Sunday, August 30, 2020

The Marinier

From Lip -

Courtesy of Lip
In a world of oversize Submariner look-alikes, here's something a wee bit different.  
The case is of stainless steel and measures 39 mm in diameter.  Water resistance is warranted to 200 meters.  The movement is Miyota's 820A. 

Here are the pertinents -

Case
steel 316 L polished, diameter 39 mm

Back case
exhibition back

Dial
medium green, silvered stick and hand markers, medium green bezel, date and day in French

Crystal
sapphire

Strap
steel 20 mm

Buckle
steel butterfly deployant

Movement
automatic analog MIYOTA 820A
size 11"1/2 - diameter 26 mm 
vibration frequency: 21600 per hour 
21 jewels 
power reserve 42 hours

Water Resistance
200 m

Warranty 2 years

Made in Besançon - France

Sunday, August 9, 2020

The X Tempomat

 From Juvo -

Courtesy of Juvo

Available in a very respectable brown, or my personal favorite - French Blue.  The perfect roll for your Lip and Pequignet watches ; )

Courtesy of Juvo
Holds three of your best friends all in one place ; )

Courtesy of Juvo

Here are the pertinents, straight from Juvo -

• Compartmentalized case holds up to 3 watches • Textured calf leather exterior • Fabric camouflage interior • Snap button closure • Hand made in Spain • Pillow Dimensions: 5 x 7 x 3 cm • Case Dimensions: 23 x 9.5 x 8 cm

Friday, August 7, 2020

The RALLYE automatic chronograph

  From Lip!

Courtesy of Lip

Now a note of 100% transparency, I am currently working with Lip of Besançon to help bring Lip watches to North America. So you are going to just get the facts. But I will take pains to say that Lip bringing out a mechanical chronograph is proof positive about just how seriously Berards are taking their roll as the new caretakers of the Lip legacy.

But let's get back to the matter at hand. 

Courtesy of Lip
So yes, I did get to see some of the early prototypes when I visited last November, and it has not been easy to keep quiet to help save the surprise.  But now it is official.

Courtesy of Lip
This is a limited edition, and it is available for pre-order.  
Courtesy of Lip
Here are the pertinents -


Watch reference
671820

Case
316 L stainless steel
42 mm diameter 
316 L stainless steel back 
Chronograph pushers at 2 and 4 o'clock

Dial
Silver, silver stick indexes, silver minute graduations and red Arabic numerals
Date at 6 o'clock
Counters at 3 and 9 o'clock
Silver and black hour and minute hands
Silver and red second hand

Crystal
sapphire

Strap
Black perforated calfskin leather
20 mm lug width

Buckle
Stainless steel folding clasp

Movement
Mechanical automatic SEIKO NE86

Water resistance
50 meters

Warranty 
2 years

Made in France - Besançon

Should you wish to order, here is a link:

The Royale Manuelle

 From Pequignet -

Courtesy of Pequignet

As that other great commentator on the watch business, Frank Costanza (as played by Jerry Stiller) once proclaimed - "it's a Festivus for the Rest of Us!"


Let's be honest with ourselves, we all tend to get a bit worked up over watches with manufacture movements.  The challenge, of course, is that jacks the price up typically to a level that most mere mortals who pay they mortgages and have stable marriages can't afford. Some of the other, more "industrial" news outlets will often wax on about the "value proposition" which is, if we're being completely honest, a backhanded compliment.  


Pequignet does make some extremely complex, very expensive watches.  But what is nice about this one is that they have created a beautifully simple time only model and priced it accordingly. 

Here are the pertinents -

MOVEMENT
EMP02 Movement - Manual Calibre Royal21600 
Vibrations/hours (3Hz)
Power reserve of 100 hours
Sapphire crystal with anti reflection

CASE
316L Stainless steel
Water resistance 100 meters
Sapphire crystal with anti-reflection

DIAL
Sunray Opaline dial
Small seconds at 6.00

BRACELET
Blue leather strap produced in France

2 850,00€

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Some Summer Reading

Summer Reading - Opening the Gates: The Lip Affair, 1968 - 1981


While I love a pretty coffee table book with big shiny pictures as much as the next guy, I also enjoy a good story.  And for watch fans, this is probably not such an obvious choice, but it is one that I would encourage you to check out.  It is not targeted for watch fans, it is written by a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and it is not something that you will likely find on the bookshelves at Barnes and Noble.  

If you love watches, you love a good comeback story.  From Biver's resurrection of Blancpain, to Hayek's rescue of the several brands that would later become the various members of today's Swatch Group.  The manufacture, marketing and sales of modern watches is dyed in the wool with the romance of heroic turnarounds, rescues and uniquely comebacks.



Now in many feel-good, love-story, comeback watch stories we have the original artisan, in others we have the maverick saviors like Biver and Hayek, but the story of Lip in the early 1970s is something completely different again.  It is the first time that I am aware of in the watch industry where a collective of individuals came together in a common cause.  What they realized was a simple protest, or walk out would do nothing to save their jobs.  So they tried something a little different.  They occupied the factory, and (sorry to my Red-fearing friends on the right) seized "the means of production".  What slowly evolved was a self-governing (not in the political sense) group of employees who took control of not just the factory and production, but in many ways re-wrote the rule book about how a watch company could and should be run.

With the current political climate in the US, the Lip Affair is a welcome relief, demonstrating that it often is (believe it or not) a good thing when EVERYONE wins.  

Obviously, these were different times.  Many of you reading this might not have been born yet, and suffice it to say that Lip is a very, very different brand than it once was.  That is the inevitability of time, it moves forward.  But it's hard not to be romantic about watches, and the improbable story of the Lip Affair bears this notion out.

I don't want to give too much more away, but if you like a good comeback story, watches, or simple human interest?  Run, don't walk to your local bookstore.