Since its founding in 2015, independent Scottish watchmaker anOrdain has built a sizeable cult following among enthusiasts through its rounded, nuanced approach to graphic design and its efforts to bring the craftsmanship of Grand Feu enamel dial finishing to a more accessible price point. These enamel dials have been a hallmark across every anOrdain release to this point, but for its latest release the brand has pivoted to reinvent its signature look with dials in galvanized gold and rhodium. Available exclusively through the Windup Watch Shop, the new limited edition anOrdain Model 1 Precious Metal Series expands the brand’s horizons with handsomely appointed new finishes while keeping its original clean and subtle design language intact.
All three models in the limited edition anOrdain Model 1 Precious Metal Series use the standard Model 1’s 38mm stainless steel case. This is a sleek, streamlined form that walks a tightrope between classical and sporty, with a fully polished finish and flowing chamfered lugs that almost take on an Omega-style twisted look. The crown guards at 3 o’clock are smooth and vestigial, bowing outward slightly from the case sides to cup the pillbox crown. The smooth bezel is likewise pared back, with a tall narrow form that nearly disappears when viewed from above in images. This clean and simple design philosophy extends to the engraved solid caseback as well, with only a few lines of text and a relatively simple Windup Watch Shop logo to break up the radially brushed finish. Including the domed sapphire crystal, the overall thickness of the anOrdain Model 1 Precious Metal Series measures in at a moderate 11mm, which should give it a compact and unobtrusive profile on the wrist. Water resistance, however, is something of a weak point here, with a stated depth rating of only 50 meters.
Without a doubt, the dials of the anOrdain Model 1 Precious Metal Series are its main attractions. While the overall layout should be familiar to fans of the brand, with its unique rounded and partially skeletonized syringe handset, contemporary printed Arabic numerals, and wide sloping chapter ring, the execution gives each watch in the trio a decidedly different character from the standard line. The black dial variant is undoubtedly the simplest and most conservative of the three. With a black rhodium galvanized surface, the matte texture of the main dial takes on a lightly grained asphalt gray tone while the glossy brushed outer chapter ring instead offers a truly inky black look in images. Paired with white painted hands, numerals, and dial text, the overall look is purposeful and lightly sporty with a touch of rounded visual warmth. The galvanized white gold dial variant, on the other hand, offers a more eye-catching and punchy style in images. Rather than appearing truly white or even a light silver, the matte main dial surface instead offers an almost steel gray tone shot through with a myriad of brightly sparkling grains. It’s an unexpectedly high-contrast look, but one that gives a real sense of depth and dynamism particularly when contrasted with the brightly brushed outer chapter ring. The stark black of the dial text deepens the sense of visual contrast here, while a set of matte heat-blued hands injects the monochrome backdrop with color and intriguingly offbeat texture. By far the most visually dramatic of the three, however, is the model in galvanized rose gold. The glittering matte salmon dial finish calls to mind both exotic desert sands and high-end makeup in initial images, while the brighter chapter ring forms a truly dynamic visual highlight. While this dial color alone is unique enough, anOrdain’s use of a deep and subtle heat purple shade for the handset gives this model a depth and visual intrigue that demands far more than a passing glance. With such unorthodox use of color for both the dial and hands, anOrdain wisely opts to render the dial text in black to avoid overcrowding the design. On the topic of overcrowding, all three models in the Model 1 Precious Metal Series avoid using date windows to keep the overall layout light and balanced in images.
Inside the anOrdain Model 1 Precious Metal Series beats the ubiquitous ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. While the 2824-2 is a staple for brands across the luxury watch industry, the brand regulates each of these movements in-house for greater accuracy. In addition, anOrdain’s in-house watchmakers remove both the date wheel and the crown’s date setting position to avoid “phantom crown.” Outside of these adjustments, movement performance remains at ETA’s standard with an underwhelming 38-hour power reserve and a 28,800 bph beat rate.
anOrdain finishes the Model 1 Precious Metal Series with a trio of German-made leather straps. Each dial variant is paired with its own bespoke strap option to complement its character. For the black rhodium dial, the brand opts for shell cordovan in a smooth and waxy honey brown color. The white gold dial model, on the other hand, is paired with a semi-gloss black shell cordovan that emphasizes the sense of monochrome contrast in images. Lastly, anOrdain complements the more dramatic and offbeat character of the rose gold dial with a suede strap in a neutral granite gray.
While the limited edition anOrdain Model 1 Precious Metal Series may set aside the brand’s signature Grand Feu enamel dial finishing, the unique blend of colors, tones, and materials at play in these new models offers an intriguing look that still fits neatly into the watchmaker’s visual ethos. Only 50 units of each dial variant will be made, for a total of 150 watches across the entire series. The anOrdain Model 1 Precious Metal Series is available for order now exclusively through the Windup Watch Shop at an MSRP of $1,250. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.