Sunday, October 17, 2010



In 1867, Emmanuel Lipman and his sons founded a clockwork workshop under the name of Comptoir Lipmann. In 1893 it became the Societe Anonume d'Horlogerie Lipmann Frères (Lipmann Brothers Clock Factory).

The firm launched the Lip stopwatch in 1896. Thereafter Lip became the brand of the company. They built around 2,500 pieces a year. The company launched the first electronic watch in 1952, called "Electronic" (it was not electric because of the presence of a diode). The first models were worn by Chales De Gaulle and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1948, a T18 was offered to Wiston Churchill.

However, in the 1960s, this highly specialized company began to have financial troubles. Fred Lipmann brought the company public in 1967, and Ebauches S.A. (subsidiary of ASUAG, a large Swiss consortium which later became Swatch) took 33% of the shares.

Meanwhile, workers started organizing to improve labor conditions. This proved difficult. t, Chales Piaget the son of a clock artisan, who had entered the factory in 1946 as a skilled worker, became a representative of the Confederation Francais des Travailleurs Chretiens (CFTC, French Confederation of Christian Workers) trade union. He later recalled that during national strikes, only 30 or 40 workers at LIP out of a total of 1200 would go on strike. Those who did strike were listed by the management and called in to explain themselves. Semi-skilled workers on the assembly line were not allowed to talk or move more than 25 centimeters (less than ten inches) during their shifts.

Fred Lip tried to smooth down the growing discontent. However, he offered Piaget a promotion, naming him head of the workshop. For the next year, the workers blocked attempts to eliminate the department, opposing those who tried to move the machines out of the factory.

They also registered the names Chronometre Lip and Chronometre de France, in a period when the accuracy of a watch was a major selling point. It’s widely assumed that they used these names on dials of non-chronometer watches to trick people into thinking they were chronometers. However, it’s not certain that the watches were not certified as chronometers. Lip regularly won medals, bulletins and awards from the Observatoire de Besançon (the French equivalent of the COSC), and at the start of the 20th century claimed that their top grade watches were regulated to “a minute a month”. Movements which were chronometer-certified by Besançon, were stamped with the viper’s head, and this is probably the best indication. It’s also worth noting that some of their chronometer-certified watches do not have “chronometre” on the dial.

However, Ebauches became the biggest shareholder in 1970, taking control of 43% of the stock. Ebauches then fired 1,300 workers. The next year, the board of directors forced Fred Lip to resign, replacing him with Jacques Saint-Esprit.

From 1968 to 1973, distributed Breitling chronographs in France, including the Navitimer, Cosmonaute and Superocean. The watches were signed on the dials by both Breitling and Lip..

LIP built the first French quartz watches in 1973, but had to face increasing competition from the United States and Japan. The firm was forced to start liquidation formalities on April 17, 1973, leading Jacques Saint-Esprit to resign on the same day.

LIP watches was one of the premier French brands to invest massively in publicity and advertising. In 1914, this brand had a dream opportunity of supplying watches to the artillery officers of the French army. Then came another grand project. The company became the purveyor to the French aviation industry. In 1948 the French government was proud to present a watch of impeccable French technology to Winston Churchill. And for this the government chose an LIP timepiece.

Always a precursor of the watch world, the LIP watches were successful, despite initial financial problem to offer the market with the premier prototypes of quartz watches in 1971. But the soaring flight of the enterprise was cut down due to various adversary circumstances and in the 1980s became a dark decade for the company. Ten years later in 1990, Jean-Claude Sensemat took over the activities of the enterprise and founded the LIP France Company. There was no looking back after that. Eventually LIP watches got a new lease of life in the hands of Sensemat. There was another change in the sobriquet of LIP in 2002. LIP France became Sensemat LIP France.


  1. fuuhh..memang rare giler..cun tuan..enjin kemas
    mana mari ni tuan?hehehe..berbaloi baloi...

  2. baru ni ada aku dgn asmar borak pasal jam regulator

  3. Salam Fitri n Nazri. Ini balang mali dali Lucerne, Switzerland. Wa punya kawan kat Malaysia Trade Commission kilim sama wa. Susah dapat wooo.. Thank you for your comments

  4. salam jua tuan..patutla,memang fresh jam ni..x rugi simpan..kalau la ada yg murah2 mcm ni sy sambor dah..hehehe