ENICAR Seapearl 600 or Healthlands 100 Fathom – The Enigmatic Watch from the Un-loved Swiss Maker

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foxint
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ENICAR Seapearl 600 or Healthlands 100 Fathom – The Enigmatic Watch from the Un-loved Swiss Maker

Post by foxint » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:07 pm

I am embarrassed. I like dive watches, I make dive watches, I live 400km inland from the seas, I do not dive, and I have bugger all dive watches. I was planning to show you my Enicar Divette – but it was in a sorry state and I decided no.

Why not one of my favourites the Enciar Seapearl 600? I wrote this piece in 2016 (according the to file properties – but I thought it was earlier) … here it is with some revisions. I can be a little verbose, but please indulge me. I still think Enicar is as good as Omega and (dare I say it) Rolex but vary underrated.

Enigmatic Enicar, because, although Enicar is relatively unknown and unloved the Seapearl 600 or Healthlands 100 Fathom brings a surprisingly large amount of interest among collectors.

100 Fathoms is about 183m or 600 feet hence the name.

It has the humble AR1010 a 17-jewel manual winding movement, but later versions did have the AR1120 & 1140 an equally robust and unbreakable movement, but still manual wind. Enicar from the early 1960’s made the own movements designated by AR. The most famous the Ruby rotor autos AR1125/1145/165/167, that became the basis for the Chronoswiss movements.

Of all the Enicar watches, this is perhaps (aside from some complications) one of the most desirable. Why, I really do not know. You either like the overly complex dial, the bayonet closure and the lugs or you hate them.

I like it but deciding between the Seapearl and the Healthlands variant is difficult.

I understand Heathlands is a US based diving association. The watch was marketed in their diving publications. Little else is known about the watch, and I cannot find many references to its depth rating (aside from the name), or anything other than it exists and was marketed as a diving watch. Old marketing and advertising material is both scare and in my humble opinion under rates the watch.

Personally it looks unlike any diving watch and from its appearance, it looks rather useless. Perhaps a “desk diver”. It was (as I assume) good for 183m and that was good for the time, not having a movable bezel not ideal, but this was early days for diving watches.

Most examples came with the quarter turn bayonet styled case. Made by EPSA Ervin Gustave Piquerez until going bankrupt in the mid-1970’s. They sold their Compressor and Super Compressor cases to many high-end watch companies including Omega, Lemania. Hamilton, Droz, JLC

The Compressor and Compressor 2 Cases have snap-on backs and the Super Compressor has a screw-on. The former being found in dress and the later in diver watches.

The movement is good, but understated. Enicar is like the famous Rally Winning Italian Marque, it is the motor equivalent of the Lancia Fulvia (1). Enicar are under rated and unloved. Most were made from stainless steel and you could not kill them.

Enicar suffered like most of the Swiss watch industry, from the Quartz movement and the Japanese. Mr Lange of Chronoswiss saw the opportunity in the early 1970’s to buy up machinery and movements, by the kilogram – yes they were selling movements by the kg. Lang bought the AR1125/45 and the AR165 (the sources are unclear), but he based his entire range on Enicar movements.

So I made my own ENICAR. I call it the Seapearl 900, using ETA 2824-2 and Rolex styled Explorer I case (36mm case) and Oyster bracelet. This is the only one in existence, and I did show this to Enicar execs, suggesting they should re-launch this model. No response. If I did make it seriously I would re-brand it OWC and make some minor changes.

But for me it holds a special attraction.


History of ENICAR:

The story of the Manufacture d'Horlogerie Enicar S.A. started in 1914, with the watchmaker Ariste Racine responsible for the foundation of the watch factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The business objective was the production of lever watches with a wide palette of movements ranging from 4 to 17 ligne.

But Racine did not stay long in the Jura uplands; by the mid-twenties the firm had its headquarters in Lengnau. Here Racine specialized in sports watches under his trademark, AR, framed in a pentagon. Finished movements without cases were also exported to the New World. In around 1962, Enicar took up the production of its own automatic movements. Calibres in the 112x (11 1/2"') and 114x (11 3/4"') series were called "Rubirotor".

The "Sherpa" name given to hard-wearing sports watches has a more precise connotation. In 1956, members of a Swiss Himalayan expedition relied on Enicar timepieces, and their expectations were fully met. From then on the Enicar collection included such models as the "Sherpa Time", "Sherpa Ultradive", "Sherpa Star", "Sherpa Jet" and "Sherpa" chronographs in various executions. Although we know the Rolex Explorer went up Everest, we did not know about the Enicar – perhaps the marketing guys were asleep.


Other Interesting Bits:

Enicar is Racine spelt backwards. Jules Racine and Ariste Racine were cousins and were related to the Gallet watch makers. Their uncle was Gallet.

There was some falling out with Uncle Gallet and Ariste went and started ENICAR and Jules became the USA distributor for Gallet watches. He also made watches under his own brand “Jules Racine”, all the examples I have found have Gallet movements (plus some AS), but I suspect Gallet made the watches for Racine.

The history of ENICAR is very scarce. I have gained most of my knowledge from buying and selling Enicar, Jules Racine and some Gallet watches. Like anyone who has been hit hard by the collecting illness, I never sell my Enicar/Racine/Gallet.

Out of this I have found a personal friend of the CEO of Gallet Watches, who even sends me a Christmas card. Mr Enicar, is a little harder to befriend, now being Chinese owned, but he does return some of my emails.


Dan

(1): Lancia motor car (pre-Fiat takeover). Lancia were, overly engineered, had quirky utilitarian looks, but made Rally history between 1965 and 1975. They were world class rally winner 3 years in a row – even beating the larger engine Porsche 911. The styling: you like it or you hate it. But as a piece of motoring engineering to die for.
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Met vriendelijke groeten / With best regards
Dan
ORANGE.

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Ryeguy
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Re: ENICAR Seapearl 600 or Healthlands 100 Fathom – The Enigmatic Watch from the Un-loved Swiss Maker

Post by Ryeguy » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:08 pm

Hi Dan - I meant to respond earlier, but got busy and the thread got buried in current events.

Great write up a cool, somewhat funky, watch. I always associated that dial style with Eterna (Kontiki), but it looks like Enicar may actually be the originator of that style. It is pretty impressive that the model with the funky lugs looks like it still has some glow left in the minute hand.

I'm actually most impressed with the fact they were able to make a 200 meter hand wind watch. I'm assuming there was an impressive sealing system in place which would allow the crown to be routinely manipulated yet still retain water resistance.

The "rebuilt" model you created looks pretty interesting too.

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Ryeguy
Posts: 2641
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:03 pm
Name: Chris
Location: Rye

Re: ENICAR Seapearl 600 or Healthlands 100 Fathom – The Enigmatic Watch from the Un-loved Swiss Maker

Post by Ryeguy » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:11 pm

Hi Dan - I meant to respond earlier, but got busy and the thread got buried in current events.

Great write up a cool, somewhat funky, watch. I always associated that dial style with Eterna (Kontiki), but it looks like Enicar may actually be the originator of that style. It is pretty impressive that the model with the funky lugs looks like it still has some glow left in the minute hand.

I'm actually most impressed with the fact they were able to make a 200 meter hand wind watch. I'm assuming there was an impressive sealing system in place which would allow the crown to be routinely manipulated yet still retain water resistance.

The "rebuilt" model you created looks pretty interesting too.

foxint
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:14 pm
Name: Dan
Location: Orange, NSW, AUSTRALIA
Contact:

Re: ENICAR Seapearl 600 or Healthlands 100 Fathom – The Enigmatic Watch from the Un-loved Swiss Maker

Post by foxint » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:00 pm

Hi Chris

Thank you.

The Kontiki looks similar, both funky dials. I am not sure the original date of the Eterna. Eterna another interesting brand - that I have a lot of. My Opa (grandfather) had one circa 1950 one of the early Eterna-Matic. Only the automatics were called Eterna Matic, while the manual wind were Eterna.

Many Super Compressor Cases do not have screw-down crowns. I have tried to get some detailed drawings, but unable – then I lose my enthusiasm…. ha-ha.

One thing we MUST remember is “twin crowns a super compressor doth NOT make”….

This Seapearl 600 is a Super Compressor. While MOST Super Compressor cases had 2 crowns, it is the case NOT the crowns that maketh a Super Compressor.
Met vriendelijke groeten / With best regards
Dan
ORANGE.

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