I just got hold of a LIP Mach 2000 'Dark Master' chronograph. An ETA 251.271 re-issue of the 1973 original. Designed by Frenchman Roger Tallon. Not a big watch at 42x40 mm -- it's actually smaller then the Valjoux 7734-powered original.
The Mach 2000 oozes quality. A surprisingly heavy watch for its size, due to the oddly shaped asymmetrical case. It actually wears quite small and comfortable. The main attraction here is the sharp looking dial and eye-popping colors.
The gumball pushers. They work just like regular pushers and crown. I have to admit: it makes sense. My big hands and fingers often have difficulty grabbing the teeny tiny crowns on some watches. This gives you a *very* secure grip.
I'm quite pleased with the fit and finish. Sure, it might lack some 'charm' due to the quartz movement... but it *is* a functional improvement. The quartz ETA has a far better accuracy, is more reliable, requires less maintenance over time, and has better chronograph features like re-zeroing the hands.
A wrist shot. The strap is quite nice with an interesting design. It features tang holes over the entire length of the strap. The bottom is vented for comfortable wear. The buckle is a lovely black PVD and sits quite flat against the strap. Perfect execution. It's signed too, with a lightning bolt. A tip of the hat to LIP's early battery-powered watches.
All in all, a great design classic. And very affordable too, as it retails for 350 euros on the web. Original examples from the 70's run well into four figures these days....