Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Love Overdue - A Week with the Lip Himalaya 40 mm Mecanique

Full disclosure, I am a long-term fan of Lip.  I visited the factory in Besançon 4 years ago, and I am somewhat pre-disposed to like what they do.  I recently had the opportunity to wear and review one of their watches and I have to say that I am a reaffirmed fan.

This is the Lip Himalaya 40 mm Mecanique.  It does not have a chronograph, an alarm, is not solar powered, does not make coffee ; )

The Himalaya originally appeared in the Lip collection from 1954 to 1973.  It has made a comeback over the past few years and today is available in a few different versions.

In other words?  It is a watch!  Hours, minutes, seconds and date.  The case is of stainless steel, and measures 40 mm in diameter.  The movement is a mechanical one. 

Now it bears mentioning that this is a Miyota movement.  The interesting part of this movement's winding action is that it does not achieve a "full" wind stopping point when winding.  What does that mean, exactly?  Essentially that you can wind and wind, but you will not feel the tension growing, resistance increasing, and finally find yourself unable to wind it further.  Also?  You will never over-wind or break the spring!  Over the past week I have wound 20 - 25 times and call it done, and the power reserve has been great.


It would be simple (and accurate) to say that the Himalaya Mecanique had me at "hello".  The dial is beautiful in its simplicity.  And remember, here at Tempus Fugit simple isn't dumb, it's beautiful.  The dial is laid out with applied numbers (a personal favorite), with minute/second indices in between.

The hands are elegantly, and appropriately long and shapely.  The second hand is tipped red.  These are little details, but for me they really add that certain je ne sais quoi to a wonderful watch.

The date window is another point of joy for me. 

Clear, well-defined and easy to read.  Moreover, what I find more and more is that the date window is an after-thought.  And that is the case with big, small and micro brands.  How often is the number or marker where the date window appears either partially, or fully obscured due to lazy design?  This is a truly satisfying dial to look at.

The strap is a wonderful soft, of brown leather.

The buckle is branded, subtle and a perfect match for the watch as a whole.

And the little details matter -

So let's get down to brass tacks, how much is this all going to cost you?


That's just a wee bit under $450 by this morning's conversion rate.

The time keeping was steady, the comfort of the watch was beyond reproach, and the value for money can't really be argued with.  Is it for you?  Well, that is something down to the individual, to be sure.  Me?  I am a bit of a romantic.  I have visited the Lip facility, I have walked the streets of Besançon, seen the Silberstein clock, had (a few) beer/s with the students in the college bars.  This one speaks to me.

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