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Vintage find - my grandfather’s old watches

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  • Vintage find - my grandfather’s old watches

    My Poppa died over seven years ago, but my Nana stayed in the house that Poppa built in 1953 until about 12 months ago when she couldn’t look after herself anymore and went into care. My Mum and Aunty have slowly been cleaning out 60+ years worth of stuff over the last year and they’re on the final push now. I was over there yesterday and spotted some old watches in a box. Turns out Poppa liked quality, entry level Swiss watches so I’ve grabbed three Enicars and an Oris. I know that none of them have any value, but hopefully I can get at least one of them going as a keepsake. The Oris is the only one that runs, but it’s lost it’s crown. The Enicar Ultrasonic pie-pan is probably the nicest, but looks like it’s had some moisture egress and is seized. Will be interesting to see what they’re like inside.


  • #2
    Monetary value low. Sentimental value high. Great finds Leroy. And best wishes for the new year!
    Actively seeking Tuna of all shapes and sizes...to hunt your pride of lions...

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    • #3
      Great find there Leroy. It will be interesting to see the movements. I like the Datum Accurex too. It looks to be quite a bit older than the others.
      Preparation and planning prevent piss poor performance

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      • #4
        Originally posted by captainscarlet1 View Post
        Great find there Leroy. It will be interesting to see the movements. I like the Datum Accurex too. It looks to be quite a bit older than the others.
        Apparently the Datum Accurex was Poppa’s knock about watch in the 50s. He used to wear it when he went up in the bush on various farms owned by family and friends.

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        • #5


          Like he said but that DATUM looks like a mean bush piece for the 50's

          FWIW: one of my best watches is a near worthless CITIZEN plated BiTone from 1988 Dad gave me.

          Originally posted by andrewing View Post
          Monetary value low. Sentimental value high. Great finds Leroy. And best wishes for the new year!
          Harlan
          Timekeeper Watch Club
          Auckland, New Zealand, Pacific Ocean, Earth

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          • #6
            Thank you for sharing, Leroy ...Such a fitting time for a family story, too. Market value or monetary worth are just what the market happens to pin on them at any given time. If one had a 100% certainty method for predicting the future worth of something, one would be an overnight triillionaire.

            In the watch arena, early vintage Seiko divers were also near-worthless just 20 years ago. I see so many people in the watch world now waxing lyrical about the collectible nature of vintage Seiko divers while ignoring the fact that they themselves won't be caught dead with these watches a decade or two decades prior


            Originally posted by LeroyC View Post
            "Entry level Swiss” is spot on for the Oris, which during the 1970s, from which your piece likely came, would have been a budget-range watch. In today’s luxury hierarchy, Oris of that era would be comparable to a Sandoz, Pulsar, or Vostok. Your grandfather chose a better grade among their offerings of the period, and Oris Star Automatic is very likely to be equipped with an in-house Cal. 645 21 jewels, 18’000 A/hr, Semi-QuickSet Date. Many years ago, I had an Oris Star Automatic sports diver, which I believe uses the same movement.





            Entry level Swiss would not, however, apply to Enicar, who was a quality watch manufacturer at the time the two Enicar specimens were made (1960s). Your last photo of the four, to me, speaks of how, in the watch industry, rarely is survival based on competence. Making the right business decision, or more often, wagering a business decision that turned out later to be the right one, and agility, determine survival. Enicar is, today, a defunct brand, and because a lot of a watch’s collector’s value is based on the brand’s current luxury status, Enicar goes underappreciated in the used market, despite them being as good as 1960s Tissot, Seiko, and Citizen.


            Originally posted by LeroyC View Post

            Here is a company that started out around the same time as Rolex did, by Ariste Racine (Enicar being his name, read reversed). Enicar became a Manufacture, producing their own movements early on, was an early contender in the the waterproof watch market. Your grandfather’s Ultrasonic manual-wind is likely from around 1960, and the movement inside is probably an in-house Enicar AR 1010, 21 jewels, 18’000 A/hr. “Ultrasonic” refers to a movement component surface treatment technology that Enicar employed at the time, which combined ultra-sonic cleaning with epilamage coating.





            A couple of years after the your Ultrasonic was made, Enicar achieved their first in-house automatic self-winding movement, the AR 1144/5. The one with Date is the AR 1145, which, I believe, powers your Rotor Automatic 25, likely from mid-1960s.


            Originally posted by LeroyC View Post

            However, I’m not sure whether the jewel count is 24 or 25. It beats at 18’000 A/hr, and has a semi-quickset Date. Here’s an image borrowed from the WatchGuy…





            A little research will yield the proven liability of this movement, whether through being subjected to torture test involving downhill skiing, being worn on the wrist of the Swiss rifle team at the 1964 Olympics, or inside Polish Navy-issued dive watches. A couple of years ago, I had this exact same caliber inside a Sherpa Super-Divette 33 Super-Compressor Diver from 1964…









            Given that an example like this is now worth over a thousand dollars, getting the same movement inside a Rotor Automatic 25, like the one in your possession, is a bargain indeed. The other advantage that yours has over Sherpa Super-Divette is that yours wear bigger, thanks to it being largely all-dial and the dial’s silver tone. IMO, the Rotor Automatic, provided that it is complete with nothing major needing replacement, can be worth restoring if you intend to keep as your own. I personally like those slightly twisted lugs.

            ​​​​​​​If the watch were my grandfather’s, I would certainly be proud of wearing it.
            Last edited by Don; 31-12-19, 21:48.
            On the instruments we entrust to pace our lives, to bear witness to our days, and to be the keepers of the most precious thing we have... time.

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            • #7
              You can see the quality dripping off this thing from a mile off, nice write-up Don... you should really charge for this sort of thing

              Originally posted by Don View Post






              Harlan
              Timekeeper Watch Club
              Auckland, New Zealand, Pacific Ocean, Earth

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              • #8
                As always a fantastic and informative post from Don who I’m sure has forgotten more about a hundred watches than I’ll ever know about a few. Thanks Don your input is always appreciated.

                I’ve just been informed by Mum that she’s found a couple more watches as well so I’m interested to see what they might be.

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                • #9
                  The couple of other watches Mum found were brand new and unused cheap quartz watches. One was a Readers Digest mail order thing that I passed on, but the other was this-





                  It had never been used and has obviously sat in a drawer for some time. It needed a new battery, but was a standard Miyota dual quartz movement and I actually had spare batteries that fit. It started up no problem and is running well.



                  Unfortunately the glue has failed on what is actually a really nice, thick leather strap so I’ve put it on my bind which works quite well.




                  Just need a new caseback gasket now cause the one that was in there fell apart when I opened it up. Nothing particularly interesting about the watch, but I really like it and I’ll be keeping it for sure.

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