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Enicar is another example of a Swiss watch company grieviously wounded by the Quartz Crisis - luckily, it survived, and continued to make great watches until the late 1980s, like this 1960's Enicar Calibre 165 automatic dress watch.


Enicar was founded in 1913 by husband and wife duo Ariste Racine and Emma Blatt – the Racine family, with their long and storied history of artisans had by the early 1900s trademarked the family name; Ariste creatively reversed the name and trademarked it – and thus, Enicar was born.


Several decades subsequent, Ariste’s son, Ariste Jr, joined the company effort in 1934 as an accomplished salesman – and the perfect partner to sell Enicar’s in-house movements at a price point significantly under their Swiss competitors.  After World War II, under the leadership of his son, Enicar modernized and expanded production.  


The company continued producing their own movements in-house, with as many as 70,000 produced annually in the early 1950's.  Enicar movements were rather accurate, with their Calibre 1010 winning chronometer certification by the Neuchâtel Observatory for the first time in 1954.


Enicar, thus blessed, expanded rapidly and into mountaineering, racing, aviation, diving, and military sectors.  Akin to Jack Heuer, Enicar was highly talented at brand name placement in highly visible places, promoting themselves in such diverse efforts as sponsoring a group of Swiss alpinists in their attempt to scale Mount Everest, various race car teams, and lashing one of their dive watches to the rudder of the Mayflower II during a cross-ocean voyage – efforts that repeatedly got the company name in the press.


While these publicity stunts resulted in rapid business growth, there was a behemoth lurking in the background gathering speed few in the watch industry forsaw - the 1970s Quartz Crisis.  Enicar like many other manufactures of the time found itself gravely threatened by cheap imports utilizing quartz movements. 


In 1981, Enicar was forced into bankruptcy and sold all of its assets, to include its naming right in 1988 to a separate company in an auction, which failed to use the same manufacturing process or anything else that would tie the new entity to the old Enicar – separate from the using the same name, the two were entirely different companies.


This Enicar comes on a leather strap, and with nylon strap, springbar tool, and rugged travel case.

1960's Enicar Calibre 165 Automatic Dress Watch

  • DIAL: Enicar-signed dial, with correct handset


    CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 35mm x 40.5mm; case lines are intact, with no evidence of machine polish.   


    CRYSTAL: Domed acrylic crystal; no scratches or cracks.


    BAND: This Enicar comes on a dark blue-ish green leather strap; it also comes with a black, red, and grey strap.


    MOVEMENT: Enicar 27-jewel Calibre 165D automatic movement.  We have performed a full service on this Enicar.


    CROWN: Non-Enicar crown.

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