Introducing: The AnOrdain Model 3 Method With A Carved-Wood Pattern On The Dial
Much of my fascination with watches comes from the appreciation I have for the craftsmanship that goes into creating these little machines for the wrist. At many watch brands, that craftsmanship has already become highly automated. Well, not at anOrdain, where it literally takes years to get the perfect result on those beautiful and fragile enamel dials that the brand manufactures. Its new Model 3 is designed in collaboration with Method Studio, another Scottish-based company that specializes in woodworking.
In May of this year, anOrdain premiered a new case on a limited-edition Model 3 in collaboration with Hodinkee. The watch came with a spectacular dark gray hand-engraved sunburst dial. Only 25 pieces were available, and all have sold out by now. Luckily, though, the Glasgow-based brand is back with another Model 3. This one features the same case, and this time, it’s not a limited edition. Instead of having a sunburst pattern, the new dial design mimics a carved block of wood. It comes in both Aqua and Lichen, colors specifically chosen to highlight that unique dial texture. Come take a look at the new anOrdain Model 3 Method.
Woodwork inspiration for the Model 3’s dial
Lewis Heath, the founder of anOrdain, met the founders of Method Studio back in 2019. Calum Robinson learned the woodworking craft from his father. Together with his wife — architect, designer, and academic Marisa Giannasi — he now designs and manufactures woodwork and trunks for some of the best-known brands in the world. Look, for example, at this beautiful watch box that the duo created for Vacheron Constantin. But also, these wooden trunks they made for Johnnie Walker look like an amazing place to store your precious drinks.
However, the idea for the Model 3’s carved-wood dial design came from these whisky boxes with hand-chiseled wood textures on them. Calum and Marisa came up with a tailored design crafted from a large block of wood. But, of course, they had to optimize the design for the small scale of a watch dial. To do so, they used a high-tech light scanner from the Glasgow School of Art. This resulted in a three-dimensional model of the carved wood, which anOrdain then used to make a stainless steel stamping mold.
Enamel on a silver dial
That mold is used to shape a silver plate, which serves as a base for the colorful enamel on top. The dial artists first mix the enamel powder with distilled water and then apply it by hand with a brush. Understandably, it takes a lot of practice to apply the enamel to the textured dial evenly. Once the enamel mixture is applied and the water has evaporated, the dial is fired in a kiln. When the desired result has been achieved, the enamel layer is polished and ready to be printed.
The Aqua and Lichen dial colors have been chosen carefully to highlight the particular texture of the dials. I haven’t seen these dials in person yet, but I’m sure that with all the different facets, they’re incredible to behold. The silver indices on the Aqua and the purple indices on the Lichen have been pad-printed on top of the dials. In addition, the steel syringe hands, one of which is skeletonized, have been individually thermally treated by hand to blue for the Aqua and purple for the Lichen. By the way, the dial-making, enameling, pad-printing, heat-treating of the hands, and full assembly of the watches all happen at anOrdain’s Glasgow workshop.
A slim movement and a slender new case
As mentioned in the intro, the case of the Model 3 Method is the same as the one that debuted on the Hodinkee limited edition. It’s a new 39mm case that measures 46mm from lug to lug and is fairly slim at just 10.5mm thick. The lugs almost look like wire lugs that wrap around the entire case. Their slim profile is visible on the side of the case, which makes it interesting to look at. The lugs and the case have a fully polished finish, which stands in nice contrast to the textured dial. Furthermore, the sapphire crystal on top has a slight dome to it, and it ensures you get a good look at that dial with its six(!) layers of antireflective coating.
The solid steel case back, which attaches to the case with four screws, hides the Sellita SW300-1 automatic movement inside. The biggest difference with the more common SW200-1 is that, at 3.6mm thick, it’s a full millimeter slimmer. So that’s how the Model 3 got its slim figure. It runs at a 28,800vph frequency and holds a power reserve of 42 hours. The wearer can operate it via the signed push/pull crown, which contributes to the Model 3’s 50m water resistance rating.
It took anOrdain four years to get these dials right. And that’s exactly what I enjoy so much about the brand’s watches. They look quite simple, but the behind-the-scenes story is so much more complicated. I’m sure that when you wear a Model 3 Method, it will constantly remind you of all the work that went into crafting that magnificent textured dial. And if not, then you can simply enjoy the elegant case and the unique way the dial plays with the light.
You can get the anOrdain Model 3 Method on a wide variety of leather straps. Optionally, you can also get it with a mini watch trunk made from ebonized oak and goatskin leather. This will add €300 or £250 to the €4,195 (excluding VAT) or £3,500 (excluding VAT) price. For more information on the new Model 3 Method, please visit the official anOrdain website. That’s also the place where you can register your interest in the watch.
What do you think of the new anOrdain Model 3 Method? Let me know in the comments below!