Before Rolex had named anything the Daytona, before Paul Newman had a salad dressing or Cosmograph named after him, and before the Speedmaster had gone to the moon, there weren’t many renown chronographs. In fact, the wrist-worn chronograph was really only gaining popularity as a thing in the decade previous. Which makes it all the more remarkable that Jim Clark sported, you guessed it, a Sherpa Graph. So too, did Stirling Moss. And Gerhard Mitter. You know all the incredible stories about James Hunt, Nicki Lauda, Senna, Prost, and Jackie Stewart? Many of the drivers they looked up to wore Sherpa Graphs. Heuer too, but Enicar was in the mix right at the start of the swinging sixties. And they started racing chronographs in auspicious style.
Now, the Sherpa Graph they ran is a fun one to study. Enicar were always a bit eccentric, but Sherpa Graphs, by comparison to the Rolex or Omega chronographs in period, were defiantly quirky and confidently doing their own thing. It was a modern 40mm, the Piquerez case has a lug shape not seen before or since, and that dial. It’s gloss black with radial silver registers. Has that ever looked better? The indices are a mix of tritium and beveled steel, and the 12 marker reverses the normal inner tritium pattern. Paddle hands? Check. The Saturn logo is applied and the word ‘graph’ is not centered for no reason whatsoever. It’s bold, a bit unusual, but absolutely lovely. Cara Delevingne’s eyebrows in chronograph format, really.
Unlike Cara though, Sherpa Graphs are accessible on a relative basis (trust me I’ve tried). And that’s where the best part comes in: Enicar people. To get deep into Sherpa Graphs, studying the seconds hands of different marks and learning which has a signed crown, you have to be a certain sort of collector. You care deeply for detail, aren’t fussed with external validation, and have a sense for bold 60s style. They’re a helpful bunch too. If you’re, as @ctwatchguy once put it, Eni-curious, I can only urge strong consideration to get your Valjoux 72 Jim Clark on. And this one even has a lovely grey ghost inner bezel as if we needed to pour fuel on this fire.
This example has a great dial and honest patina everywhere. There’s slight oxidation on the hands, but the radial subs are all clear. Tritium is all present and deep yellow. Its case is full with deep engravings and light to moderate surface wear. It comes from a well-regarded London retailer.
Find this 072/001 Sherpa Graph here from Vision Vintage for 7500 GBP.