When the infamous limited-edition Mach 2000 Silver Master Chronograph that Roger Tallon designed for the French watch company Lip debuted in 1973, it was an instant hit and became one of the company’s most popular timepieces ever. So it’s entirely fitting that this year, as Lip launches in the United States for the first time in the brand’s 141- year history, the iconic Mach 2000 is returning to the lineup -- and the master isn’t missing a tick. Thirty-five years after it was first introduced, the futuristic, forward-thinking watch looks anything but vintage. In fact, it looks as if it could have been designed just yesterday. And that’s exactly what Tallon (the creative mastermind behind the high-speed French TGV trains) intended for it when back in the 1970s, Lip enlisted him as well as various other prominent designers, architects, and interior decorators to work for them. Their job? To collaborate on several cutting-edge, distinctive collections that would set Lip apart from its competition. Not only did they succeed, their signature watches became cult favorites and revolutionized the watch company.
Fast-forward three decades. Under the watchful eye of Lip’s new design director Prisca Briquet, these 1970s groundbreaking vintage pieces (including those in Tallon’s Mach 2000 series and Revival Seventies collection) are now being reissued, along with several other classic styles that have received updates. Perhaps most impressive, though, is Briquet’s new Mythic Jump Hour. It incorporates a 1970s strap and case by Tallon and Lip’s original 1970s Baschmakoff Jump Hour display, which Briquet opened up and enlarged to reveal all the numbers and dials. A culmination of 40 years of design expertise and the perfect blend of past and present, Briquet’s Mythic just might be poised to become the new master.Lip watches range from $295 to $600 and are available at Barneys New York, the MoMA Design Stores, Moss, Takashimaya New York, and www.watchismo.com.-- Anna Fialho