A veritable tool-watch in the 50s, the LIP Himalaya has become a French watchmaking staple. For your enjoyment, and because it’s one of the brand’s flagship models that we’re particularly fond of, we spent a day with the LIP Himalaya. hourglass version an original and effective open-heart watch.
Himalaya: an iconic French watch
LIP is one of those brands that is firmly anchored in our collective memory. In a few months’ time, the French company will be celebrating its 155th anniversary. Everyone remembers their grandmother’s LIP, the Grenoble Olympics, the company bought out by its own employees, the Dauphine advertising campaign or the daring design of Roger Talon’s MACH 2000. But today we’re taking a closer look at another icon of the French brand: theHimalaya. An opportunity for us to look back at its history. In the early ’50s, many French mountaineers set out to conquer the summits, very often with a LIP watch on their wrist. And so, on June 3, 1950, Maurice Herzog will be the first man to climb Annapurna, an 8,000-meter-high massif in the heart of the Himalayas. All the more reason to make this reference as a true sports watch of its timeand catapulted it into the limelight.
This Himalaya Sablier features a 40mm steel case diameter, 13.8mm thick. It will therefore suit most male wrists. Note, however, that it features relatively long lugs that ensure a significant presence on the wrist (lugs to lugs length 46.5mm). These lugs are also faceted, giving the case a strong identity and uniqueness. It is completed by a fine crownstainless steel, engraved with the brand’s three letters. Be careful, this case is equipped with a reduced water-resistance of 5ATMIt’s suitable for splashing water, humidity and rain, but we strongly advise against submerging it. Finally, it comes with a sapphire crystal dome-shaped, with a vintage look in keeping with its origins.
This hourglass version is all about identity. Its gray gradient background is strewn with thick triangular applied hour-markers, reinforcing the vintage look of this Himalaya. These are complemented by Arabic numerals 3-6-9-12 and a discreet minute scale composed of white dots supporting the indexes. The highlight of the show: a superb hourglass-shaped open heartoffering a partial view of the mechanism’s workings. In the center are two thick dauphine hands equipped with a LumiNova band and complemented by a fine red-tipped second hand. LIP made the judicious choice not to include a date window, which would have weighed down the well-balanced dial. LIP Himalaya” is inscribed at 9 o’clock, opposite “Automatique 21 Rubis” at 3 o’clock. Note that there are two other dial variationsblue and black, but we definitely preferred the grey.
On the mechanical side, this reference 671572 is powered by a Japanese automatic movement, the calibre 8N26 from Miyota. The latter oscillates at 21,600 vibrations per hour and offers a standard autonomy of 42 hours. It also features the “stop-second” function allowing you to set your watch precisely, as well as a manual winding function (not necessarily found on Japanese watches). It’s a simple, yet reliable and robust mechanism, which you can observe through the transparent case back sapphire crystal.
This hourglass version is mounted on a cognac calf leather strap perfectly matches the gray hue of the dial. The cut is slim, starting from 20mm at lugs and tapering to 18mm at the buckle. This bracelet is completed by a pin buckle in steel with a polished finish and engraved with the “LIP” logo. Thanks to its most standard lugs, you’ll have a very wide choice if you want to personalize your new companion. We tried it out with black alligator leather, then midnight blue calfskin, and the result was a real success.
Our opinion on this LIP watch
This LIP Himalaya Sablier has what it takes to seduce. It sits perfectly on the wrist and offers a remarkable presencewith its long lugs and generously domed sapphire crystal. One never tires of contemplating its singular dial with its cleverly designed open heart. The dial is perfectly balanced, with just the right amount of vintage notes. The warm-toned calf leather strap naturally complements it, for a most effective color combination. The price is very attractive too: only 389€ for an automatic watch assembled in France. With a dial this elaborate, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a story like this, it’s more than fair! A great idea to treat yourself and end the year in style.
LIP Himalaya Sablier watch ref. 671572 / Features
- Case Stainless steel / Polished & brushed finish
- Width 40mm
- Thickness 13.8mm
- Spacer 20mm
- Luminescence : Yes
- Glass type Curved sapphire
- Case back Transparent and screwed
- Movement Automatic
- Caliber : Miyota 8N26
- Power reserve 42 hours
- Bracelet Cognac calf leather
- Buckle Ardillon / Polished finish
- Water resistance 5 ATM / 50 meters
- Warranty 2 years