Today, it is at LIP that we are interested in our test and opinion about your new Lip Rallye Panda watch. The brand has represented the experience of French watchmaking throughout the world for years, and has been the origin of many innovations that have advanced the entire sector in its time. He has had a story full of events that you can discover (if you haven’t already done so) in our article dedicated to its evolution.
But since 2014, thanks to the will of the current passionate president, LIP has acquired a new assembly workshop in his hometown: Besançon. This city was, at the end of the 18th century, the cradle of French watchmaking. This return home gradually rediscovers the LIP coat of arms, and the brand again focuses on the design of quality watches. Some are new creations, which respect the codes and values of the brand, and others are reissues of old models that have contributed to the brand’s reputation. This is the case of the Panda Rally LIP that we are talking about today.
LIP Panda Rally: Origins
This LIP Rallye Panda is a reissue of the Rallye model, which saw the light of day for the first time in 1969 (hence the inscription at the bottom of the case that we will see later). 50 years later, the brand offers us its contemporary vision of this chronograph from another era. You will see that the result is quite successful, like many of the brand’s recent releases.
Clearly inspired by the world of cars, and more specifically in the 60s and 70s, this watch emanates a vintage spirit. It provides a sense of freedom and the desire to take a walk at the end of the day on winding roads in the countryside behind the wheel of a beautiful Peugeot 404 of the time.
Panda Watch Design
Case and bracelet
The stainless steel case of this LIP Rallye Panda measures 38 millimeters in diameter. A size reminiscent of the old watch boxes, long before the current standards that highlight the most imposing watches. This gives the watch a fine and elegant style, relatively discreet while affirming a strong identity.
The original strap of this Panda Rally LIP is not surprisingly a relatively classic black openwork leather rally bracelet. It measures 18 millimeters wide and is equipped with a simple silver buckle for closure. It is slightly curved at the edges with an “overlapping” imitation, and everything is very nice to see.
The term “Panda Clock“It refers to the main colors used in the watch, namely black and white. As you can see in the opposite photos, the center of the white round dial is surrounded by a black border that surrounds it and in which a scale is shown of tachymeter in white indices.This scale often present in chronographs allows several calculations to be made, particularly in relation to speed.At 3 am and 9 am, there are two black sub-dials, also with white details. 3 o’clock is a 24-hour counter, and 9 o’clock, a 60-minute chronograph counter.
The hour markers on the white dial are beautiful and fine silver-colored applied sticks, folded by 12 o’clock that gives a LIP logo painted in black. The seconds indexes are also finely painted, also in black, at the end of the white part of the dial, which further supports the Panda aspect of this LIP Rallye. At 6 a.m., there is a date window, with the date shown at the end of the black numbers. Every detail is part of a true artistic investigation.
Under this date window, and just above the second indexes, on each side of the 6 o’clock index, you can read “Besançon France”, elegantly painted in black on white. The discrete proof of the pride of the origins of the brand and the current meeting place.
The hour and minute hands are steel-colored cane hands, the hour hand is thicker and has tapered tips. Both have a draft in the body near the point, full of a luminescent treatment to facilitate reading. The second hand, activated by the chronograph, is a classic thread needle, also of a steel color. The two hands of the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock spheres are small, precise white hands, which clearly refer to the needles in the instrument panel spheres of old cars, and that combine perfectly with the overall design .
Panda Rally: data sheet
LIP has equipped this Panda Rally with a well-made quartz movement from the Japanese manufacturer Miyota, known for its robust and reliable calipers, whether automatic or quartz. Therefore, this movement offers a 24-hour counter, a date with a rotating disc and a window at 6 o’clock, and operates the chronograph. Chrono, which starts the second hand as soon as the button is pressed at 2 o’clock, and shows the minutes up to 60 in the 9 o’clock sub-dial. The restart is done by pressing the usual button at 4 o’clock. The crown to set the time and date (quick date) is also in its classic position at 3 o’clock.
As mentioned earlier, the case body is made of stainless steel. It measures 38 millimeters in diameter and 13 millimeters thick. There is also a domed mineral crystal that protects the dial and provides precise readability of all the information on the watch.
The bottom of the case is screwed and provides an announced seal at 5 atmospheres (5 ATM). As a reminder, the water resistance of 5 ATM is limited. Washing your hands or bathing in a bathtub shouldn’t be a problem, but a dive in the pool or even a strong shower jet is risky. Therefore, we recommend that you do not go swimming with your LIP Rallye Panda and take it off before showering. It is a car watch, not a diver.
I am used to gather bracelets, and I liked the representation and the sensation in 18 millimeters during our test. The watch with its quartz movement and its stainless steel case is light, but without losing its robustness. When you have it in your hand, you can feel that it is a piece of quality despite its lightness. The pin buckle is efficient and precise, with no game or blocking problems, at least during the time of our test.
The casing of this Panda Rally LIP is not the best. It measures 13 millimeters thick as mentioned above. However, it can be used without problems with a jacket and a shirt. By way of comparison, the case of Gavox Road, another car-oriented watch we tested last year, is 12 millimeters thick.
This LIP Rally Panda is a modest, efficient and original quartz chronograph. Thanks to the assembly in Besançon, you benefit from “Made in France”, even if some of the elements come from other places such as the Japanese Miyota caliber. It is always good to support a French company, especially while climbing slowly but surely the cost after difficult years. When using a French watch, I discover that it demonstrates a certain knowledge of the subject, and that we demand a national knowledge somewhat forgotten today, but that is in force again.
The updated vintage style of this Panda chronograph is successful and offers a pleasant feeling of connection with the country’s cultural heritage and history and the LIP brand. The use of “Black & White” is a timeless marriage that combines with everything, respects a certain elegance and brings a touch of originality.
It is offered at an attractive price for a French watch, and offers a value for money more than respectable thanks to the use of quality materials and components for its design.
Lip Rally Panda
Design / Materials
Value for money
Advantages and disadvantages
An elegant, original and timeless design.
An accurate chronograph
An effective vintage automotive inspiration
Good value for a French brand.
Quality of the bracelet a little below the rest.
No second hand
Crown position 1 (quick date) sometimes hard to find