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Watch Review: Longines Conquest GMT VHP Flash Setting.

That's a long name isn't it, don't worry there's loveliness in the lengthiness. It's a Longines Conquest, GMT, so it does dual timezones, got it. It's got that Very High Precision, +/- 5 seconds a year, VHP, not valuable historical promise, vindictive hostile person or virtuous horological progress, which it could have been. Let us get the bad things out of the way first, it is a quartz, yea, yea I know, at close to £1000 it's bit pricey for a battery buster. Saying that it wouldn't be a VHP without being what it is, which goes without saying... What must be mentioned is the perpetual calendar, it's less impressive in quartz form but a nice feature - that is a calendar that keeps itself in line with the days, months, years for years without requiring attention or adjustment.




GMT for those who don't know, cos some might not, stands for Greenwich Meridian Time. It's the name for the timezone that the UK is in. It was first used on an olden days watch a while back to allow dual time telling on one watch. It's a clever yet simple solution for the travelling or overseas communicating person to see the time in London and Vancouver without having to resort to mathematical algorithms and suchlike. I'm not a fan of those mathsy things. The GMT points to a separate number set in the chapter ring which gives you a rough idea of the time which you can cross reference with the regular minute hands to get your second timezone figured out in no time. Though my explanation there wasn't too clever. I think when they were first used (and remain - Rolex GMT Master etc) the clunky design made the GMT hand move with the hour hand and you'd have to move the bezel to your desired position to reflect the second timezone, still a nice solution and a bit more tactile which some might prefer.


As I've spent a bit of time in Vancouver and I love it - even though I'll never be able to go there and chill out ever again, or anywhere for that matter, masks, jabs, tests etc will reduce my chill for sure. The point, I will use Pacific Daylight Time as the second timezone, there is a decent difference of 8 hours so the hand travels further in that beautiful sweeping motion that reminds of movies when clocks are time-lapsed to signify time flying in one way or the other. See video below.


Case, Dial & Hands


I had to include the zoom shot, it shows that lovely dial and the detail therein. On the wrist you can't always see the concentric circle detail, in some light it looks flat. It's a pleasure then when you see that sunburst effect pop. They don't look it on the zoomed pic here but the batons are of the kit-kat persuasion. The polished hands look fantastic and the red pops nicely on the second and GMT hands, it's always nice to have some detailing on the hands, especially when there are four of them.



Personally, I love this dial. Everything is how I like it, large digits at 12 and 6, date at 3 with some detail bevelling around the window, and in this case, home and away symbols at 10 and 2 respectively, it's busy but no overly so. It's well balanced and easy on the eye. The chapter ring digits for the GMT time are a great size, and a nice dimension and depth to the dial. That deep blue colour is lovely and the lume is great. You see the hole in the one at 12 o'clock, that's where the flash sensor is, the video below will reveal all.


49.7mm lug to lug

12.5mm thickness

41.mm case

45.5mm including crown











Movement / Complications


Being of the quartz persuasion, there are no complications proper, although Campanola people might fight me for that comment - if there were any - no pure mechanical pureness here. But there is innovation and honest to goodness pleasure in motion. Very High Precision denotes +/- 5 seconds a year, which is always welcome and I guess if you're buying quartz luxury you have to expect or demand those kind of figures. It does boast the perpetual calendar which is also a nice to have, but definite bonus if this is to be your only watch.


Using the app and flash setting is a little fiddly in you have to prime the watch and then initiate the flash from your phone. I have a Samsung and it had no issues with the app or the watch reading the setting. It's just about familiarising yourself with the process.


Let's have a look at that sweeping beauty, thanks to Time & Tide.




Strap / Wearability

It's a very wearable watch even on a small wrist, it's got presence but not so much to look bulky. The pusher that switches timezones (as per the video) feels robust, the strap is comfortable and of high quality. I can't recall any hair being pulling and the brushed steel finish is lovely. I'm a tech fan so new ideas, implementations and juxtapositions of old and new always bring a smile, and the flash setting is pretty easy to use when you get the hang of it.


As per the measurements above it fits better on my skinny wrist (6.5cm) than you might expect for the size, 41mm, the lugs curve downward to meet the wrist and so it doesn't overwhelm. It's actually the best fitting 40mm+ watch I have, the proportions are bang on. There is also a 43mm version available.


Conclusion

I recall someone referring to quartz watches as having no soul, a bit harsh maybe. Let's change it having a cold heart, but a heart nonetheless, it ticks, it beats just like yours. Of course we all like a sweeping seconds hand over a ticking one (Spring drives and Bulova Curvs aside), but in this case you get sweeping minutes and hours instead, so that will have to do. If you are after a reliable, good looking everyday travel watch with a difference, at under £1000, I would definitely recommend this. I'm having a white/cream dial moment and have had the SARB035 on the wrist a fair bit recently, I think the GMT VHP looks great in white, even though I prefer the deep blue dial I have. So, you get innovative and interesting features, wearability, a great design and Longines quality and heritage for under £1k, I think that's a pretty great deal.



Alvin.


Particulars

MODEL NUMBER

L3.728.4.96.6


CASE DIAMETER / THICKNESS / MATERIAL

41mm / 12.8mm / 316L Stainless Steel


LUG WIDTH / LUG TO LUG

22mm / 49.7mm


MOVEMENT

Quartz L287


WATER RESISTANCE

to 5 bar (approx 50m)




 





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