|Location||United Kingdom, Tetbury|
|Price||£955 (= $1,201)|
BRAND – Lip
MODEL – Nautic-Ski electronic
REFERENCE No. – 9-66
DATE – circa 1965
CASE – steel, screw-back, 18mm. 36mm. diameter, straight lugs, case back signed LIP electronic patents pending Incabloc super waterproof
BEZEL – Flat Calatrava-type
DIAL – Black enamel with rectangular lumed hour markers 3-6-9-12, outer rotating annular recording minute ring adjusted by the second button
HANDS – Steel arrowhead hands with luminous inserts, steel chronograph hand with lightning bolt and lumed lollipop end
MOVEMENT – Original Lip Cal. R 184 electronic battery operated movement with two-armed balance wheel
STRAP – Brown leather by Bulang & Son
This classic, French-made, stainless steel, electronic LIP Nautic-Ski diver’s wristwatch is similar in appearance to IWC’s Aquatimer and Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Polaris models. This model was LIP’s first specially designed diver’s watch, and at the time, was also the world’s first electronic diver’s model.
It has a stainless steel case with screw-on back. Two large original crowns with cross-hatch decoration can be found on the right side. The 2 o’clock crown turns the inner time-elapse bezel, and the bottom crown sets hands and date. The outside of the case is decorated with LIP’s coat-of-arms and is marked “LIP – Electronic – Superwaterproof – Patents Pending.” Case width (not including crowns) is 36mm.
The movement is a LIP-manufactured caliber designated R184. It was based on the R148 (LIP’s second electromechanical movement) but was their first truly successful one. In 1960, the Bulova Watch Company released their tuning fork-based Accutron movement: LIP realized that this was a superior technology to their own, so they increased effort into developing what was to become the LIP R148.
The R184 uses a balance with improved switching and circuitry, needing only one battery. It has 14 jewels and a 18,000 beat movement. It also features a hacking (stops the second hand when setting time) second hand movement. The R148 went through many improvements and changes during its production life. A version with a simple date ring became the R184 and was first produced in 1964. Lip sold the R184 to companies including Benrus, Elgin, Marvin, Universal Geneve, and Waltham.
These particular watches are difficult to date. All Nautic-ski Electric watches were produced between 1964 and 1972. The first year is derived from the first moment the caliber became available, and the last year comes from the fact that the Nautic Ski was replaced by the Super Nautic-Ski in 1972, which is easily recognised by the new case form.