As a new blog that is focusing on quality watches for less than $500, I feel that it would be inappropriate to start with anything other than Invicta. When I first started exploring watches, I was surprised by all of the negativity seemingly heaped upon the brand. As someone just getting familiarized with the watch world, I relied on the opinions of those more experienced than myself and avoided them entirely. Now that I have been involved with watches for a while, I figured it was time to form my own opinion of the brand without any outside influence. To give it a fair attempt, I acquired the three Invictas that you see here.
First I purchased an Invicta Pro Diver Model No. 30018. This was purchased during the Prime Day sale for $44.95, and is currently listed at $69.95. This model features a 43mm case size, 22mm stainless band, 100m water resistance, Japanese quartz movement, flame fusion crystal, and Trinite illumination.
First Impressions were that it was an attractive watch. The dial immediately draws your eye with the unique wave pattern around the outer portion. The hammerhead shark that adorns the bezel is a really nice touch, and helps the watch to stand out from most standard divers. I also rather like the name Invicta engraved into the side of the case. The applied markers and Mercedes hands help to give the watch a higher quality look. One thing I really didn’t expect was the way the top of the lugs are brushed in a diagonal direction in contrast to the rest of the case which is polished. It creates quite a nice look. Also I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it has a screw down crown despite only boasting a 100m water resistance.
ABefore I get carried away with all the positive, I do have to say that I was immediately disappointed when I felt the bracelet. It felt light and cheap, which admittedly I should have expected, but nonetheless I had hoped for a little more weight. I’ve definitely seen a lot worse at this price point, but it still leaves some room for improvement. By far the worst part about this watch is the Trinite illumination. It is absolutely terrible. Even after being in direct sunlight, it is still very, very dim.
All that said, I think you would be very hard pressed to find a watch that seriously competes with this watch at the sale price I picked it up for. At $70 I think I may start looking elsewhere, but I think this one would still tempt me. Overall, I have to say that this one really has been a solid addition to my work lineup. It’s a really solid watch at a really solid price.
Next up was an Invicta Grand Diver Model No. 25452. This one was purchased from Amazon for $134.99. This model features a 47mm black case, 22mm black stainless bracelet, abalone dial, 300m water resistance, Seiko NH35A automatic movement, Mineral Crystal, and Trinite illumination here as well.
I really had high hopes for this one, and at first glance, it delivered. The abalone dial against the black bezel and case really looks quite nice, and I really like the dive helmets on the bracelet’s end links. The really nice brushed effect that I liked on the Pro Diver makes an appearance here as well, as does the Invicta name on the side along with Grand Diver on the other side. The Seiko movement functions well, as expected, and I do appreciate the nice rotor that dresses up the movement for the exhibition case back. I was concerned about the Trinite illumination, but it was better here. The hands and the pip in the bezel glow quite nicely, but the Markers are still fairly dim.
I pretty much ran out of positives after that though. My bracelet woes returned here. The bracelet was light and felt cheap, much like the Pro Diver, but the clasp was so stiff that I thought I might lose a fingernail before it gave up and opened. Hopefully it gets better with time, but it is completely unacceptable as is. The bezel felt and looked cheap as well.
Overall the watch isn’t terrible at that price, but for less than $20 more, you can step up to a Deep Blue Master 1000 with an abalone dial. That watch uses the same movement, and has the same water resistance, but gives you a sapphire crystal, superior lume, and a far better feel overall. This one just left me feeling as if my money would have been better spent elsewhere.
Lastly is the Invicta S1 Raly Maori Shark. This one was purchased on Jomashop for $99.99. It features a massive 50.5mm engraved case, 26mm silicone band, Seiko NH38 automatic movement, open heart dial with shark design, sapphire crystal, and no illumination.
This one is the one that really struck me. The watch is huge, but gives you a plenty to look at. The small details are really nice on this one. From the way the shark spills over from the dial onto the bezel to the coral detail around the bottom of the case to the jellyfish on the strap, neat details are everywhere on this one. The case is over 50mm but tapers from top to bottom, and helps the watch to feel more comfortable on the wrist. A sapphire crystal at this price point was quite unexpected, especially considering the use of a Seiko automatic movement. Value for the dollar is strong in this one.
Admittedly there is no illumination on this watch, but honestly I would rather have no lume than poor lume. The lack of a screw down crown is my only real fault with this watch, and this one has landed firmly in my keeper box.
All in all, it seems that my Invicta experience has taught me that Invicta can make some really unique pieces at a price that makes them worth buying for the novelty value. That being said if you are looking for something more simple and plain, I would avoid the Grand Diver line and look elsewhere. Of these three I will be keeping the Pro Diver and the Maori Shark, solely because they make me smile. The Grand Diver just feels like it is trying too hard to be a serious watch, and falls way too short at that price point in my opinion.
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