Since the 19th century, the Lip brand has established itself as a symbol of French excellence. It has marked several generations by taking risks in terms of design and technological challenges, but also for its attachment to traditional watchmaking. We can say that few French watch brands have left their imagination so much and it is for this reason that today there is a strong fashion for antique Lip watches.
Choosing the right Lip watch can be a complicated choice given the variety of movements, styles and materials offered by the brand. The calipers used for round Lip watches bear the reference " R "For round watches and reference" T "For the so-called shape watches" barrel "Many movements between these references of Lip have been produced in factories in Germany, Switzerland and France, outside the Besançon factory. Most of these movements are reliable, although their technical properties are not equivalent to those of movements manufactured by Lip in terms of reliability, precision and very often end up apart from the Swiss movements.Any serious seller can give you the exact reference of the clock movement.We will talk about the main references, the most present in the online auction sites.
The different lip ranges
Lip Dauphine – The mid-range alternative
Lip Dauphine was produced from 1967, first under the brand " Dolphin "For legal reasons, then" Lip Dauphine "from 1960 to 1972. It was a more affordable range that is maintained at very competitive prices today, the vast majority are negotiated according to the models and conditions of the clock between 20 and 200 euros Most of the cases were chrome alloy or gold plated, so it may be harder to find some in good condition, although some Lip Dauphines show homemade movements such as R17 (manual) or R148 (electromechanical movement), Most movements such as R112, R128, R139, R153 and R166 come from external factories and do not have the quality of the movements used for Lip Geneva or Souveraine.
An example of Lip Dauphine with R17 movement, date and shockproof, second center case and chrome with timeless style!
Lip Souveraine: a notch above Dauphine
With more worked dials and privileged steel boxes compared to chrome boxes. The sovereign lip is placed in a range higher than the Dauphine. It is found in a round clock with movements such as r25, r23 or t15. Movements made in France for a watch that lives up to its name.
This time, there is room for the steel for the crown and the case of this sovereign lip of the early 1960s. It has a T15 manual movement made in Besançon, also equipped with shockproof devices.
Lip Genève – An exceptional "Swiss Made" watch
Gin lips were produced with very high quality Swiss components. These watches were manufactured by the company founded by Fred Lip in 1959 in Geneva. They stand out from most other models, both in terms of manufacturing and price range.
Lip Genève has Swiss movements produced by different movement manufacturers:
Manual Lip Genève watches: R169 (FHF 72), R883, R857, R863 (Peseux movements of very good quality).
Lip Genève automatic watches: R129 (ETA 2460), R182 (ETA 2472) …
Genève "Grand Pavois" automatic lip in 18-carat gold.
Lip Genève Chronograph Watches: with Valjoux movements (R830, R831, R832, R833, R873)
A cushion-shaped chronograph with Valjoux 7730 movement (R830) in very clean finishes, luminova needles and cane indexes.
In terms of materials, several options: steel, gold up to 18 carats or high quality gold plating this time. The Lip Genève has a very classic and timeless style and differs from the models previously treated for its quality of execution and finish. Count between 50 and 700 euros for a 2 or 3-hand model, and between 300 and 2000 euros for a chronograph.
Lip T18: a legendary watch
The Lip T18 carries the movements of the same name, the " T "It is the initial of" barrel "The T18 watches were produced from 1935 until the end of the 1950s. It was notably the clock that was offered to Churchill in 1948. The movements were produced internally by Lip. It is a reliable and precise model for its size. Very popular Among collectors, you can get this watch for a price that varies from 50 to 500 euros.
The T18 is one of the most emblematic models of the French brand.
Lip Nautic: the innovative sports watch
The Lip Nautic was the first French watch to pass the 200 meter mark. The models are very different technically:
- The Lip Nautic Mécanique was launched in 1966 and features an R17 movement produced internally by Lip.
- The Nautic automatic lip has been offered since 1967 with the R153 movement manufactured by PUW in Germany.
- The Lip Nautic Ski was launched in 1967 with the R148 Lip electromechanical movement, which was very innovative at the time.
We find the same system as in the IWC Aquatimer, with two crowns, one for movement and the other to adjust the internal bezel. This is to prevent the glasses from accidentally moving during the dive.
Lip R148 electromechanical movement, although battery operated, the regulation is done with a mechanical exhaust.
These watches are very different, the Nautic-Ski will be suitable for lovers of old technologies, electronic and electromechanical movements were quickly trapped by quartz technology. The Nautic-Ski is surely one of the most emblematic models of the brand, it was used by the teams of Commander Cousteau and today it is very popular among collectors. It was a watch that could compete at that time with the IWC Aquatimer or the Rolex Submariner.
Lip Mach 2000 – For design lovers
It was in 1973 that Roger Talon, a great French designer, was contacted by the Lip brand, which was already in great difficulty at that time. Born from this alliance, the Lip Mach 2000 is easily identifiable since its design is particular. Later he was the designer of the TGV.
Simple clock with crown at 2 o'clock. It is written on the dial " electric "," quartz "OR" automatic »Depending on the mode of operation
Here, the automatic version with R573 (Durowé 7525 movement with date)
Manual chronograph with Valjoux movement.
Both versions have a steel case and a plastic strap, prices can vary from 50 to 2,000 euros. These models are highly sought after because they are known throughout the world. The chronograph movements are Valjoux and have been used by Breitling and Heuer, they are very reliable and precise. Its atypical design dares to take risks compared to the models " traditional Like the classic Lip Genève.
Lip Elgiloy – A Franco-American clock!
Developed in collaboration with the American brand Elgin since 1955, the Lip Elgiloy is a classic watch usually equipped with the R25 caliber manufactured by Lip and a barrel spring with unlimited shelf life. The steel used is called " Elgiloy Alloy And it has been used in many fields, such as aerospace and chemistry. Otherwise, the technical characteristics are similar to a Lip Dauphine for a price range and equivalent quality. It is still a very good option, symbol of an era, which will speak to many collectors.
Lip Himalaya: an icon on the wrist
Fred Lip created the Himalayan clock after an argument with Lionel Terray, a mountain guide, is the watch worn by Maurice Herzog, a mountaineer experienced for his ascent to Annapurna in Nepal. Technically, the Lip Himalaya is very close to the Lip Dauphine, available mainly in chrome or plated versions. There are several versions, manuals with very good Lip R23 movement, or automatic with PUW movements made in Germany that are also robust movements. This is a watch that will appeal to mountain climbing enthusiasts!
A Lip Himalaya watch with an automatic Lip R197 movement (PUW 1363), equipped with a date.
But then, how to choose your lip?
Each model has its own story, it is up to you to decide which one is yours. Some prefer sports watches like the Lip Nautic-Ski, others more "luxury" watches like the Lip Genève. Others more attached to French watchmaking, where history will opt for a T18 or R25 or R23 in their round clock. Design enthusiasts will get a Mach 2000 or a classic lip with the only mention "Lip" in the 40's sphere. It is up to you to determine what story or legend to use on your wrist.
images: vws.fr, lhorlogiste.com, artcurial.com, montreancienne44.canalblog.com, dorotheum.com, chrono23.com, thewatchspotblog.com