Almost every month we see at least two or three Sherpa Graph watches for sale, that are offered as “Jim Clark”. Of course we know of the connection between Jim Clark and Enicar, but does this make every Sherpa Graph a Jim Clark? Well I say no and in this article I will tell you why.
Let’s start with the connection of Enicar and Jim Clark. As you maybe know from former blog articles by me, Enicar had a strong relationship to motorsport and used racing legends as official testimonials. The first was Stirling Moss at the end of the 50s, but we also have seen Swedish Rally icon Eric Carlsson or later in the 60s Gerhard Mitter. The maybe strongest connection we have seen was with Jim Clark. He did not just wear his Sherpa Graph at racing events (like Stirling did, but never in privat), but also off the track. Enicars advertisment department was early interested in the young Jim Clark. In him they saw a future champion, a prophecy that would fullfill soon. In the following article of “Europa Star” from 1966 you gain interesting insights on this topic. I guess to most of you it was new, that there was an official link between the racer and the company, something we just have seen years later with e.g. Heuer and Jo Siffert.
The first pics I have found with Jim Clark wearing an Enicar watch, was right after the Italian Grand Prix 1963. The pics were shot on September 9. and 10 in Great Britain. Since I havn’t found earlier pics, let’s assume this was around the time, he first got his watch. Not just a regular watch, but a racing proof Enicar Sherpa Graph with grey dial and the typical of its time white Tropic strap.
The first appeareance on a race track showing Jim and the watch was at Riverside International Raceway, October 11, 1963. Compared to the earlier races of this season the watch was no sign of good luck, cause he finished on position three (of course just compared to the 7 wins out of 10 in 1963) . But that obviously had no effect on the general outcome of the season, as he became World Champion for the first time.
Besides the watch Jim Clark was wearing by his own, there are also other watches known, that are directly related to him. In appreciation to his first World Championship title in 1963, he was giving away Enicar watches to his team, especially mechanics. It namely was a Sherpa Graph MK 1a in both known hand variations (paddle and gladius) and the back of the watches was engraved “In Appreciation World Championship – 1963 – Jim Clark”. After a talk to the son of one of the Lotus mechanics, he told me that ten of these watches were gifted to the team. He also told me, that his dad got the watch that belongt to Jim Clark himself. Maybe he liked his grey dial Sherpa Graph better 😉
(source of pics: boldwatches.com)
Also in his private life Jim Clark was wearing the Sherpa Graph on different occasions. In difference to today, in the 60s it was uncommon to see someone with a toolwatch combined with a suit. Down below wee see some rare pics of Jim Clark as “Bob the builder” and at a party of motorsport legends.
In 1965 Jim Clark repeated his win of the Formula 1 championship and added another landmark of racing success to his books: Winning the Indy 500. Though I haven’t found many pics of him and a visible watch, at least one was good enough to spot the Sherpa Graph. Interesting is that he is wearing the watch on a black tropic this time. Did he really changed the straps, or did he had two of these watches? Hopefully we will find out one day.
1966 is the last year we supposedly have seen Jim Clark wearing a Sherpa Graph. I am not sure if his contract with Enicar was coming to an end or he just focussed on other (newer) watches. In total wearing three years the same watch in a row isn’t that bad for Enicar as adverstisment and I think it paid well off.
There is just one question left that needs to be answered. What reference was he wearing? Well here it becomes a bit difficult. We know the dial combination and the year he was starting to wear the watch. But this applies to three different references: MK1b, MK1c and Mk1d. The only small difference, besides the date stamp in the caseback we unfortunately can’t see, is the inner tachy scale. The MK1b is the only one without the word “Tachymeter” or/ and “Base” on it. So here it is. Jim Clark was wearing a Sherpa Graph MK1b with the grey dial combination and in the serial range 409.xxx. This should truly be the only Enicar Sherpa watch named after him. (More about this Reference you can read here: Enicar Sherpa Graph MK1b )
I hope this article helped a bit for future research and when buying a Sherpa Graph, especiallly a so called “Jim Clark”. If you have knowledge or pictures I should add, don’t hesitate to write me.