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 Post subject: Breitling & LIP
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:06 am 
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I did some researches about co-branded Breitling and I wrote first drafts that I would like to share with you.
Please do not hesitate to comment, correct and add any relevant information I would have missed. Especially concerning models seen over the years with co-branded dials.

Let's start with LIP!

The « comptoir Lipmann » was founded in 1867 by Mr Emmanuel Lipmann in Besançon, France.
In 1896, the Chronomètre LIP is introduced to the market and LIP is signed on the dial.
At the death of Emmanuel, his son Ernest takes over the family business and develops with Pierre and Marie Curie the first luminescent dial based on radium, in 1904.
During the First World War, LIP will be selected by the French army to supply chronometers. Those watches are signed "Guerre SG" followed by an inventory number.

Source: forumamontres @ZEN

In 1931, the visionary Frederic Lipmann, son of Ernest, joins the family company.


Frederic Lipmann will strongly develop the company: while in 1932 there were 250 employees for a production of around 40 000 watches per year, at his peak in 1954, the production reached around 300 000 watches per year with more than 1 500 employees.
As a real visionary, Frederic Lipmann starts to work on an electric watch in 1949 and, in 1952, the first electric wristwatch is presented to the Science Academy of Paris, concomitantly with Elgin in Chicago.
However, the watch is not reliable enough to be introduced to the public and four more years of hard work will be required before its first introduction to the market in 1956.
This same watch will be offered to the General De Gaulle in December 1958 and, few weeks later, to the General Eisenhower.


In the early 60’s, sales of mechanical chronographs fall rapidly and Willy Breitling decides to increase his commercial presence in France.
While developing his own distribution network would have been very costly, the envisaged option is to team up with a brand already well established in France : LIP.

A partnership is signed between the two companies in the mid 60’s (not very clear date - around 1966) : Breitling is now distributed in France through LIP sale network. In return, LIP is authorized to put its name on the dial. Those co-branded Breitling will be sold with Breitling documentation but under LIP guarantee. After sale service was also ensured by LIP itself.

The relation between LIP & Breitling stops in the early 70’s (around 1973).
Here below are the models we found with this dual signature.

Breitling SuperOcean ref 2005:


Breitling Navitimer ref 806:
The different variations of the Navitimer 806 from 1966 to the early 70’s can be found:

Navitimer with red markings and big subs

Navitimer with small subs

Navitimer with boxed 10 and small subs

Breitling Navitimer ref 0816:
Starting from 1968, the big case Navitimer ref 0816 can be found.

Source: @cortovintage

Breitling ref 765 CP:

Source: E-bay

Note that in 1966 (supposed starting date of the partnership between Breitling & LIP), all 765 were stamped CP with the associated specific dial.
However, since the transition between AVI and CP is around 1965 and that we have found some LIP branded Breitling from that year too, there might be some LIP 765 AVI out there…

Breitling Chronomat ref 808:

Source: Breitlingsource @curtisl1982

Breitling Cosmonaute ref 809:
A very rare version of an all black 809, dated from 1962, has been found.
We can logically think this watch was assembled in 1962 but sold later, through the LIP network.

Source: E-bay

Note that the sliderule with red markings is incorrect for this model.
Typical 809 from the mid sixties can be also found:

Source: BreitlingSource @dlicheri

Breitling Chronomatic ref 2130:

Source: Breitling Museum

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