During the 10 months since the launch of Model 1 we’ve barely had time to put down our tools. To make the Model 2 possible, we’ve moved to a new purpose-built studio where we can continue to refine our processes and develop new techniques.
Our new workspace is located in the Templeton Building in the East End of Glasgow. The building was originally designed as a carpet factory for James Templeton and Son in 1892. It was turned into a business centre just under a century later and to us, this site is now home.
The 1600 SqFt of well fenestrated floorspace was a blank canvas, and we set about designing a suite of three spaces which would best suit anOrdain. With the help of two talented local carpenters we began to plan our new home.
The new studio has 14 pieces of furniture - workbenches, storage cabinets, watchmakers bench etc. all using a common design base and being made from a small palette of materials: solid white European oak, birch plywood panels, stainless steel fixings and oak dowels.
Each unit was built in Edinburgh at Breimoir Workshop before being transported to the site.
As you walk into our studio, you're immediately greeted by light coming from windows in front of you. The watchmaking space has an abundance of indirect natural light, which is perfect for the job. On the left a bench stands at chest height, where Chris, our watchmaker, is stationed. On top of this surface is a laminar flow cabinet, a device borrowed from the laboratory to keep away dust.
Parallel to this bench is another similar, yet notably different space. This area is devoted to the art of packaging. Here, each part of the process - from the company seal to the UPS labels each have their own place.
Our new creative design space has also been built around our needs. With cabinets devoted to prototyping, printing and testing we're well-equipped to handle our research and development projects. It is here that we 3D print our watch case designs, test-print our brochures and packaging layouts.
The room features North and West facing windows, allowing the room to be lit with gentle natural light throughout the working day. From this viewpoint you can see The People’s Palace, Glasgow Green, Glasgow Cathedral and the hilltop Necropolis.
Upon entering the design room, a clear partition can be seen separating a third of the space. We spend a lot of time photographing our products - enamel is notoriously tricky to capture, and felt a dedicated space where light could be controlled would be very beneficial.
The largest room has been given over to dial making, and is by far and away the most interesting space. There is a buzz of activity and tools, kilns and machines are laid out methodically to best suit the enamelling process.
This room is divided up into individual tasks, each of the areas is process-led, helping us to streamline production where possible.
On the left hand side of the room is a jewellery bench. This features a half round cut surface top which allows our enamellers to get very close to their workpieces during the metalwork stage of the process. The surface itself is at eye level when the user is seated, allowing them to focus intently on detail as they solder or saw the copper blanks.
In the centre of the room is a large workbench which is where most of the enamelling takes place. From initial sifting through the numerous levels of enamel application, this large bench gives the technicians the elbow room they need for the task. Positioning this piece in the centre of the room was no accident; this area has the most light and therefore also helps with the inspection process.
The far wall features our kiln bench and is linked to an extraction system. The kilns generate a great deal of heat and can make a sunny day in the studio unbearably hot!
Next we have the enamel library. This unit is dedicated to housing all of the colours we've accumulated to date. We have been experimenting with colours for 4 years now so have quite a range! Displaying them in this way helps us to easily compare one shade to another.
Next we have the finishing workbench. This area is for sanding and polishing the dials between enamel layers. We've also installed two large sinks for the dial cleaning and degreasing prior to firing.
And we can't forget about the fern mezzanine level. A scaffolding plank has been hoisted into the air, upon which half a dozen ferns sit precariously. There are 12 different varieties of fern in the workshop, with most doing very well!
This enamel boasts a deep garnet centre and impressive smoked edge. The irresistible warmth of this reddish purple makes it difficult to describe without adopting the vernacular of a sommelier.
This smoky grey takes its name from the painter William Payne, who invented and popularised the practice of combining coloured paint pigments to create a deep, shadowy alternative to the...
By far the most popular of the Model 2 Fumé dials, its comparison to an aurora sky seems apt - especially given the play of light and shadow that the...
Receive regular updates straight to your inbox about horology, craftsmanship and editorial.