Enicar ChronographCommunist China announces explosion of its first hydrogen bomb
1967 Enicar Valjoux 72 Chronograph ref. 072-01-03
While the values of Aqua Graphs and Sherpa Graphs keep on soaring, it remains possible to find cool looking Enicars at good prices, as evidenced by this 1970s example. A cool weekend watch, with this bright second hand and the unusual date window at 6 o’clock, afforded by the Valjoux 232 movement.
Right now, Vintage Enicar watches, hot and recognized for both the quality and resilience of their designs. They intended to build these timepieces as tool watches and people such as competitive race drivers originally used it.
Founded in 1913 the Enicar Watch Company. The first to use Radium in 1914 to make dial readable in the dark.
From the mid-forties Enicar developed its first chronograph models. In the sixties and seventies they developed their own automatic movements and focused mainly on the sport watches.
Some say that Enicar was the first watch ever to been taken to the top of Everest and not the Rolex Oyster Explorer that Sir Edmund Hillary worn on his expedition in 1953. Because of the expedition not being documented properly Enicar could not claim to be the first to on the top.
Enicar was one of the first Brands to focus their marketing on Divers, Racing and Pilot watches. After that, In 1960 the racing pilot Stirling Moss promotes an Enicar watches.
Jim Clark also wears the Sherpa Graph and the first edition of the Sherpa Graph links to his name, in what has since become a collectors favorite.In 1963 Jim Clark gave his chief engineer Dick Scammell. A Sherpa Graph in appreciation for his help in winning the F1 World Championship.
What separates Enicar from other brands lost to time is that they were incredibly popular in Asia, specifically China and Russia, due to their relative low cost and high quality compared to domestic made timepieces of the time.
Unfortunately the end of Enicar came much like that of Universal Geneve. Enicar did manage to put up a good fight during the quartz crisis. As they were already at a lower and more competitive price point, however they were by no means immune. Enicar were in fact among the first watch brands to make use of the Beta 21 movement that the Swiss hoped to combat the influx of cheap Japanese quartz however it was a losing battle.
In 1987 Enicar filed for bankruptcy and piece by piece the Enicar name dismantled. The remaining watch cases sold to the owner of ChronoSwiss.
The brand name put up for auction and bought by a Hong Kong investment company.
Ever since modern Enicar has lost popularity with collectors as fans feel the quality of the timepieces began to decrease.