A French kiss – LIP watches are back!

French industrial design is under-represented here at Swipe. Not because we don’t try, mind you. It just that with the Euro the way it is we have to be careful how much European product we offer. Nothing wrong with $400 teapots as such, but that’s not what we are trying to do here. And so when compared with the sublime beauty of Scandinavian design, the lyrical recklessness of the Italians and the formal rigour of Germans, French designers seem to come up short. French industrial design has a history of stars and comets. The comets come and go and leave you wondering what all the fuss was about. The stars dominate thoroughly. Give that France is the largest net exporter in the E.U. you’d expect that the public here might know the name of even one French designer aside from Starck.

So we’re glad to be able at least to represent last generation’s star in the Swipe firmament with these extraordinary watches by Roger Tallon. Tallon, most notable as the designer of the TGV, visited us at the DX soon after the inaugural journey of the Eruostar linking London and Paris. His work for LIP in the seventies was contemporary without being merely fashionable. I spent the next 15 years wading through the debris that results from a canned search on E-Bay for “LIP” and “watch” (think Barbie lip-gloss/watch combos) trying to get my hands on one of Tallon’s watches, without any luck. Recently American watch manufacturer Nixon has done quite well for themselves with suggestively similar designs. Now (maybe a couple of years too late?) LIP has finally relaunched the series ($325 to $595).

Arguably, the most famous of these is this iconic Aluminum cased Chronograph, originally designed by Tallon in 1973, as part of the Mach 2000 series. The design is easily recognizable with its protruding multicolored crown and chronograph controls set inside the negative space of the asymmetric aluminum watch case.

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

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