In a move that many have been waiting for for well over a year, anOrdain has introduced their stunning fumé dials in their Model 1 collection. Readers and fans of the brand will of course remember the introduction of the Model 2 fumé dial series (Brad Homes went hands-on with the green last year), and it seemed like an inevitability that these unique dials would make their way into the Model 1. As the folks at anOrdain would tell you, working with enamel is a finicky business, and these things take time. But if the texture and vibrant color of anOrdain’s fumé is at all appealing, it was likely worth the wait.
There’s a great deal of craft and hand work that goes into crafting a “normal” enamel dial, and that process becomes trickier when the fumé effect is applied. Enamel is essentially a smooth coating of melted glass that has been fired at extremely high temperatures in a kiln. It takes a lot of skill to understand how high to heat the enamel, and what to mix it with to achieve the desired color, texture, and size. If you look very closely at even the most expertly made enamel dials, you’ll see small imperfections that add charm and depth to a watch that you can’t achieve with a dial made using industrial processes. The standard vitreous enamel dials that anOrdain has been using since the brand was founded in 2018 have a quiet and calm serenity to them, while the fumé dials are visually a bit louder, and perhaps a little more viscerally exciting. The fumé process results in a dial that has a gradient pattern, solid and light in the center, and darker as you approach the outer edge. They’re dynamic, textured, and truly must be appreciated in person.
anOrdain is thought to be the only maker of these gradient, fumé enamel dials in the world, and they happened upon the process completely by accident. A large part of the enameling is understanding how the enamel will react to different metals during the heating process, and anOrdain found that when mixed with silver (as opposed to the traditional copper), the warped surface of the enamel could be sanded back to reveal a translucent layer, displaying the metal base of the dial underneath. This translucent effect was appealing enough to the team at anOrdain to continue to experiment, and they eventually landed on a process that allowed them to produce consistently flat, usable dials that are suitable to be fitted in new watches.
At launch, four dial colors are available: green, blue, “Payne’s Grey,” and plum. The smokey grey is particularly beautiful and well suited to the fumé, and offers a more reserved, daily wear appropriate look than what you’ll find in the somewhat more boisterous and brighter options.
With such intricate and impressive dials, it’s easy to overlook the case and the rest of the package anOrdain provides, but that would be a mistake. The Model 1, naturally, was the brand’s first watch, and remains an appropriate vehicle for anOrdain to deliver on their artisanal enamel dials. At 38mm in diameter and just 11mm thick, the Model 1 wears easy on almost any wrist and can be dressed up or down, as appropriate. Inside ticks an ETA 2824-2 that has been regulated and modified to remove the date complication. The typeface used for the numerals is an original anOrdain creation, and the gold tone of the hands is achieved through a heating process, two details that underline how important the little things are to anOrdain.
We’re looking forward to getting our hands on one of these new Model 1 variants for a future hands on review, so stay tuned to these pages for that. In the meantime, be sure to check out anOrdain’s website, where you can order your own Model 1 with a fumé dial, with delivery expected early next year. Pricing is set at roughly $2340, after currency conversion. anOrdain