In 1893 Emmanuel Lipman, with the help of his sons, founded the Lipmann Brothers Clock Factory in Besançon, eastern France. Shortly after, they produced the Lip stopwatch in 1896. Later in 1952, they introduced the first electronic watch, presented to Charles de Gaulle and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Due to financial issues in the company, it was made public in 1967; at this time, Ebauches S.A. (became Swatch) took 33% of the shares. Ebauches S.A. became the largest shareholder in the 1970s with 43% shareholding.
Lip launched the iconic Nautic-Ski, their first 200m waterproof watch in the same year. In 1973 Lip introduced the first French quartz watch, but unfortunately, due to aggressive competition from the States and Japan, they started liquidation proceedings in 1973. A workers cooperative was formed and restarted production. During all this upheaval, Lip managed to produce a unique design collection in 1975 with the famous Mach 2000 designed by Roger Tallon, inspiring brands like Swatch, Bell & Ross, Braun, and Porsche Design, to name a few. Through general strikes by the workers and a restart and then stop of production, Lips continued problems came to a head in 1977. With no sign of anyone taking on the business, they applied for liquidation in September 1977. Role-on to 1984 when Kiplé, a French watch brand, repurchased the Lip cooperative. This buyout didn’t last, and by 1990 they were looking for another owner. Jean-Claude Sensemat, a French businessman, bought the brand in 1990 and quickly relaunched production using modern marketing methods to revitalise the brand. Today production is found in Europe and Asia, with movements coming from Japan and Switzerland.
Here we have a 1969 LIP Nautic 3 Electronic Diving Watch with a 37mm stainless steel case. The case curves towards the flat-ended tapered lugs. A lug to lug length of 47mm and a thickness of 14mm gives the watch an impressive wrist presence. The stainless steel bezel has a black 60-minute scale insert. A broad white outer minute track with long lume coated baton indexes, and 12,6 and 9 numerals mark the hours. At 3 o’clock, a framed date window. Long baton hands have an orange lume tip and are complemented by a tapered second hand. Text is printed in white against the matte black dial; the electricity bolt indicates what’s inside. On the reverse, a screw-down case back with the coat of arms of the city of Besancon engraved into it. Inside an Electronic LIP, R184 electromechanically controlled balance motor with a sweeping second hand that hacks. The watch comes fitted on a 19mm leather strap.
Points of Mention
This watch is sold as "Watch Only" and therefore comes with no original Lip box or paperwork. The watch comes paired with a well-suited brown leather strap. The watch is from Circa. 1970s and is sold in worn, vintage condition and signs of wear and age can be seen throughout. The watch comes with our 12-Months NON-Waterproof Warranty, important to remember these movements are more fragile than traditional quartz or mechanical, so care when worn is advised.