Longines Introduces the Conquest V.H.P., an Ultra-Accurate Quartz That Runs Within 5 Seconds a Year

Resurrecting a name from the 1980s with a high-tech quartz movement, which will be launched at Baselworld 2017.

With plain looks that belie the latest generation ETA quartz movement inside, the Conquest V.H.P. harks back to Longines‘ history as a maker of cutting edge electronic timing. The firm’s history in that field started with in 1954 Chronocinégines, a quartz timekeeper linked to a 1/100th of a second camera developed to capture athletes crossing the finishing line at sporting events.

The bulky electronic clocks eventually evolved into precision quartz wristwatches like the Ultra-Quartz of 1969, and the original Conquest V.H.P. that made its debut in 1984. Rate to +/-10 seconds a year, the Conquest V.H.P. – short for “Very High Precision” – was the most accurate wristwatch on the market.

The Conquest V.H.P. of 1996

Longines has revived the Conquest V.H.P. label for Baselworld 2017 with a watch rated to +/-5 seconds a year, or just over 0.01 seconds a day, thanks to the thermo-compensated quartz movement made exclusive for Longines by ETA.

The new Conquest V.H.P. is also equipped with a hands-reset mechanism. If the hands on the dial go out of sync due to shock or magnetism, a “gear position detection” system automatically restores them to their original position, preserving the accuracy of the watch.

The timing unit of the Chronocinégines finishing line camera

Ultra-Quartz of 1969

With a battery life of over four years, the Conquest V.H.P. also features a perpetual calendar that displays only the date, as well a battery end of life (EOL) indicator – once the battery is running low, the seconds hand jumps several seconds at a time.

Two versions of the Conquest V.H.P. are available, a time-only and chronograph, both in stainless steel with a 50m water-resistance rating.

The base model is the Conquest V.H.P. three-hands, powered by the L288.2 (ETA E56.111) movement, and available in 43mm or 41mm sizes.

Longines Conquest V.H.P. 3-hands 1

Conquest V.H.P. 43mm (top row), and 41mm (bottom)

The Conquest V.H.P. Chronograph has inside the calibre L289.2 (ETA E57.211), with the option of a 41mm or 43mm case.

Conquest V.H.P. Chronograph 43mm (top row), and 41mm (bottom)

Price and availability 

The Conquest V.H.P. will be available starting summer 2017, with prices in Swiss francs and Singapore dollars as follows:

Three-hands 41mm – SFr950 or S$1510
Three-hands 43mm – SFr990 or S$1570

Chronograph 42mm – SFr1550 or S$2460
Chronograph 44mm – SFr1590 or SS$2530


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Tissot Introduces the Most Affordable Wristwatch Equipped with a Silicon Hairspring

The Ballade Powermatic 80 is a COSC chronometer featuring a silicon balance spring priced at under US$1000.

Hairsprings made of silicon, or silicium in Francophone watch-speak, were usually a feature found only in pricier watches, often costing US$5000 or more. At Baselworld 2017Tissot has changed that with the Ballade Powermatic 80 that starts at just US$925, a sterling example of what industrial production can accomplish – Tissot is the Switzerland’s largest maker of watches, with an output of some 4m or about 15% of the nation’s total production.

The Powermatic 80 movement, or more precisely the calibre C07.811 Si, is a heavily souped up ETA 2824, the no-frills workhorse movement found in many affordable watches. While the basic ETA 2824 has a 38 hour power reserve, the Powermatic 80 will run for 80 hours, or just over three days. And because the movement is regulated by machine when put together, there’s no need for a regulator index, a feature that’s no doubt derived from the technology inside the Sistem51 made by Swatch, Tissot’s sister company.

But the highlight is the hairspring made of silicon (more specifically, silicon with an oxide layer), a material that is immune to magnetism and ambient temperature changes, as well as being lightweight and robust. Though silicon is more fragile than metal when handled, replacing silicon parts is swift and low-cost, since they are produced by the hundreds in what is akin to a high-tech printer.

The Ballade Powermatic 80 is also a COSC-certified chronometer, which in practice means little but a welcome extra at this price point.

theTissot Ballade Gents silicon

Visually the Ballade is much less interesting than the technical features inside alas. The case is stainless steel, decorated with a hobnail pattern on the bezel and dial. The Ballade is available in two sizes each for men and women: the Ballade Gent (39mm or 41mm) and the Ballade Lady (30.6mm or 32mm).

Tissot Ballade Gents silicium

Price and availability 

Available from Tissot retailers and boutiques, the Ballade starts at US$925 or S$1380 for the Ballade Gent in steel with a leather strap. The other versions cost slightly more.


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