One of my favourite watches is this LOV Précision, clean and simple, with lots of "je ne sais quoi"
Under the nicely engraved two piece screw back is a 2nd Generation Cupillard 233, with Incabloc protection:
This second incarnation of the venerable 233 helps date this watch to the mid to late 1950's
LOV was the brand name of the family business, Ets Hubert Lambert et Fils, whose workshops were on the rue Maréchal Foch in Villers-le-Lac. The original name of the village was Lac Ou Villers, hence LOV. LOV were recognised in the trade as being one of the better quality marques of the lower mid price range, and produced, as well as just simply LOV, the various Précisions, a later varied range called Espadon (Swordfish), Presidents, Datomatics, the Aqua Sports range and more.
My second LOV is an earlier model from the late 1940's early 1950's. Again very simple, with black face, gold coloured numerals and steel hands.
Once more a Cupillard 233 was used, but this time the earlier 1st Generation. The screw case back is also plain and simple, and the inside has a casemakers logo that, as yet, I haven't identified.
LOV traded successfully through the 1950's and 60's, still under family control, and a number of the company's promotional items can still be found, ranging from Buvards to football keyrings!
The fourth LOV in the collection is a not often seen example of a President from around 1965. Cosmetically this President is not too good, but it contains a decent quality movement, and it took nearly a year to actually find.
My third LOV shows the long term relationship between LOV and Cupillard
The 17 jewel the movement it uses dates from the mid 1960's by which time Cupillard was part of France Ebauches. The movement is an FE 233-70A. You will have noticed there is no sub second in this example. To be able to incorporate both day and date it was necessary for Cupillard to dispense with any second indicator. This goes to show that by this time the venerable 233 in its many guises was basically obsolete. The production of this movement highlights the overall complacency of the European watch industry in the early 1960's, and this lack of innovation and investment was to be dearly regretted soon after. Don't forget that Mortima/Cattin from the 1950's onwards basically used only one movement, the C66 pin pallet.
By the late 1960's, like so many of its contemporaries, LOV were suffering for their indifference to the market changes of the beginning of the quartz era, and were, like Herma, acquired by Marcel Rième's Cupillard-Rième, and incorporated into Finhor. Which, after then including Esperanto, Sodexhor & Blind became Framelec in 1970. Over the next few years it all went from bad to worse, Framelec was taken over by the then owners of Jaz, then Matra, at the behest of the French Government took over and became involved in all aspects of the business, so by 1981 it looked like this:
According to Marcel Rième, he had become so disillusioned with the French government, as well as with Matra and its dealings with Seiko, that he resigned in October 1981. Within 3 years Framelec and its component parts had vanished in their original form forever.
This President shows a move away from the Cupillard 233, running as it does a 17 jewel Jeambrun 26D, and once again the casemaker's logo is a mystery
I'm constantly on the look out for decent and reasonably priced examples of other LOV models, and if and when I acquire any more I'll add them to this page.