Here’s an update to the Acladus Opus 39, which is about to be launched on Kickstarter in an updated version. The format here is going to be different than our usual reviews, and as such, I encourage you to go read my original review. My initial impressions largely remain the same, though you’ll find out below where they’ve changed.
The overall design has remained unaltered: a classic round case with matte dial, contrasting chapter ring, and pilot hands. The V2 will come in grey, blue, black, salmon, and teal dials
Not the fanciest date. The wheel seems incredibly close to the dial though, and is color-matched, both of which serve to mitigate the disruption a date window can cause (especially a simple cutout window). Note that the chapter ring has also been changed, with the hashes extending all the way to the outer edge.
The handset here is so good taht I recently recommended it when chatting with another brand owner about hand options. Specifically, the subtle texture it has. Usually, blue hands are polished, dying without ample light. These never yearn to be highlighted and play very dark, at times black, but always with that bit of graininess. Mirroring the logo in the seconds hand is a great touch.
The lume on the Alcadus Opus 39 V2 is the second-highest grade that RC Tritec offers but remains unbalanced. While it’s not easy to see here (remember, lume shots are meant to show the lume application design, not necessarily the quality of execution), the hands shine much brighter than the markers. This is actually a step down from the original, which had evenly applied, very bright lume.
The Alcadus Opus 39 V2 still one of the sharpest cases I’ve seen at this price point. And if you’re wondering, yes, the crown logo is lumed. One welcome upgrade is that the case will feature drilled lugs, providing the suspenders to the quick-release bracelet’s belt. And! The case won’t scratch, as it has a coating making it four times harder than regular 316L steel.
Two things. First, look at the box sapphire crystal distortion—wow! One of the things that made the original Opus (and this prototype) unique was the massive box sapphire. It twisted the edge of the dial around mercilessly, but it was fun. Regrettably (to me), the height will be reduced to increase legibility and decrease the overall profile of the watch. Another new element is the crown’s warning ring, a red band right by the case that reminds the wearer to screw the crown back down, lest the waters invade.
The movement has been changed from an expensive ETA 2824-2 to the affordable but frankly no less reliable Miyota 9019. As a result, the sapphire caseback has been converted to a solid one, complete with a jet fighter. I rather liked the custom rotor they had on the ETA module, but I also don’t much care about see-thru casebacks on generic movements. That said, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how silly it is to put a compass on the back of a watch.
The Alcadus Opus 39 V2 will come on the bracelet (which you can see in the original review), but the brand’s excellent quick-release leather straps are available as an add-on. The bracelet has been changed to a flatlink style, which looks nice. Due to overzealous tolerances, though, the links kink and get stuck. Further, the grey dial here looks awful on it, as it just appears as one slap of grey all the way around the wrist—best to pair this dial with one of the straps for a bit of contrast. I have been told that the clasp, which on my prototype was stamped and jangly, will be improved for the production run. What “improved” means, I can’t be sure.
The Alcadus Opus 39 V2 is essentially the same watch made more approachable with a lower crystal and a more affordable (but no less reliable) movement. I like the new warning ring on the crown. When Andrew and I chatted about the original during an audio review, we remarked taht the watch did well everything it aimed to do, even if everything didn’t come together perfectly. I think the small design tweaks (and seeing the watch for a second time) have helped me come around to see this as a more cohesive design. Now far more affordable, the Alcadus Opus 39 V2 should be a success.
Check out more pilot watch reviews at The Watch Clicker
Check out the Alcadus website
Alcadus Opus 39 V2 Specs
Bracelet & leather strap
*Height of the watch from the wrist to the top of the crystal