anOrdain is a brand we tend to go on and on about. Based out of a cool old building in east Glasgow, Lewis Heath's small workshop of talented folks turns out stunningly beautiful enamel-dialed watches at prices that seem unthinkable given the skill and long hours that go in to their creation. They're quite simply some of the coolest watches available, and at under $2,000, they're more than fairly priced.
They're aren't all that many models to choose from in the anOrdain oeuvre: you had the original Model 1, then the field watch-inspired Model 2, followed by a slight redesign of the Model 1 into a svelte-(r) case. Now, however, anOrdain's jacked up the interest factor by adding an intriguing feature to said watch: a fumé dial.
And what exactly the hell is a fumé dial? An excuse for me to practice my French, which is currently pretty terrible? It is, but it also describes a type of dial whose surface is gradated from one color to another. It's a stunning effect that, in this case, derived from a moment of serendipity: the anOrdain team was experimenting with enameling a silver dial (rather than copper), and upon sanding the dial down, discovered a "translucent window through the enamel to the metal below." Though this particular dial was ruined, a year of R&D followed in order to create a usable version of these special dials.
Because they're incredibly difficult to fashion, an initial run of only 12 pieces will be available for pre-Christmas delivery at a price of ~$2,098 (+ VAT, where applicable). Beyond this initial run, watches ordered now (which come in four colors and are available on a variety of straps) will ship in early February of 2021.
Beyond the special fumé dials, these Model 1s are otherwise identical to the redesign that debuted earlier this year: you get a well-sized, 38mm steel case, a modified ETA 2824-2 with no date position, a sapphire crystal with multi-layer, anti-reflective coating, and a five-year warranty. Of course, most of the interest is in the dial, which still features anOrdain's unique, cartographic typeset, heat-treated and hand-polished hands, and thoughtful design.
If you want something handmade and unique (that just so happens to tell the time), be sure to check out this special new watch.