The Opus 39 by Alcadus is launching this week on Kickstarter and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one for review.
The watch is inspired by cockpit instruments and is available in 3 colours, white, black and grey. The one I received was the Argent White one.
Available are : Jet Black (Lacquered Dial), Phantom Gray (Full Lumed Dial), and Argent White (Lacquered Dial)
All are 10ATM rated, Swiss 2892A2 movement, double box sapphire crystal. 316L steel with a scratch proof coating of 800HV (uncoated is 200)
Inspired by vintage watches of yesteryear, the OPUS features a box-shaped crystal which sticks out beyond the case edge/bezel. The box-shaped lens of vintage watches were mostly made of plexiglass (acrylic glass) and could be easily scratched.
You see a lot of comments about sizing of watches with 42mm being a very common first ask, for me I like 39mm watches, I find the size comfortable to wear on any occasion. The opus is a versatile watch and arrived with a ton of strap options, so I choose to image the brown vintage strap and the bracelet (for obvious reasons).
The OPUS collection is heavily inspired by the cockpit instrument designs and the pilot / flieger watch design. The dial design is reduced to bare essentials, with superior luminescent for legibility at low light condition.
In a traditional flieger watch, the triangular index at 12 O’clock position allows the pilots to quickly determine the upward orientation of the watch in the dark. The OPUS 39 substitute the traditional triangular index with the ALCADUS logo.
The seconds hands design also incorporates the ALCADUS logo in a subtle way. The traditional pilot watches had big onion / diamond-shaped watch crown that were designed for pilot wearing thick gloves and flight suit. The OPUS 39 took the cue when the custom watch crown is designed
So I caught up with Yook Hong Liew and asked a few questions
Who are you?
My name is Yook Hong Liew. I used to be a watch modder for Seiko before establishing my own brand. (This is a detailed about me here: https://www.alcadus.com/about-the-founder/)
How old are you ?
I’m 35 years old.
When did you get into watches?
I got into watches around 5 years ago (with some Seiko automatic), then progressively acquired some Swiss pieces, modding my own Seiko, modding some Seiko for local market (Malaysia), and started to work on ALCADUS around 2017.
What was the first watch that you owned and loved?
My Seiko SNZF17 (my first automatic piece that I have modded countless times).
Do you still have it?
Yes! I still have it.
What is your brief history before watches?
I’m still a pharmacist working in a multinational pharmaceutical company. I have been in the corporate world for quite some time now. I have also been involved in online marketing for more than 15 years.
Why did you start producing watches?
I have been modding Seiko watches and assembling some watches with stock parts and movements for my self and clients since 2016. The reason I started to modify watches is that I wanted something unique, understated, elegant, and most importantly a timepiece that is not so common / ordinary. Because there is only so many stock parts options available, and it didn’t satisfy my needs, I decided to venture into watch production as I have some knowledge about watches during my tinkering with the watches.
Tell me about your movements?
I have chosen to use ETA 2892A2 movement, as it will be a slightly premium offering (compared to other microbrand that uses Miyota / NH / Chinese movement).
How did you find the journey of creating your first watch, any advice.
I got into watch modding by chance, by stumbling into a WatchUSeek forum. There are vast amount of watch knowledge on that forum that I have acquired leading to the successful prototype and designing of my first timepiece.
How has the ALCADUS been received by the watch world?
The ALCADUS Watch Co. brand is a fairly new brand (yet to be launched on Kickstarter in June 2019), which is still unknown to many people. I have created a few posts on the Microbrand Watches group and the feedback are quite positive.
The watch photographer also likes the watches very much. I have also shown the prototypes to my local watch enthusiasts and received some very positive feedback. Other than that, the watches are still very new and yet to be discovered by majority of the watch world.
So I appreciate your review as a watch enthusiast and connoisseur. I’m planning to have some some other watch reviews too and a sponsored post on ABlogToWatch.
What direction are you thinking for the next project, can you give any hints?
I have quite a few offerings for this OPUS collection too – 36mm no-date version (as Kickstarter stretch goal). If the stretch goal is not reached, the 36mm OPUS will still be produced albeit at a later date. A GMT version of the OPUS is also planned. On the next project, I will introduce a collection of dressy chronograph with Valjoux 7753.
Is it a full time job for you now or are you still working towards that?
ALCADUS is not my full time job for me now and I’m working towards that.
In what countries did you settle on for manufacture for the various parts?
Watch case, crystals, hands, and dials will be sourced from China. I do have some suppliers in Taiwan, India and Thailand as backup. Movement will be sourced from Switzerland (ETA).
Anything else you would like to add?
– ALCADUS Watch Co. will be positioning itself in $1000+ microbrand market, with dressier mechanical pieces and sub-40mm sizes.
Yook Hong Liew
ALCADUS Watch Co.
So what do I think?
There are a few things that I find very appealing about this watch.
I love the movement choice, the ETA 2892A2 is a great movement, and when set up correctly is a very smooth and reliable work horse. (You should be aware and know, movements of this series and type do not suffer from transport issues normally [hand slippage], and certainly not on a wide scale – glad we cleared that up)
I like the size, I am a fan of 39mm base watches as they fit me well.
I love box crystals as I am a fan of vintage watches, a crystal that emulates hesalite is a win always in my book.
Having a bracelet option from the beginning is a great idea, I would expect the clasp type to change as the project evolves, but the bracelet itself is a great addition to the watch.
The look of the watch is very good, if I had been sent a black one I probably would have lusted after it as a keeper, but that’s only because I am not a fan of white dials, but that just me, the glaze on the white dial is beautiful.
Lastly but not least is the date at 6pm, the visual balance is correct – good man !