Founded in 1913 by the Racine family, Enicar ('Racine' backward) grew in popularity thanks to their marketing tactic of supplying mountaineers and other adventurers with their watches in the 1950s. One particularly iconic event in Enicar's growth was when a team of Swiss climbers wore Enicar watches to the top of Lhoste and Mount Everest in 1956. As a result, Enicar registered the sub-brand "Sherpa" and began releasing its first Sherpa watches later in the same year to capitalize on this success. The Sherpa collection then grew and became a keystone of Enicar's brand, thanks to spin-off collections like the Sherpa Graph that I have here.
Released in 1960, the Sherpa Graph was a model centered around the iconic Valjoux cal. 72 column-wheel operated chronograph movement, which also featured in watches like the Rolex Daytona, the Heuer Carrera, and the Breitling Navitimer, to name but a few. Endorsed by legendary British racing car diver Stirling Moss, the Sherpa Graph was a large 40mm timepiece that quickly rose to popularity as a watch that blended the Sherpa's illustrious sport-orientated heritage with automotive-inspired design.
Launched in circa 1966, the Sherpa Graph Mark IV was the fourth iteration of this legendary watch and thus introduced a slightly updated design language to the collection. Retaining the same robust and solid stainless steel case as previous Graph models, the Mark IV features thick lugs with equally thick bevels that were largely foreign to horological design at the time. In addition, such was the Graph's supercompressor case design quality that it is waterproof to 160 feet (or 50 meters), a surprisingly impressive feat for a mid-century chronograph and a testament to Enicar's rigid desire to produce truly capable timepieces.
Easily identified by its dial, the Mark IV Graph features a two-tone dial design with a black or white chapter ring that contrasts the center of the dial. The Mark IV dial also lacks lume plots at the hour markers, unlike its predecessor, the Mark III. As seen here, my example features a beautiful grey chapter ring that retains the unusually specific tachymeter scale that is limited to 300, as opposed to the more conventional 500 or 1000. Complete with three silver sunburst pattern subdials, this dial is a splendid example of a 60s design with hits of red in the seconds and chronograph minute hand, beautifully aged yellow lume, and the dial's beautiful tonal aesthetic.