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Alcadus Quantra

Modern. Elegant. Subtle.

The trend for 2024 at Mainspring is to tell you about brands you most likely have never heard of and which, however, should have been on your radar a long time ago. True, there are too many brands to keep track of to be aware of everything that is available today. Let alone tomorrow, given the numerous Kickstarter campaigns we see pop every week. So it is our great pleasure— and honor—to shine the light on specific brands and models which are, according to yours truly, worthy of your attention. And it could be so for one of many reasons. For example: because we love the way they look, or we love the spec-to-dollar ratio, or because they offer something new and unique, or even better, all of the above combined together.

Today, then, we’re going to talk about Alcadus, a brand created in 2018 by watch enthusiast Yook Hong. At the time of writing, the brand’s catalog is strong of four collections, the Quantra being the latest. And taking a quick look at the Alcadus’ website, we can easily see a trend going on there too: all models are elegant yet sporty, classic yet novel, and reasonably priced. (At least compared to the market as a whole.) The Quantra inscribes itself within the small—but growing— genre of everyday elegant timepieces. A genre that we see evolve rapidly in the micro/independent watch market as of late. At a discounted price of $597 USD, the Quantra has a lot to offer.  


If this is not your first visiting Mainspring, you’ll know that we like—no, love—smaller watches. Or what we would call “appropriately-sized timepieces for regular human beings.” Watches that neither look too small nor too large on the average wrist. Here, average being 6.50”/16.5cm. Granted, what is “average” depends on which part of the world you hail from. I’m French and I believe I have a normal European wrist. So the magical proportions of the Quantra are as follows: a delicious 36mm in diameter, 44mm lug-to-lug, 10.5mm high, and 20mm lug width. The latter measurement is key as it gives the watch a decent wrist presence. (An 18mm lug width wouldn’t have.) 

What further contributes to endowing the Quantra with a noticeable wrist presence is the thin, fully polished fixed bezel which perfectly frames the large dial opening. This contrasts nicely with the fully brushed lugs and the intricate design of the case flanks. Indeed, and as we will see later, there are a lot of good things going on down there. But more on that later. The small push/pull crown perfectly integrates within the thin case profile, and comes with enough knurling to be easy to grab and operate. (Note that the lumed logo on the crown will be different on the production units.) Combined with a see-through screw-down case-back, the Quantra comes with a decent 50 meters of water resistance. 

In order to make for a good everyday timepiece, the Alcadus Quantra is equipped with a regulated Hangzhou micro-rotor Caliber 5015A which beats at 28,800 BPH (4Hz) and has 42 hours of power reserve. This movement is regulated to run at +/- 7 seconds per day which is more than decent, and it is a family of calibers we’ve seen being used quite a lot in the past few years by micro and independent brands and which seem, from all intents and purposes, to be reliable. Their massive advantage of course is to be very thin while providing the convenient self-winding feature of an automatic movement. 


Alright, let’s now delve into the design of the Quantra as there is a lot of cover here. First and foremost, the Alcadus Quantra has a sector dial layout which has been quite popular in the past few years, and which has been re-interpreted more than once by young and independent brands. And perhaps it is so because it’s darn elegant and legible. I’ve seen quite a few of these since I started Mainspring in 2021 and the Quantra comes with one of my favorite interpretations of the classic design. In particular: the long and thin (electroplated) blue hands and how nicely they contrast with the hour markers painted in black, as well as how they stand out from the salmon colored dial. 

Speaking of color, the Quantra comes in two additional options: a Silver variant with black accents as well as a Purple version with white accents. I opted to borrow the Salmon version as it has become an ubiquitous color as of late, yet one I rarely cover on Mainspring. 

What makes the dial legible is the perfect proportions of the hour markers and hands. I love how the even hours are indicated by Arabic numerals that are printed in a thin and wide font, while the odd hours are indicated by thin batons. Note how the Arabic numerals are “attached” to the central disc by way of smaller lines, and how the railroad minute track is barely visible at certain angles given the modest distortions created by the boxed sapphire crystal. (I also want to rave about the seamless integration of the edges of the crystal with the slanted, polished edges of the fixed bezel.) Seen from the side, everything looks harmonious and highly thought-through.

Lastly, and as promised, let’s talk about the case sides. Within a matter of a few weeks, I’ve come across three models that present the same design: the outer portion of the case flanks is brushed while the center portion, which is recessed, is endowed with a satin-brushed finish. (Recently I wrote about the Ubiq Dual that has more or less the same case profile.) The finish is delicate to the touch and the eye, and contributes to making the Quantra look thin and sit comfortably on the wrist. Moreover, I would like to point at the thin circular brushing found on the outer section of the dial which envelopes the center portion that showcases a superb, clay-like color. 

The small elephant in the room being, of course, the running seconds sub-register at the 9 o’clock complete with a thin radial finish. 

The Heart of the Matter

At the heart of the matter is the fact that Yook Hong proposes a balanced and thoughtfully designed version of the time-tested sector dial design. You know me, I rarely go for elegant timepieces but I found myself immediately charmed by the Alcadus Quantra. Between you and I, I often find sector dials to look too old school and overly classic. However, Yook endowed the Quantra with a gently modern interoperation of it which makes me appreciate this type of design even more. As you already know, I particularly like the perfect balance of the dial and how, for once with a micro-rotor, the running sub-second register does not look out-of-place. 

And the Alcadus is as well-made and finished as it is designed. The polished surfaces have a mirror-like finish while the brushed ones come with a satin appearance which is subtly elegant. The printing on the dial is crisp, the hands are perfectly finished, and the two premium French-made leather straps the Quantra will be shipped with, are equally well-made and thoughtfully designed. A bonus point goes for the signed buckle which comes with the same dual finish as that found on the case sides. Yook Hong really went into the nitty gritty details when designing the Quantra. 

Last but not least you should know this: the Alcadus Quantra constitutes a darn good deal. Launching via a Kickstarter campaign in February/March 2024, the Quantra will retail for the pre-order price of $597 USD with a full retail price listed of $697 USD. The latter is still good for what you get here. With shipping estimated to take place in June/July of 2024, you have plenty of time to decide which of the three dial colors you prefer: Salmon, Silver, or Purple. While so-called objective journalists would moan the choice of the Hangzhou movement, I would argue that this movement contributes to making the Quantra such an interesting offering. 

What’s more is that Alcadus offers free no-question-asked 30-day returns as well as a four-year worry-free warranty on the movement and case. Yes, the brand will replace the case if it gets scratched or dented whether due to the natural phenomenon known as “wearing a watch” or the eventual and unfortunate accident. I almost never talk about warranties because brands rarely offer good ones. So this constitutes an additional bonus point for Alcadus. 


Within the ever-growing market of micro and independent horology—which we adore and are obsessed with here at Mainspring—it’s obviously daunting to clear up the fog created by the enormous amounts of watches being offered on any given day. So we like to help by selecting what we see as being good options for any genre of watches. While we don’t often write about elegant timepieces, we do enjoy doing so once in a while. And so it was a treat to tell you about Alcadus and the Quantra. It is most likely that we will talk about this brand again in the future as their catalog offers quite a few interesting models. 

For a pre-order price of $597 USD, you do indeed get a lot of bangs for your bucks here: an interesting movement, a superb dial which is equally superbly finished, a novel take case design, as well as and overall neat combination of various surface finishes and small design touches that make the Quantra both elegant, legible, and a pleasure to look at. 

You can learn more about Alcadus here and the Quantra here

Thanks for reading. 


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