Hobbies-R-Us

Stories and tutorials about various home projects and hobbies.

9:29 PM

Review: Enicar 150 Year Jubilee Automatic

Posted by Rennaisance Man

Enicar 150 Year Jubilee Automatic


Summary:

  • Commemorative edition celebrating Enicar's founding in 1854
  • 39 mm diameter
  • 11.5 mm thick
  • 22 mm wide tapering to 18mm by 3mm thick solid stainless steel band
  • 130 grams
  • ETA 2836-2 25 jewel 28,800 bph auto movement
  • Solid stainless steel case, display back and crown
  • Screw-down crown signed with Enicar logo
  • Sapphire domed crystal; slightly thicker than most
  • Sapphire display crystal on back
  • Signed band and movement rotor
  • Bold and bright lume on dial numerals and hands
  • Minutes chapter ring with 1/4th minute tick marks
  • Unusual, horizontal day display above the date at the "6"
As you might guess, I've accumulated several unusual brands, Enicar among them. This is a Swiss Made brand originally founded in 1854 that faded from sight and reemerged . . . more than once from what I gather in the sketchy histories I've found.

The most touted history runs from 1914 into at least the 1970's with the founding of Manufacture d'Horlogerie Enicar S.A. by Ariste Racine at La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1914 (moved to Lengnau about 10 or so years later). This is the same Ariste also founded another brand bearing his Racine surname. "Enicar" is "Racine" spelled backward. In a marketing strategy similar to that of Rolex, the company provided chronometers to explorers and adventurers, including two failed North Pole attempts. Its claims to fame include the successful 1956 Swiss Everset expedition lead by Ernst Reiss and the 1957 Atlantic crossing of the Mayflower II with a chronometer affixed to the ship's rudder and immersed for 50 days. In 1958, legendary race driver Stirling Moss became one of their spokesmen. The Everest expedition spurred large sales of the rugged and "weather-proof" Sherpa model (including divers). These vintage Sherpas can be found frequently floating in The Bay (along with other vintage models).

The company seems to have disappeared some time in the 1970's. I don't know if its current incarnation survived the 1970's as a very small company with a miniscule market or if the branding has been resurrected under different ownership. In any event, the brand's quality has definitely not suffered one iota. The name under its current ownership is living up to its heritage.

This example is a 150 Year Jubilee model created in 2004 commemorating the original Enicar name established in 1854. It comes in a very large and impressively lavish box. A large mirror finish 38mm stainless steel case with equally high polish solid link integrated bracelet and concealed butterfly clasp encase a decorated 25j ETA 2836-2 movement with Enicar signed rotor. The case is 48mm long lug-to-lug and the integrated solid link stainless steel band is 22mm wide at the lugs tapering to 18mm at the clasp. The crystal is thicker than normal domed sapphire. This display back is flat sapphire and the screw-down crown is signed with the Enicar "Saturn" logo. Even with all the steel and sapphire, weight is held to a moderate 130 grams.

Fit and finish are superb. The blue dial has a dramatic sunburst texture with bold white arabic indices and hands. The "white" is all lume. At night it glows like a beacon. Of note is the encircled date at the "6" position with the weekday above it horizontally, which requires a custom weekday ring. Even though the movement allows for bi-lingual weekday setting, the weekday is in English only, and the 2nd language setting shows only the midpoint between two weekdays. The printed chapter ring is easily visible, clean and very precise, its small size keeping it from being too bold compared to the rest of the dial.

A testament to thoughtful details in its design is the 2/3 size links found next to each of the clasp end links (also signed with the Enicar logo), which removal or addition of when sizing the bracelet allow for micro-adjustment. This feature isn't very noticeable until adjusting it! While some might find the dial a bit bold, I've found it exceptionally legible at just a glance and extremely easy to read at night, including visiblity of the diamond lume at the tip of the second hand.

Shiny and dressy enough for wear with business suits or formal wear, its bolder dial also fits well with casual attire, making one of the few I've seen that's suitable for a very wide range of clothing styles, activities and occasions. Want something unusual with a touch of class, including brand, that's well made with high quality materials, durable, and affordable? Check out the current Enicar collection.

Summary:
  • Commemorative edition celebrating Enicar's founding
  • 39 mm diameter
  • 11.5 mm thick
  • 22 mm wide tapering to 18mm by 3mm thick solid stainless steel band
  • 130 grams
  • ETA 2836-2 25 jewel 28,800 bph auto movement
  • Solid stainless steel case, display back and crown
  • Screw-down crown signed with Enicar logo
  • Sapphire domed crystal; slightly thicker than most
  • Sapphire display crystal on back
  • Signed band and movement rotor
  • Bold and bright lume on dial numerals and hands
  • Seconds chapter ring with 1/5th second tick marks
  • Unusual, horizontal day display above the date at the "6"
MSRP could not be found; street price is under $500 although dealers can be somewhat difficult to find in North America or on the internet. It takes some searching to find them.

Enicar's Web Site
Note: I do not have any affiliation or association with Enicar, or any Enicar dealers, beyond having bought an Enicar from a dealer.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great review, thanks!

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