONGINES’, with the Calibre number: 291 and the movement serial number: 13111021 which dates this watch to 1966.

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 watch case feels very heavy and robust. It is a two-piece design with a screw-back, meaning this was specified as a waterproof design. It measures a large 35mm in diameter, excluding the correct Longines signed crown. The case has been cleaned, carefully inspected, and lightly hand-polished to bring it to the immaculate condition you see here.

The Longines Conquest has much in common with the Rolex Explorer. However, this 18ct example can also be said to be aligned with the Omega Constellation, which has a remarkably similar case-back. This carries the beautiful Conquest enamel legend showing a starry night at sea. The case-back is of full thickness and has never been inscribed. This case is completely blemish-free and from every viewpoint, there are no scratches dings or other marks visible to the naked eye. Also note, the watch case is crisp with clearly defined lugs. This and the condition of the enamel legend indicate this watch has been very carefully and lightly used.

Inside the case-back is correctly signed: Longines, Swiss Made, with the Longines winged hourglass brand. The case also carries Swiss Geneva hallmarks and the Longines model number 9001.

As ever, our standard advice applies: vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Strap and Buckle

This watch has been fitted with a new high-quality Brown camel grain leather strap with a matching Longines gold plated buckle. We feel this suits the watch very nicely, however, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, simply let us know and we will do our best to oblige, free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock and in plain padded leather, or crocodile skin or lizard skin, but can also obtain most types and colours from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range 19mm straps if you wish here.

The Box and Papers

Although there are no original papers with this watch, the numbers and markings on the watch are all correct, dating the watch to 1954. A detailed written receipt with a 12 month warranty* and a separate insurance valuation for the replacement value will be provided at the time of sale, along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If at any time, 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 vintage Longines presentation box shown in the photographs is included in the sale of this watch.

In Conclusion

Here we have an important, top of the line vintage watch from one of the most collectable and highly regarded vintage watch brands of its day which will make an excellent financial investment as well as be something to treasure and enjoy! It is completely practical for use as an everyday watch and as long as it is well looked after and serviced every 2-3 years, it will last another lifetime. It carries a great deal more style, individuality and panache than a new watch and to buy the same quality today would cost at least three or four times the price here.

However, you may wish to view this, as each year goes by and the world market for fine vintage gold watches grows even larger, the limited supply and high demand means prices will inevitably climb even higher!

A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before then 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 good value and very fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.

We are happy to accept payment via PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would like to pay by UK cheque or by bank transfer, we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. 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.

If you have any questions please call on Landline 0207 727 7095 or Mobile 07515 949250 or if calling from overseas on Landline +44 207 727 7095 or Mobile +44 7515 949250.

Please note, we also welcome part exchanges.

Please take a look at our other vintage gold watches.

Thank you.