Off the Cuff: The Conquer Sports Watch

I first saw the Conquer Sports Watch as a post on social media, where I’ve been following their development since last November. When founder and CEO, Kim Rai, offered to send examples over for review, I was happy to get a peek at them in the metal.

Conquer Microbrand Watch Review
The Conquer Sports Watch @calibre321

The Conquer comes in two iterations: quartz and automatic. While largely similar, with the exception of their movements, their are several subtle design differences occurring on the dial that are worth noting. The automatic, powered by the hi-beat Miyota 9015, has a sunray blue, sector-style dial, with a series of textured lines circling the outer edges–giving it an almost pond ripple effect. The angled rehaut indicates 60 minutes with printed numerals and dash indicators. On the dial itself, the brand name appears in bold lettering beneath the twelve, and the lines “AUTOMATIC,” and “100 METERS” are printed above the six.

Conquer Microbrand Watch Review
Available in Swiss Ronda Quartz or Automatic Miyota 9015 @calibre321

The quartz version, powered by the Swiss Ronda, is enamel white and eschews the use of text entirely. Neither does it employ the same textured sector effect. Its applied indices are baton-shaped, and the hands are a slightly wider, pencil style. The matching white rehaut retains the numerals indicating every five minutes, but does away with the dash indicators. The overall effect is starker, if perhaps bolder. Both dials use the brand logo of a heraldic lion as the indicator at twelve, and the hands and indices are treated with Swiss Super-LumiNova.

Beyond the dial, the watches are nearly identical. Both have a 41mm, stainless steel case that measures a comfortable 47mm lug to lug. It will also tuck nicely under a cuff at 11.5mm thick. The finishing is predominantly brushed, with the exception of a highly polished line between the fluted bezel and the slightly domed sapphire crystal. It is the aforementioned fluting that gives the watches their character–that of a dressy sports offering, in the Datejust vein. Interestingly, this fluting is repeated on the underside of the automatic.

Both have screwed down casebacks and crowns which allow for 100m of water resistance. However, the automatic version has a sapphire portal through which you can see the movement.

Conquer Microbrand Watch Review
Fluted bezel @calibre321

Despite these similarities, the watches do have different personalities. The sunray dial of the automatic has a lot of wrist presence, changing appearance in different lights. The wedge indices and sword hands are sportier and have a maritime feel more akin to the Omega Aqua Terra or the Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80. The more sober styling of the quartz model falls firmly in the Oyster Perpetual camp and is easier to envision paired with a suit.

Conquer Microbrand Watch Review
Stark and bold styling @calibre321

Both watches come on a stainless steel bracelet. The links are solid, push-pin. The clasp is a milled, fold-over design with push-button release and five levels of micro-adjust. It is signed with the brand logo. As an option, there is also a French Epsom Leather Strap.


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SPECS

Case316L Stainless Steel
41mm Diameter
47mm Lug to Lug
11.5mm Thick
22mm Lug Width
Fluted Bezel
Screw Down Crown & Caseback
100m Water Resistance
Dial & CrystalDomed Sapphire /w AR
Applied Markers
Angled Rehaut /w Printed Minute Indicators
Sword Hands (auto); Pencil Hands (quartz)
Swiss Super-LumiNova
Blue Sector Sunray Dial/
White Enamel
MovementAutomatic Version: Miyota 9015
Quartz Version: Swiss Ronda
StrapStainless Steel Bracelet
/w Milled Clasp & Fold-over, Push Button Release
Optional: French Epsom Leather
Conquer Sports Watch
Conquer Microbrand Watch Review
Automatic employs sword hands and wedge indices @calibre321

Of Interest

The Conquer was designed on Vancouver Island in Canada and manufactured overseas using components from Switzerland, Japan, and France. The website flaunts a third iteration of the watch in what appears to be PVD black with a textured dial.

Conquer Microbrand Watch Review
Quartz reference uses pencil hands and baton indices @calibre321

Quibbles

The only element which might be considered divisive is the logo at twelve. It was a detail I found jarring at first, but later grew on me. Personally, I’d rather see it stand alone on the automatic watch, as well, rather than have the brand name inscribed in text.

Conquer Microbrand Watch Review
Perfect for formal settings @calibre321

Final Thoughts

As difficult as it is for collectors to fathom, some people own only one watch. The Conquer strikes me as the sort of timepiece that caters to that crowd. As far as watches go, it covers a lot of bases. It is a well-built classic design with admirable water resistance. While I wouldn’t refer to it as an adventurer’s watch, it is certainly robust enough to handle the weekend activities of most modern men. I wouldn’t be afraid to knock it around. However, the fluted bezel elevates it slightly, so that I feel it would be sharp enough to be worn in more formal settings. It would probably look great on Epsom Leather. The size of the watch is still in the sweet spot for the majority of wearers, as well. And the choice between quartz or automatic will also hit two distinct markets–those looking for a quick grab and go, everyday wearer, and those who are biting down hard on the entry level luxury watch world (and perhaps dreaming of a Datejust). While I like the stark white styling of the quartz (I am reminded a little of my SARB), I favour the handset and indices of the automatic. The added fluting on the caseback of the Miyota reference is also more visually interesting.

The Kickstarter launch date for the Conquer is February 22nd. Pricing will begin at $199USD for the Ronda quartz and $389 for the Miyota. For more information, please visit the brand website.

Conquer Microbrand Watch Review
Casual grab and go @calibre321

Off The Cuff articles are full-length, hands-on reviews of the watch in question and represent the opinion of the author only. All photos are original, unless specified otherwise. If you would like to have your watch reviewed on this site, contact us here.

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