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Watchismo Times

THE WATCHISMO TIMES WATCH BLOG A reliquary of obscure timepieces from bygone eras as well as the cutting-edge watch designs of today.

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Vintage Enicar Watches - Reversing Time in the Sixties & Seventies

Enicar was created when Artiste Racine (Racine Watch Co.) spelled his name backward and created a hearty brand that many people are unfamiliar over 90 years later. A special time existed for Enicar in the sixties and seventies when they developed their own automatic movements & focused on sport watches in addition to the rare odd vintage-modern designs featured here. Holding a special place in my collection, some of these Enicar was the very first vintage watches I ever owned. The Sherpa models are named for the 1956 Swiss Himalayan expedition that relied on Enicar timepieces.

Two crater-shaped models including the faceted space-age 70's Sherpa Star 

And the bark-textured volcano 70's Sherpa Star
1970 Asymmetrical Sherpa 350 & 356 Automatic

1970's Sherpa 320 Automatic
1970s Enicar Automatic Digital Jump Hour
1970's Enicar Automatic Mechanical Digital Jump Hour
1972 Enicar Sherpa Star Rotorwind Automatic
1970's asymmetric Enicar Mantagraph
1970's Enicar Chrono
1965 Enicar Sherpa 'Jet Graph' Chronograph
1970 Enicar Superdive
1950's Enicar Triple Date Moonphase Chronograph

1960's Minimal 'CircleSquare'

The Highly Unusual Vintage Favre Leuba Moonraider Watch


Simple at first glance, this very rare early 1970's automatic winding 'Favre Leuba Moonraider' is a particularly unusual design with asymmetric stainless steel/fiberglass case (bending further out towards the offset crown), bulging triangular dial and swelling hour markers leading to the date window at 12. Ultimately engorging your collection if you're lucky enough to find one.

Shutter Watches - Vacheron & Constantin's "Montre à Volets"


With my recent blog about automobile grille watches, I found it aesthetically appropriate to follow with the 1930 Vacheron & Constantin "Montre à Volets" shutter watches. Designed by Verger Frères, they feature concealed dials under hinged panels in 18k Art Deco cases. 






“Jalousie", is the re-introduction of the shutter watch by Vacheron & Constantin in the 90's. A cabochon sapphire is used for the switch to open the shutters revealing the dial.



Watches With Balls - Mido & Gruen Mystery Dials


These two watches have some serious balls.

Vintage mystery dial watches often have inventive displays of timekeeping as do the 1940's Mido (above) and 1965 Gruen (below) which both feature floating balls for hands. Attached to disks, the balls spin in a typical rotation but the solid 14k solid gold Gruen has a very unusual minute hook-hand that clears the little pearl hour orb with each passing.




Pierre Balmain's Anomalies of 1971-73

Pierre Balmain, a traditionally conservative French fashion designer, created an unconventional line of watches during 1971-73 -- most similar to the newfangled Pierre Cardin models of the same years. Minimalist domes, asymmetric wedges, chunky cubes, and panelled plates make up this unorthodox vintage series.

Since Memphis - Ettore Sottsass for Seiko Watches

Ettore Sottsass, Italian mid-century modern designer for Olivieti (typewriters), Alessi, Artemide, Knoll, and founder of the eighties Memphis Group. He was also an occasional watch designer for Tissot, Seiko, and the current Alessi line. Shown here is a series of watches for the 'Seiko Sottsass Collection' featuring these rare colorful chronographs.





1960's Seth Thomas 'Sethosphere' Mystery Clock

Good thing my wife loves timepieces as much as I do. She agreed this space-age-deco globule of a clock would be an anniversary gift to ourselves. When I first showed her the Seth Thomas 'Sethosphere' mystery clock - movement hidden in brass base & mechanics leading through tube to center sphere - she belted out "We must have this!" Don't twist my arm lady. Fine. It's here, it's queer, get used to it.


Sethosphere Front View 

Eero Aarnio Proto Watch - by Sarpaneva

Eero Aarnio, most famous for creating the era-defining Ball Chair of the sixties along with Stepan Sarpaneva, a talented Finnish watchmaker created this one-of-a-kind 2001 'Proto' based upon Eero's original designs (pictured below). And today, they are teaming up to continue a more classic watch as well as further developing variations of this original Prototype for limited production. Will report more about that in 2007!

The case, handmade from brass, rhodium plated and curved to the wrist measuring 55mm long. A partially sheathed dial cylinder is asymmetrically placed off the case and tilted towards the viewer - powered by an automatic ETA 2892 movement.

Eero Aarnio's original designs

1966 'Ball' Chair

Eero himself in 1968 'Bubble' Chair


Stepan Sarpaneva's own 'Oiva' Design
(upcoming feature)



Vintage Enicar Watches - Reversing Time in the Sixties & SeventiesThe Highly Unusual Vintage Favre Leuba Moonraider WatchShutter Watches - Vacheron & Constantin's "Montre à Volets"Watches With Balls - Mido & Gruen Mystery DialsPierre Balmain's Anomalies of 1971-73Since Memphis - Ettore Sottsass for Seiko Watches1960's Seth Thomas 'Sethosphere' Mystery Clock

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