Hey Folks, I hope you had a great New Years Eve. The last year it was relatively calm on my page, at least regarding to new blog posts. We found a lot of new things during the last years, so it’s just natural that the amount of really new insights decline with time. But be sure, I still update the classification list at least every month and I am still working on the Sherpa ultradive and OPS Guide. So if you have an ultradive or OPS, please share your serial with me.

To get to the Enicar in todays blog post, we have to do a detour to one of my other collecting focuses. Of course Enicar chronographs and diving watches are my main field of collecting, but I also have a heart for some special watches that were build in the country I was born, the former GDR (East-Germany).

The most rare and sought after watch of this time is probably the Glashütte RP TS200 Skindiver. Equipped with the well known and a milion times build automatic calibre “Spezimatic Kal.75”, this stainless steel watch was especially made for the East-German Navy Divers (Kampftaucher). Therefore they needed to buy stainless steel cases from West-Germany, since the GDR was not able to build watertight cases back then. Crazy times. Anyway, this watch is famous today cause Glashütte Original remembered the watch and launched the modern GO SeaQ in 2019 .

The watch was delivered to the troups in 1969 almost exclusively. Just a few other privileged persons in the GDR were able to buy it too.

Still no Enicar you ask. We will come to it very soon ;). The Glashütte got it’s first test in 1967 during an East-German expedition to Cuba. The purpose of this expedition was to dismantle a complete reef from the coast of Cuba and bring it back to Berlin. The mission was funded by the “Naturkundemuseum Berlin” (Museum of Natural Science) who wanted to show the reassembled reef to the public. Therefore they build up a team of experts, especially divers from the so called GST (Gesellschaft für Sport und Technik = Association of Sport and Technic). The GST was a paramilitary association and deeply integrated into the GDR.

Since I live in the same city as the museum, I contacted them to find out more, about the Glashütte prototype and the expedition itself. Unfortunately they couldn’t help much, since they still don’t have everything in their archive yet. But what they had was a list of all team members and what they ordered for the mission. The Team consisted of:

  • Rudolf Richter
  • Hansjürgen Kramer
  • Dr. Helmut Wolff
  • Joachim Wagner
  • Dr. von Freyhold
  • Dr. Gruner
  • Prof. Deckert
  • Mr. Kaden
  • Mr. Bensch

As you can see in the following pic, they needed material worth 134.980 Ostmark (East- German Money).

Regarding watches something was interesting. Whereas most of them were just declared as “Armbanduhr” (wristwatch), I was suprised what I read on Page four on the list of Dr. Helmut Wolff: “Taucheruhr (Enicor Ultra-Dive) 400,-). Wow, I was amazed. I was looking for Glashütte and I got Enicar 😀

Now the ambition spurred me on, I wanted to know more. First thing I found was an issue of the GDR Diving magazin “Poseidon” (thanks to https://diveintowatches.com for the scans). There was a test of East- and West-European dive watches published, which was held during the Cuban expedition starting May 1967.

Focus of course was the East German Glashütte and the Czech ORLIK. As a result they concluded the Glashütte could be a good watch, but needed work on the strap, crown and bezel. I guess this was the nice ( and p.c.) way to say, it didn’t fullfill their needs. This is mainly the reason the Glashütte from 1967 is totally different to the finished one of 1969.

But back to the Enicar. The ultradrive wasn’t mentioned in the test report, but it got a small advertisment shot at the bottom of the page. Like the Rolex Submariner, which we know was part of the expedition in Cuba thanks to the cover. So I would conclude the ultradive was too, especially since we know Dr. Wolff ordered one as part of his equipment.

Its worth to have a closer look on Dr. Helmut Wolff. He was not just an ordinary diver in this mission. He was president of the diving sport association in the GDR and he was part of the international CMAS gatherings every year. Despite most of the people in the GDR weren’t aloud to travel (to the West), Wolff attended the CMAS meetings in Monaco, Switzerland, Italy, London, Chile, etc.

Thanks to Steven from http://www.easydive24.de I was able to ask Dr. Wolff about the Enicar. Unfortunately he couldn’t remember the watch. I guess during his travels he got more then one western dive watch and the Enicar was not as special to him as I first thought.

So the next natural step was to look for pics that proof the watch was with the team in Cuba. As source I found the book “Taucher am Korallenriff” (Divers at the coral reef) from 1972, which summarized this and the following East-German expedition in Cuba. Sadly no fortune here as well. I had the feeling that the watches in general were to valuable to the team, since almost no watch was visible under water.

So I made my own picture of the ultradive and how it could have looked in Cuba in the year 1967…

…but stop! By accident I just found a pic some days ago. Also published in the GDR Diving Magazin “Poseidon” just a few issues earlier. It shows a diver of the bespoken expedition with a very noticable watch on his wrist. The watch looks huge, so the 36mm Glashütte and other small candidates can be crossed off. But the most clear element of the pictured watch is the white thick ring around the black dial. It just can be the white internal bezel of an ultradive, since no other watch that was with the expedition had a similar design feature. Therefore I am pretty confident we see the East-German ordered Enicar on this picture, diving in the carbean sea of Cuba.

At the moment I try to identify the diver, if it is Dr. Wolff or someone else. But since you see the quality of this pic, this can be tricky.

If you have any hints to that story, I am super happy to hear them. As soon as I have something new, I will update the page and let you know. Until then, have a great year 2023!

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