Launched in 1913 by the Racine family, Enicar ('Racine' backwards) rose to fame thanks to slick marketing campaigns built upon the successes of explorers, mountaineers, and other adventurers who wore their robust timepieces on their escapades. On the back of one particularly prominent iconic event whereby a team of Swiss mountaineers summited Lhoste and Mount Everest in 1966, Enicar released the Sherpa collection of watches that would quickly represent the apex of Enicar's offerings.
Debuting in 1960, the Sherpa Graph collection was a motorsports-inspired chronograph collection built around the iconic Valjoux cal. 72 column-wheel operated movement, which rose to popularity thanks to an endorsement from legendary British racing car driver and world champion Stirling Moss. Powered by the same movement as the Rolex Daytona, the Heuer Carrera, and the Breitling Navitimer, the Sherpa Graph married engineering prowess with Enicar's rich heritage and an automotive-inspired design that enabled it to become a success despite its uncharacteristically large (for the time) 40mm stainless steel case.
In keeping with its robust case design, the Sherpa Graph features a set of thick lugs that, in turn, feature thick bevelling that was unusual given the prevalence of classical mid-century styling within the industry. Moreover, with such a robust supercompressor case, the Sherpa Graph was water-resistant to an impressive 160 feet or 50 meters, an awe-inspiring feat for a chronograph at the time. Released circa 1963, the Mark III Sherpa Graph that I have introduced a slew of updates to the Graph's design that are primarily focused around its hands and dial.
To begin with, its handset is totally unlike that of its predecessor, the Mark II. With a paddle-style hour and minute hand with tritium lume and an orange tip that set them apart from the Mark II's hands. In addition to this, the Mark III swaps the Mark II's red chronograph seconds hand for an unpainted silver lollipop hand with a red spot below the tip. Found in superb condition, my example here also features a beautiful black dial complete with wonderfully aged grainy textured grey subdials, which provide a beautiful two-tone aesthetic to this iconic timepiece.
With white inscriptions along the tachymeter scale and aged lume plots punctuating the hour markers, the Mark III dial features a myriad of colors that enhance its aesthetic much in the same way that its rich history enhances its standing amongst seasoned chronograph collectors.