Hey Enicaristi, thanks to new sources and more and more digitalized pictures research is easier than ever. During my Jim Clark Reference research I screened thousands of motorsport and racing pics. Luckily I didn’t just found Jim Clark related Enicar images.
Some connections, like the Jim Clark and Stirling Moss ones are widely known. But also other famous Formula 1 drivers used to wear a Sherpa Graph on their wrist during their career in the 60s. I found proof and more pics for the following other ones: Innes Ireland (GB), Phil Hill (USA), Gerhard Mitter (GER). With the other two, we have five Enicar related Formular 1 drivers during the 1960s.
So lets start chronoligical with Stirling Moss. As you may know, Stirling Moss was an official Enicar testimonial since the late 50s. More on that you will find in the linked blog post below the pics.
Stirling got his watch during an Austrian race on september 18th, 1960. This is also the only occasion we saw him wearing the Sherpa Graph. His prefered watch still was an oversize mysterious monopuser. The reference he is wearing on the pic is a Sherpa Graph MK1a.
The name that is mostly attached to the first of all Sherpa Graphs is the one of the famous F1 driver Stirling Moss. Though we have seen him in the Enicar ads and also in the Enicar house magazine “Saturn” wearing a Sherpa Graph, until now there were no pictures public showing him wearing an …
Innes Ireland was the second driver wearing an Enicar Sherpa Graph at the beginning 60s. First time we see him with this chronograph on his wrist is the 33rd Grand Prix of Italy in Monza 1962.
While smoking a cigarette with his racing buddies he is showing us his wrist. Therfore we can have a closer look. With the reverse panda dial, the hard to recognize paddle hands and of course the date the picture was taken on, it has to be a MK1 reference. With a lot of fantasy I also see a Tachymeter printing on the bezel. For me the left subhand dial looks different to the other ones (thin vs. e.g. arrow), so normally we could rule out a MK1a, which was connected to Ireland in the past. Since the quality of the pics isn’t good enough, I tend to say we leave that for further investigations,….but its a Sherpa Graph for sure.
Ireland was good in hiding his wrist in pictures, so the only other race showing him with a Sherpa Graph was the famous Grand Prix in Monaco, 1963. Unfortunately we dont have a nice look on the dial or front itself, but we see a nice close up of the unique Enicar lugs that makes it easy to identify as a watch from the Saturn.
Jim Clark was probably the most important and successfull Formula 1 driver who is connected to Enicar. From 1963 to 1966 he was an official Testimonial for Enicar and was wearing his Sherpa Graph not just on the race track, but also in private. Since I just recently wrote a blog entry about him and his Sherpa Graph MK1b I recommend to read the story linked below the pics.
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 …
A name that is more or less new in the game is American racer Phil Hill. A pic of him in 1966 during the filming of the legendary Grand Prix movie was showing him with a watch, that might have been a Sherpa Graph. But the picture quality was to bad to be sure. So let’s have a look on what I found. In 1964 Hill was racing in Zandvoort, Netherlands. Thanks to a great shot we at least can see the case. No doubt its a Sherpa Graph one.
The 1000km race at the legendary Nürburgring in Germany 1965 provides us with a clearer picture. In this race he wasn’t driving his usual Formula 1 car, but the Ford GT 40 that challenged Ferrari during these years on the track. Unfortunately he had to retire the car early in the race.
Good for us is a clean shot of him, lashing his helmet and showing the watch he was wearing during the (short) race. Now the front is also perfectly visible and we can also see details like the reverse panda, big logo dial, paddle hands and a tachymeter bezel without the word “tachymeter”. Like Jim Clark, Hill is wearing a Enicar Sherpa Graph MK Ib but instead of a grey-white dial, Hill has chosen the black-white one.
Another occasion Hill used to show us his Sherpa Graph is the filming of the movie Grand Prix, filmed by John Frankeheimer. Hill was driving one of the cars, that filmed the road sequences, here at Spa, Belgium. An interesting pic of his workplace is shown below.
Another lovely pic is the one showing him with main actor James Garner. This was also the first pic that leads me into the direction of a possible Enicar chronograph.
As far as I know, Hill was not connected to the Enicar company. Most likely is that he was influenced by guys like Moss and Clark, like Jo Siffert did in 1969 with the Heuer Autavia.
The last driver I want to talk about is Gerhard Mitter. We allready knwo him in regard to Enicar, since another chronograph from the brand is linked to him. But to be honest, I was allways scepitcal. Yes, like Moss and Clark, Mitter was officially sponsored by the company but never seen with the watch that was named after him.
Though years ago I got the following pic, showing Gerhard Mitter with his racing friend Siegfried Zwimpfer. Both are looking at Mitters new wach, obviously a Sherpa Graph.
Now I found an even better proof. Mitter is sitting in his Porsche 908 at the Nürnburgring 1000km race in 1969. The colored image shows us a reverse panda dial, a red chrono second hand, a grey tachymeter scale and if you look closely, the checkered dial edges. Clearly a Reference Enicar Sherpa Graph MK IV . Maybe the community should overthink the naming, what do you think?
The MK IV was the last Sherpa Graph reference and at the beginning 70s race drivers more and more were focussing on the great chronographs of Heuer. Enicar never again produced a chronograph, that was so focussed on motorsport like the Graph was.
If you heard of other racers with Enicar watches on their wirst or if you have cool motorsport pics you would like to share, feel free to write me.