Longines has certainly mastered the skill of downsizing. I’m not talking about getting rid of any of its personnel; it’s more about shaving some millimeters off its watches. We saw it happen with the Legend Diver and the Spirit. Both were first introduced in bigger sizes. Later, the legendary Swiss brand also introduced sub-40mm options. The same happened to the Longines Conquest collection we’re talking about today. It was already available in a 41mm case, and now it’s also available in a more compact size. Let’s see what the new 38mm Longines Conquest feels like.

I don’t have any Longines watches in my collection, but I have to say, the Legend Diver, Heritage Classic, and Conquest Heritage Central Power Reserve are all watches I certainly wouldn’t mind owning. They’re all very well-executed, vintage-inspired creations. Most importantly, they all come in appropriate sub-40mm sizes. The brand’s Conquest collection is a bit sportier and more modern than the previously mentioned models. But, spoiler alert, the 38mm Longines Conquest sure did leave a positive impression on me after going hands-on with all of its five dial options.

The 38mm Longines Conquest

The Conquest name has existed in the Longines portfolio since 1954. The brand’s Conquest Heritage line pays tribute to the dressier original model. The Conquest we’re looking at today is its sportier, more modern counterpart. It was already available in a 41mm case, and in terms of the design, not much has changed for the 38mm version. The stainless steel case has vertical brushing on top, while both the bezel and the sides show a high-polished finish. At 3 o’clock, you’ll find streamlined guards protecting the signed screw-down crown.

The watch comes on a brushed and high-polished H-link bracelet to match the finishes on the case. It features a butterfly clasp with a push-button release. There’s no on-the-go micro-adjustment system here. Instead, you get a couple of half links to size it to your wrist. You’ll also need a conventional strap-changing tool because the end links don’t feature quick-release spring bars. It’s a shame because Longines’s straps do feature both a toolless micro-adjustable clasp and quick-release spring bars.

The overall construction does feel solid, though, and the 38mm case, with its 10.9mm thickness, wraps nicely around the wrist. The 46.8mm lug-to-lug also helps in this regard.

Five colors to choose from

Just as with the 41mm Longines Conquest models, you can choose between five dial colors for the 38mm version. The silver, blue, green, and black options are the same as the ones for the 41mm Conquest. However, the larger model’s dark brown variant makes way for a champagne/gold color here. All versions feature a subtle sunburst effect on the dial. It’s least noticeable on the black dial, but it is there. Similarly to the vintage  Conquest, this modern, sporty one features a contrasting ribbon running around the inside of the minute track.

Twelve beveled and applied hour markers sit right on top of this. The big ones at every quarter have a Super-LumiNova filling, just like the little square lume plots right next to them. The hour and minute sword hands are beveled similarly to the indexes. They’re also luminous to ensure it’s easier to read the time in the dark. I noticed how the more classic font for the Longines logo doesn’t match the more modern font for the “Conquest Automatic” text on the dial. However, it does match the overall vibe of a more modern-looking but vintage-inspired timepiece. At 6 o’clock, there’s a simple cutout for the date. Depending on the version, the date disc either matches or contrasts with the dial color.

A capable movement inside

The 38mm Longines Conquest houses the same automatic movement as its bigger brother. Caliber L888 is based on an ETA movement and runs at a frequency of 25,200vph. It features 21 jewels and holds a comfortable power reserve of 72 hours. It’s also resistant to daily encounters with magnetic fields, and you can see the movement through the exhibition case back. This case back screws into the case, and together with the sapphire crystal and screw-down crown, it ensures the Conquest is water resistant to 100 meters.

Pleasantly surprised

On my 17cm wrist, the 38mm Longines Conquest felt right at home. At just under 11mm thick, it’s nice and slim and probably won’t get in the way of whatever you’re doing with it. My favorite versions are the champagne and green ones as they offer something different from many other watches. The overall build and finishing are well done and at the level expected for this price point. Yes, on-the-go micro-adjustability and quick-release spring bars would’ve been nice. But you can easily overcome the latter issue by using the right watch tool, which you’ll probably have lying around anyway.

The watch reminded me a little of my Rolex Explorer ref. 114270, and that’s certainly not bad. It has the same mix of modern and vintage design cues and wears just as carefree as the Explorer. I also really like the engraved ribbon on the dial. It adds depth and plays nicely with the light, as does the subtle sunburst finish. A small drawback is the 19mm lug spacing, which the current Rolex Explorer also has. But you’ll probably want to wear this watch on its bracelet anyway, just like I never take the bracelet off my Explorer. In that case, not having quick-release spring bars is no issue after all.

Longines Conquest 38mm green dial on wrist

Different size, same price

The 38mm Longines Conquest only comes on a bracelet and sells for €2,300. That’s the same price as the 41mm version, which is funny because there’s a €350 price difference between the different sizes of the three-hand Longines Spirit. For more information on the new Longines Conquest models, check out the brand’s official website.

What do you think of the 38mm Longines Conquest, and which color would you choose? Let me know in the comments below.

Watch specifications

Conquest in 38mm
L3.720.4.72.6 (Silver) / L3.720.4.02.6 (Green) / L3.720.4.52.6 (Black) / L3.720.4.62.6 (Champagne) / L3.720.4.92.6 (Blue)
Silver, green, black, blue, or champagne with sunburst finish and applied indexes
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
38mm (diameter) × 46.8mm (lug-to-lug) × 10.9mm (thickness)
Case Back
Stainless steel and sapphire crystal
Longines L888: automatic with manual winding, 25,200vph frequency, 72-hour power reserve, 21 jewels
Water Resistance
10 ATM (100 meters)
Stainless steel H-link bracelet (19mm width) with push-buttok butterfly clasp and half links
Time (hours, minutes, seconds) and date
Five years