LIP "Warren" Private Label

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by viclip, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. viclip

    viclip Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 20, 2018
    670
    445
    63
    Male
    Country Flag:
    I don't often stumble upon a private label made by the Lip watch manufacturer located in Besancon, France where Lip was in operation for over a century following its establishment in 1867. Here's one, likely made for the US market (import code = LOE) at the behest of Emil Leichter's watch company who marketed the watch under the "Warren" label.

    The 17j movement is a signed Lip caliber 393 i.e. 39 mm. build 3, being their version of the 12-size. It's stem wind & pendant set, being Lip's standard configuration since the early 1920s.

    The case is a J. Boss made by Keystone but co-signed by the Leichter Watch Co. as a "Fifth Avenue" model. To assist with import duties, the uncased French movement was likely brought into the US where it was then plopped into an American case thereby becoming a "watch". Inside the back cover there is a nice clean example of the Leichter logo depicting a sundial with an "EL" on the gnomon. The pendant does have provision for a bow however none came with the watch.

    I'm hoping someone here can help me understand the purpose of the 2 holes through the snap-on case back. They were obviously created to accomodate either screws or rivets with tapered heads. I'm thinking that:

    a) a strip of leather or light metal could have been affixed to those fasteners, through which a watch band could then be snaked. This would in effect convert the pocket into a wristie. Perhaps there never was a bow included, for that reason;

    b) those fasteners could have been used to affix the watch to some object, such as a dashboard of a car or something. This watch was likely produced in the late 1940s or possibly during the '50s ~ heck my first two cars (63 Rambler & 1966 Impala didn't have clocks, although the Chevy blew me away in so far as it sported an AM radio).

    So folks can anyone shed some light on those mysterious holes in the case back?

    LIP Warren Dial.jpg LIP Warren Mvt.jpg

    LIP Warren caseBackrear.jpg LIP Warren caseBackside.jpg

    LIP Warren caseBackinfo.jpg
     
  2. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    22,452
    368
    83
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Very nice watch. I have a Lip pocket watch, dont see them often. I am thinking about the two holes in the case back, perhaps mounted to a automobile dash board?
     
    viclip likes this.
  3. viclip

    viclip Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 20, 2018
    670
    445
    63
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Thanks Kevin,

    You know, I should have kept that 1963 Rambler, full aluminum straight 6 & all. But realistically, I do need to fill those holes in the case back so I'll probably convert my Lip into a wristie, unless someone can lead me in another direction.

    Have you posted your Lip? I'd like to see it if you've got pics.
     
  4. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    22,452
    368
    83
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Here is the watch i have. It had a broken balance staff but its been repaired. Lip.
     
    viclip likes this.
  5. viclip

    viclip Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 20, 2018
    670
    445
    63
    Male
    Country Flag:
    I like that Lip Kevin.

    "Fabrication LIP" printed above the seconds bit immediately signals that it's a private label or possibly a specimen of their sub-brand "Sam" but I can't make out the signature below the 12. Is it a "Sam"?

    The movement looks like either Lip caliber 39x or 40x, I'm guessing 395 if it's a "Sam".
     
  6. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    22,452
    368
    83
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thanks Viclip, i will get it out and have a look at it.
     
  7. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 14, 2001
    5,828
    513
    113
    Aerospace Engineer
    New Hampshire
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I suggest the holes may be mount an applique, a monogram, medal or social symbol. They are not "squared up so that mounting them to a rigid base like a dashboard would bend the case. It is also very awkward to wind and set a watch mounted that way.

    Making or adapting such a shield and screwing it in place is a good way to fill the holes.
     
    viclip likes this.
  8. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    22,452
    368
    83
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    It is a 395 calibre, above the seconds looks like fabrique Sam Lip. Marked in two places 395, and yes about a sz 12.
     
    viclip likes this.
  9. viclip

    viclip Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 20, 2018
    670
    445
    63
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Thanks Dr. Jon, it never occurred to me that a shield may have been used.

    I've also been musing about hitting Michaels to see if I can find some Swarovski jewels that might match the inner tapers of those holes. After epoxying them in place I'd have something to look at.

    Anyways I'd really prefer to use this watch as a pocket vs. wielding a 12s. wristie about on my arm.
     
  10. viclip

    viclip Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 20, 2018
    670
    445
    63
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Yes, Lip marketed their "Sam" sub-brand pocket based upon the caliber 395. This was considered Lip's economy pocket (they also had economy "Sam" versions of wristwatches). The cal. 395 pockets were 15j rather than 17j & the finishing seems to be somewhat less nicely done than say, on their caliber 392; additionally the painted metal "Sam" dials were not made to last & are usually showing their age these days. The factory-supplied cases were of the plain chromed plated variety.

    Sams were good no-frills watches targetting the common man, the young feller just starting out etc.

    Don't ask me how on earth a French manufacturer came up with the name "Sam" for their sub-brand ... :rolleyes:
     
  11. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    22,452
    368
    83
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Yes interesting history of the Sam brand. Neat watch to own, i will be on the look out for more Lip watches.
     
    viclip likes this.
  12. viclip

    viclip Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 20, 2018
    670
    445
    63
    Male
    Country Flag:
    My favorites are the 16-size models (or 43 mm) starting from the early 1920s, & produced until about the time of the French defeat in 1940. They came in various models & grades including one-button chronographs, often housed in spectacular silver niello cases. Some were cased in 18K French gold too but those were never that popular with the frugal French & more often than not such cases have been scrapped (leaving high grade orphaned movements behind).
     

Share This Page