Not only have three letters dramatically changed French society but they also identify the country as a whole and famous celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher wears their watches.. For some, LIP is a political symbol and for others it’s a an avant-guarde, visionary and inspiring brand with advanced technology. LIP provokes and fascinates at the same time, because more than any other brand the company knows, assumes and claims its history.
Today, Lip continues to redesign time, and from Tokyo to New York to Paris, LIP is known as the pinnacle of design over five continents. LIP – never just an ordinary watch manufacturer.
LIP is a French watch and clock company whose turmoil became emblematic of the conflicts between workers and management in France.
The LIP factory, based in Besançon in eastern France, was having financial problems in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and management decided to try to close it. However, after strikes and a highly publicized factory occupation in 1973, LIP became worker-managed. All the fired employees were rehired by March 1974, but the firm was liquidated again in the spring of 1976. This led to a new struggle, called “the social conflict of the 1970s” by the daily newspaper Libération.
Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail (CFDT) union leader Charles Piaget led the strike. The Unified Socialist Party (PSU), which included former Radical Pierre Mendès-France, was then in favor of autogestion (workers’ self-management).
Roger Tallon, who died on October the 20th, 2012 was considered by specialists as the father of the French modern design. For him, the purpose naturally called the form. An idea that can be observed through out his work.
That paradigm allowed Tallon to be responsable for some very original creations and design concepts. He was the inventor of a profession: industrial designer.
We lost a visionary man strongly inspired by his time leaving us as an heritage with many cult objects such as television Téléavia(1963), the spiral staircase (1966), the folding chair TS (1978).
His work was not limited to interior objects but also included major projects such as the TGV or the Corail train(1986). Finally he represented also the watch brand Lip and iy incarnated on of its strongest signs of renewal, its entering into a new area of modernism and useful soaked and stained with 70 years of amazing achievements such as the « Mach 2000″ (1975) for Lip.
After his trip to the USA in 1928, Fred Lip returns to Europe convinced that the electric watch had a future.
The idea of an electric watch had been studied since 1939 by Elgin Watch Co (USA), but the research didn’t really begin until 1946. In 1948 research began in Lip.
The year 1949 was dedicated to the achievement and the miniaturization of batteries, coils and magnets but also in the manufacture of the equipment needed to carry out different parts of these movements, all in an absolute secret … .
March the 19th, 1952 is the date of the first exhibition of an electric wristwatch in the world at the Academy of Sciences of Paris, the Elgin’s president did the exact same thing the very same day in Chicago at the Blackstone Hotel. The three beats per second excited people’s curiosity, the noise emitted sounded more like a purring cat than a ticking watch
The reaction of the President of the Academy of Paris, Albert Caquot was significant, he said: « We would have to go back in history as far as the invention of the lever escapement in the eighteenth century to find a discovery of comparable importance in wathchmaking. » The watch was viable but wasn’t ready to be sold. The research carried on in a laboratory still protected by an armed guard.
In 1956, after eight successful but laborious years of work, the first electric watch in the world with contact was ready but still could be improved, with cheaper technical solutions and and by decreasing its consumption.
R27 movement was improved, and the electrical circuit was consolidated and made more reliable. In December the 7th, 1958, four years before Elgin Watch Co (USA), Lip launches his Electronic watch. The first ones are made of gold. The boxes are made in Paris with gold plates welded manually.
This is one of these watches that Fred Lip offered General de Gaulle in December 1958 and General Dwight Eisenhower a few weeks later.
To learn more about Lip Watches or to buy one – visit here.