Discover the new 2011 versions of the Watch General General: a historical design to existing lines
The first electric watch, a whole story :
The idea of ??an electric watch had been studied since 1939 by Elgin Watch Co (USA), but the research didn’t really begin until 1946. In 1948 research began in Lip. The year 1949 was dedicated to the achievement and the miniaturization of batteries, coils and magnets but also in the manufacture of the equipment needed to carry out different parts of these movements, all in an absolute secret … .
March the 19th, 1952 is the date of the first exhibition of an electric wristwatch in the world at the Academy of Sciences of Paris, the Elgin’s president did the exact same thing the very same day in Chicago at the Blackstone Hotel. The three beats per second excited people’s curiosity, the noise emitted sounded more like a purring cat than a ticking watch …
The reaction of the President of the Academy of Paris, Albert Caquot was significant, he said: « We would have to go back in history as far as the invention of the lever escapement in the eighteenth century to find a discovery of comparable importance in wathchmaking. » The watch was viable but wasn’t ready to be sold. The research carried on in a laboratory still protected by an armed guard.
In 1956, after eight successful but laborious years of work, the first electric watch in the world with contact was ready but still could be improved, with cheaper technical solutions and and by decreasing its consumption.
R27 movement was improved, and the electrical circuit was consolidated and made more reliable. In December the 7th, 1958, four years before Elgin Watch Co (USA), Lip launches his Electronic watch. The first ones are made of gold. The boxes are made in Paris with gold plates welded manually.
This is one of these watches that Fred Lip offered General de Gaulle in December 1958 and General Dwight Eisenhower a few weeks later.