Originally conceived as a helpful timekeeping device to record multiple periods of time with a stop-watch function, Chronographs have evolved over the years into an iconic format for wrist watches, made famous by celebrities involved in motorsports like Paul Newman and Steve McQueen. You can read all about the history of the Chronograph and its relationship with motorsports in our separate article Watches in Motorsports, written by Enoksen founder, Hans Enoksen.
But for now, we hope you enjoy this short read about the philosophy behind the Enoksen Drive E04/B and the fascinating history of motoring manufacturing in our HQ location, Belfast.
The Enoksen Drive E04/B
The Enoksen Drive E04/B is our very own Chronograph.
It was born from the desire to offer a super-clean dial, unusual in the world of Chronographs. We wanted to create the feeling of oceans of space with vivid clarity. We wanted the watch to be minimalist without sacrificing responsibility to be a tool watch with all the right features.
Part of the minimalist design is achieved by using the hour markers and hands from our signature Deep Dive watch. These Diver watches were built as professional grade tools that would satisfy even the most ardent saturation diver's need for legibility. We thought, why not apply the same legibility to our own Chronograph?
The white dial with black sub-dials captures the mood of the classic motorsports associations. The famous Rolex Daytona worn by Paul Newman, recently sold at auction for a staggering $17 million, utilised this eye-catching style. The black on white contrast makes the two sub-dials stand out clearly, harking back to the classic automotive dashboard with its side-by-side speedometer and tachometer.
Our desire for legibility made us focus on the lumen of the watch. We want our customers to be comfortable checking the time in dim lighting conditions, so the lumen is accentuated more than usual. We thought to ourselves as we made the Drive E04/B, why resort to reading a bright digital timer at night when you can quickly glance at your wrist the enjoyable old-fashioned way?
Another core principle at Enoksen is to deliver maximum value for money by focusing our product designs on high-quality components where they are really needed. To that end, the Drive E04/B is made of 316L stainless steel and excellent sapphire crystal glass to withstand everyday wear and tear. We use heavy-duty spring pins to hold the strap securely in place inside the lugs. And the outstanding Seiko VK64 movement is extremely reliable, while also offering the highly desirable fly-back feature for the timer hand.
Speaking of reliability, this is a traditional weak point of Chronograph watches because they are a more complicated watch with more points of failure than other styles. A Chronograph usu has a crown and two pushers, plus a more complex movement to handle the stopwatch functions. But we didn’t see why this should lead to a less reliable watch than our Diver and Aviator watches. So we beefed up the pushers and protected them inside the watch casing, and we ensured the crystal and case back seals could withstand a highly usable level of water pressure of 10ATM, or 100 metres.
And just to top it all off, we gave the watch a date feature given we know our customers like to be organised and on top of their schedules, and we offer a range of leather, steel, rubber and NATO straps to allow the watch to be worn on any occasion.
What has time travel got to do with Enoksen?
This is not your average trivia question, but we’d love for you to know the answer! So what does time travel have to do with Enoksen?
The story starts with the famous DeLorean, pictured below. A little-known fact is that this now iconic car was manufactured in our own home-town of Belfast from 1981 to 1982 before the business was drawn into bankruptcy largely caused by an FBI sting operation. Made from steel panels that didn’t offer many options for colour customisation, only 9000 of the vehicles were produced before operations shut down. While it was short-lived in reality, it soon grew to become one of the more famous cars on the planet!
The DeLorean’s place in popular culture was created by the incredibly successful Back To The Future film trilogy, starring Michael J Fox. What films these were for science fiction time-warping fans! The Flux Capacitor invention by Doc Brown was the thing of dreams in these heady days! Anyone who grew up in the 1980s is likely to remember the amazing adventures of Marty McFly. Marty the time traveller of course had to wear a wristwatch (even if he was famous for being late) but given it was the 80s a cool Casio digital watch with on-wrist calculator was his choice.
While it could be considered a tenuous link, to us these stories are a big part of the passion we feel for manufacturing our time-telling machines here in Belfast. And whether time-travel will ever become a reality, who knows, but at least with Enoksen you can rely on knowing what time you’re in right now.