A Scottish watch company established in Glasgow in 2015, anOrdain produces relatively simple watches that are infused with refined aesthetics, a touch of handcraft and relative rarity, all priced at under USD 3,000. In 2019, the company released its take on the classic field watch, the Model 2. With its vitreous enamel dial in gorgeous colours, the Model 2 was almost too precious and pretty to be a field watch, being far more elegant than technical, as one expects of a field watch the likes of a Hamilton, for instance. But its unique characteristics that set it apart from the rest of the field also detracted somewhat from its utility as a field watch: the rugged 36mm case and highly legible dial markings were no impediment, but the lack of seconds hand meant a little more fuss in ascertaining if the watch was, in fact, running; the lack of a minutes scale also meant a little more guesswork when reading the time, something less pardonable in the case of a field watch, where everything takes second place to utility.
Addressing these concerns as well as feedback from collectors, is the updated Model 2 MkII. A choice of two case sizes are now offered: the Medium model in a traditional 36mm steel case, and a Large model in a more contemporary 39.5mm steel case. Both versions have a case height of a modest 11mm, thanks in part to using a manual wind movement instead of an automatic, the Sellita SW210-1. The rounded lugs, thick curving shoulders that flow into the double-domed sapphire crystal as well as the crown protectors that extend organically from the caseband are not only a standout design, but also communicate a very robust build, and does a good job of setting the stage for the dial to steal the show.
A central seconds hand now shows in an instant if the watch is running, while Anordain’s signature skeletonised syringe hands with lumed tips remain. These steel hands are heated to enhance their resistance to corrosion and rust, then luminous paint is hand-applied to the tips. A minute scale has also been added to aid precision time reading.
But the star is the enamel dial, now available in a new range of colors: Racing Green, White, Grey Haar and Flax. This sets the Model 2 MkII apart from other field watches; it is also the reason why the Model 2 MkII is more exclusive: these hand-enamelled dials are made individually by a single master enameller, over a period of several days. Enamel is applied to copper discs which are then fired in a kiln at 800 degrees Celsius, before being sanded down, and the process repeated up to eight times. According to Anordain, its in-house team of enamellers can produce less than 50 dials a month, and factoring its other watch lines, the Model 2 MkII is expected to be in non-limited production of just 200 pieces a year.
There’re no hoops to jump through to get a piece, just a queue and it’s administered on a first-come-first-served basis. With five-year warranty.
The field watch is among the most beloved of watch types, arguably more so than pilot’s and diver’s which seem fussier and fancier in comparison, only because the field watch is so down-to-earth without relinquishing any of the romance of the great outdoors. There are manufacturers without number cranking out field watches en masse, many of them highly capable, faithfully adhering to the ideal of a tool with a purpose and mission. Not many of these can rival the Model 2 for finesse, and with the MkII revisions, the Anordain proposition has only gotten stronger.
Movement: Manual wind Sellita SW210-1, power reserve of 42 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Case: 36mm or 39.5mm steel case, case height of 11mm for both versions, sapphire crystal with six coats of anti-reflective coating, water-resistant to 50 meters
Price: £1,700 (Medium, 36mm); £1,800 (Large, 39.5mm)