Lewis Heath founded anOrdain a few years ago and assembled a team of jewellery designers, a typographer, graphic designer, product designer and watchmaker to collaborate on something truly unique. The principle focus was on Grand Feu enamel dials, a difficult craft that’s almost always reserved for much pricier, luxury timepieces. Many such brands outsource their enamel dials, but anOrdain spent the better part of three years perfecting its own in-house production. The result was the Model 1 in 2018 with the deep richness of enamel in assorted colours, limited to a production of only eight dials per week. The Model 2, the second attempt in creating nice and affordable pieces, adds a sportier touch with new hands, typography and a smaller case, but enamel dials remain the centrepiece. Let’s take a closer look at the sequel from this independent Scottish brand.
The anOrdain Model 1 had a 38mm stainless steel case, which has been reduced to 36mm for the new anOrdain Model 2. The case is now offered in several finishes, with options of polished or brushed surfaces depending on the models – to give more of a field watch look. The caseback is a solid screw-in affair this time as well, replacing the first model’s exhibition back. The crown is protected by a formed guard and the case is water-resistant to 50 metres. The vibe is more rugged and outdoorsy now, but this new piece doesn’t forgo elegance.
The brilliant enamel dials are what draw your attention and six colours are available for the anOrdain Model 2 – torr blue, moss green, grey, white, midnight green and purple. The labour-intensive, difficult process starts with a hand-cut copper disc that’s “counter-enamelled” on the underside to prevent warping at high heat. A ground powder of silica, red lead and soda ash is applied to the disc and fired at over 830°C multiple times, ultimately forming a deep, glassy surface. The risk of cracks or other defects is high, and an average of fewer than ten dials are finished per week. This resulted in a limited production run for the first model, but the company intends a more long-term approach for the anOrdain Model 2.
The typography has evolved from the first model to a simpler aesthetic with outlined Arabic numerals and indices, and the detailed minute track from the original has been removed entirely. The numerals are printed straight this time, not angled as before. The brand’s name has been placed just above 12 o’clock from the earlier 9 o’clock position, and VITREOUS ENAMEL is proudly printed below 6 o’clock. The openworked, syringe-style hands from the original have been upgraded to a more custom design with Super-LumiNova tips leading from an openworked hour and minute hands, and the original’s seconds hand has also been removed. The new dial is simple, clean and highly legible with a sapphire crystal featuring six layers of anti-reflective coating, well suited for a field watch.
The Sellita SW200-1 automatic from the Model 1 is now a Sellita SW210-1 hand-wound calibre, modelled after the ETA 2801-2. It has 19 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 42 hours. Functions include central hours, minutes and hacking seconds (although the seconds hand has been removed). The straps are 18mm with a wide variety available, ranging from steel Milanese to shell cordovan, suede or natural goatskin.
The anOrdain Model 2 sells for GBP 950 (approx. EUR 1,040 or CHF 1,130) and comes with a 5-year warranty. You can make a purchase and find more information on anOrdain’s website.