Since we started anOrdain, the craft of enamel dial-making is what we’ve been all about. However, we’ve long thought about other directions we could take our cartography-inspired aesthetic, and the different types of watches we could offer while staying true to our creative spirit. With the brand new Fabrik collection, that’s what we’ve set out to do.
Many readers will recognise that this takes forward something we began investigating in 2020, when pandemic lockdowns forced us to suspend enamel production temporarily. That’s when we developed the Precious Metals Series, a run of 150 watches based on the non-limited Model 1, with dials plated in white gold, red gold and black rhodium.
The dials for those watches were produced by Cador, a German dial manufacturer recognised as one of the finest in the business, and supplier to many high-prestige brands. If you're interested in premium European and British watch brands, the chances are you've come across a Cador dial before.
The Fabrik collection continues our partnership with Cador, forming a new series of non-limited watches in a range of semi-matte and transparent coloured lacquers, offering an alternative look at the Model 1. In the Fabrik GMT, we also introduce our first watch with a complication of any kind. From the German for ‘factory’, the name Fabrik is a nod to the impeccable quality of these made-in-Germany dials. This out-of-house production means a considerably shorter lead time than you’ll be used to with our enamel dials.
The Fabrik Model 1
The Fabrik series has allowed us to explore the colour possibilities offered by lacquer, which can produce a wide spectrum of tones and finishes. The Fabrik Model 1 is a version of our 38mm Model 1 watch, with three new pastel colour options: Salmon, Blue and Off-white, all with a subtle, matte texture. To achieve this, multiple layers of semi-opaque lacquer are sprayed with great precision onto the dial surface before the dial is cured and printed.
The muted tones are inspired by the shades and details of the same antique Ordnance Survey maps of the Scottish Highlands that have informed the typography and style of all our watches. The contour lines on those old OS maps also inspired another key detail of the Fabrik watches: the concentric grooves, which bring a sense of depth and texture to the outer dial.
When the dials arrive in Scotland, the rest of the watch is then assembled like any other anOrdain model: our watchmakers thermally treat the handset before the assembly and regulation of each piece. The movement used for the Fabrik series is the LJP-G101, a new high-beat offering from La Joux-Perret which provides increased accuracy and features Côte de Genève decoration.
The Fabrik Model 1 GMT
It would seem an aesthetic inspired by cartography would make a GMT Model 1 an expected (and perhaps overdue) step. However, while adding an extra hand to an existing design is - in theory - easy enough, it’s something we’ve struggled with until now due to the limitations of movements compatible with our enamel dials.
In creating the Fabrik series, these thinner dials have allowed us to use the ETA 2893, a movement some might call an “office GMT” - a 24-hour GMT hand set in one-hour increments from the crown. With the case and typographic style of the Model 1, the new function of the Fabrik GMT would require the development of a clear and engaging design language of its own right.
Repeating the concentric contour grooves and inspired by the function of the complication, a sunken inner dial displays 24-hour markings. Multiple layers of transparent deep purple lacquer accentuate this texture and highlight the sun-brushed finish on the outer dial. A combination of finishes is again employed in the handset, with a brushed steel GMT hand creating a textural contrast against the matte white varnish of the hour, minute and seconds hands. The overall vibrancy of the Fabrik GMT sets itself apart from the more muted tones of the three handed Model 1s, rounding out the collection nicely.
The Fabrik collection is a new direction for us. Although enamel remains our core activity, we’re excited to expand the Model 1 design language and explore new materials, finishes and techniques. We can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
Explore the collection here.
The Fabrik collection is not a limited release, but to avoid potential frustration and disappointment at checkout, we’ll initially offer watches in this collection to our customers who have already secured a build slot on our waiting list.
If you have a build slot and wish to purchase a watch from the Fabrik collection, please stay tuned, as we’ll begin taking orders and providing lead times from the 21st of March. We’ll aim to make the Fabrik collection available to all as soon as possible.