French watch brand Lip making comeback

As European makers cut back their presence in Hong Kong, French watch brand Lip is bucking the trend to relaunch itself.

The move is being led by CEO Philippe Berard, who led a buyout of the brand two years ago. At the Hong Kong Watch and Jewellery Show last week he tells of Lip moving its manufacturing back to the French city of Besancon, where it was founded in 1867. A native of Besancon, Berard made his fortune in the watch industry there.

Meanwhile, he has set about exploiting Lip’s archive of watch designs, updating iconic pieces and playing off nostalgia.

“We now have two types of customer. Some are quite old, those in their 70s; these people wore Lip when they were kids. We have the other type of customer, the ‘hipster’, the people who work in Paris in design, advertising, the guys with tattoos.”

Read more about Berard and the Lip revival in a South China Morning Post interview here.

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