Invicta watches are everywhere – if you’ve walked through a mall recently, you probably noticed a big yellow stand selling them. They look big and bright, and are usually heavily discounted.
In this article, I’m going to help you understand this brand better. Use the table of contents to jump to the section you’re searching for.
|Design:||(3.0 / 5)|
|Value:||(3.5 / 5)|
|History:||(2.5 / 5)|
|Durability:||(3.0 / 5)|
|Respect:||(3.0 / 5)|
|Price:||(4.0 / 5)|
|Warranty / Customer Service:||(2.0 / 5)|
|Overall Rating:||(3.0 / 5)|
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History of Invicta
The Origin of Invicta (1837-1974)
The original Invicta was founded in 1837 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland by Raphael Picard. It continued operations for nearly 140 years until the Quartz Crisis in 1974-1982 put them out of business along with 1000 other old Swiss watch companies.
During this period, the watchmaking world was experiencing a technological revolution – transitioning from mechanical components (gears, springs, and levers) to quartz components (battery and quartz crystal-powered mechanisms), which was a radical shift in technology compared to the watchmaking innovations that preceded it.
All companies who failed to adapt (adopt Quartz technology) or merge died out, including companies that were hundreds of years old, like Invicta.
By 1982, the original Invicta was dead. The remaining Swiss watch companies (600 of the original 1600) consolidated into a few watch conglomerates (like the Swatch group) in order to preserve their existence.
The Modern Invicta Watch Company (1990-Present)
With the Invicta company bankrupt, liquidated, and defunct, the “Invicta” brand name was up for sale. All-in-all, it was a good and marketable name, being Latin for “unconquered.” Also, the brand name had a good pedigree, having belonged to a Swiss watch company with over 100 years in the business.
In 1991, the Invicta brand name was purchased by an American company in Hollywood, Florida – which is where they are headquartered today. Invicta claims that this purchase was made by “descendants” of the original company, but this is an unsubstantiated marketing claim; for all intents and purposes it was purchased by an independent entity. They consolidated as the Invicta Watch Group and incorporated in 1996.
Are Invicta watches Swiss Made?
Capitalizing on the early Swiss history of the original Invicta, the modern Invicta company includes the words “Swiss,” “Swiss Quality”, “Swiss Parts”, or even “Swiss Made” on their marketing products as often as possible.
Historically, watches made in Switzerland have been some of the most prestigious due to the fine level of craftsmanship compared to the mass-produced watches of China and Asia.
Furthermore, the Swiss have an important national identity surrounding quality and expert watch manufacturing, traditionally being constructed by hand, with love and care.
What does “Swiss Made” actually mean?
In order to protect the designation from being abused, the trademark “Swiss Made” is reserved only for those watches that have at least 50% of their value added in Switzerland; otherwise, they are not legally allowed to display this designation on their products.
Invicta does have a handful of Swiss Made models, which allows it to call itself a brand that manufactures “Swiss Made” or “Swiss” watches. While this is true, this would be like if Timex had one model that they made in Switzerland, and they called themselves a Swiss company (instead of an American company).
In this sense, Invicta is an American company that produces some Swiss Made watches.
Who Owns Invicta?
Invicta is owned by the Invicta Watch Group. They are not owned by any larger watch companies or parent companies. The incorporated name of this company is Invicta Watch Company Of America, Inc.
Does Rolex own Invicta?
Rolex does not own Invicta and has no affiliation with them. Invicta produces many watches that resemble famous Rolex watches. These Invicta watches are known as “Rolex homages.”
Considering that nearly every watch company has used Rolex designs in their watchmaking to some degree, it’s not fair to criticize Invicta just for giving people an affordable alternative that has a similar aesthetic.
For most people, Invicta represents the most affordable way to get the Rolex look from a reputable watch company. For a detailed analysis and comparison of the two brands, check out this article on Rolex vs Invicta.
Which Brands does Invicta Own?
Invicta has acquired multiple companies. Today, they own three other watch brands:
Glycine – founded in 1914 and acquired by Invicta in 2006.
Glycine makes military Swiss Made watches at affordable price points. Some of their most famous models include the Glycine Combat Sub and the Glycine Airman. Personally I’ve found the quality of the watches to be very mediocre. Many people consider the “pre-Invicta” Glycine watches to be better than the modern ones.
TechnoMarine – founded in 1997 and acquired by Invicta in 2005.
TechnoMarine started out as an independent company focused on provideing fashionable diving chronographs. They do look pretty cool and unique.
S. Coifman – founded in 1906 and acquired by Invicta in 2004.
S. Coifman is focused on providing classic-looking dress watches.
All three watch brands have origins in Switzerland, which helps Invicta solidify its brand position as a Swiss company.
What’s the Quality of Invicta Watches?
Invicta watch quality is pretty good for the price.
For a sub-$100 watch, Invicta puts a lot of extra care and detail into their watches that they didn’t have to.
- The watch cases (body) are fairly decent
- The hands are crisp
- The indices are legible and aligned
- The bezels are better than many luxury watches
I could go on, but the bottom line is this: Invicta takes care that you’ll like what you get, considering the low price. They don’t feel cheap, even next to more expensive pieces.
What’s the Reputation of Invicta?
Their reputation isn’t great. Frankly, the prestige is worse than it should be considering the quality.
Most people who “know” watches will turn their nose up at an Invicta unless:
- It’s your first watch
- You got it as a gift
- You want a super-affordable Rolex homage to see how it feels
I’ve repeated this mantra on the site many times – the opinion of others should not influence your emotional connection or happiness when choosing a watch to wear. Happiness and contentment with a watch (or other product) should stem from within, and from a personal connection to the item.
Simply put: If it makes you happy, wear it.
These people who “know” watches have mostly never handled an Invicta. I have an Invicta Pro Diver right here next to an expensive Swiss watch, and I can say that Invicta gets a bad rep simply for their modern marketing strategy.
The watch world is conservative. The reputation of a watch brand takes decades (if not centuries) to develop. When a newcomer like Invicta comes on the scene under the guise of being an “established watch brand” from Switzerland and peppers the media with advertisements about how great it is, watch aficionados will scoff. Meanwhile, brands like Patek Phillipe earned their reputation through centuries of meticulous craftsmanship.
Invicta Watches Review – Best Picks for 2020
If you’re looking for a reliable opinion on which Invicta to purchase, I’ve put together a list with some classic options. Some of them may seem pretty similar, but I would not recommend straying too far from these styles – they are tried, true, and classic.
Anything crazy might look cool at first, but it will start to become an eyesore. The classic picks are based on Rolex models, which have been around for decades.
Here’s a summary of those choices:
Top Pick: Invicta Pro Diver – Automatic
Perhaps Invicta’s most iconic watch, the Invicta Pro Diver is a homage to the Rolex submariner in an ultra-affordable package. Powered by a reliable NH35a automatic movement, you get all the excitement of wearing a Rolex for under $100.
If you ever spot someone in public wearing an Invicta watch, this is probably the one. It comes as no surprise that it is their all-time best-selling watch; it looks like the Rolex Submariner and barely costs anything.
Considering that the NH35a movement is half of the actual price of this watch, you’re only paying some $40 for the rest of the watch. That speaks to incredible value. Furthermore, the movement is customized with a yellow rotor that you can see through the display caseback. This makes the Invicta Pro diver a serious contender against most Seikos in it’s price range.
Best Swiss Watch: Invicta Swiss Made
The Swiss Made Invicta GMT is a classically-styled dual-time dive watch.
This Invicta has a GMT function which tracks a second time zone with the red arrow hand; this is really fun to set to your own time zone because it tells you the military time, and is fun to observe throughout the day.
But the real purpose of this watch? To show you that Invicta does indeed make Swiss Made models. Looks at the flashy text that says so at the bottom. Regular Swiss Made watches do write “Swiss Made” in the same place, but much more subtly and in a tiny font.
Okay Invicta, we believe you, you make Swiss Made watches. Of all the ones they sell, this is the best-looking.
Budget Option: Invicta Quartz Diver
The Invicta Pro Quartz Diver is the cheapest Invicta you should consider. It’s essentially the same as our Top Pick, but instead of an automatic movement it runs on battery.
What’s the difference? You’re saving about $10, but you’re losing most of what makes this watch cool – the NH35a automatic movement. Still – if you don’t care about that, this is your best affordable pick.
Big, bold, and gold: Invicta Chrono Diver
Sometimes you need a golden behemoth on your wrist – maybe in your business/wedding attire, or maybe in jeans and t-shirt; The gold Invicta Chrono Diver can pull off both. You really have to have that kind of personality and confidence to strap this much metal to your wrist – like you willingly do a bicep curl every time you check the time.
This Invicta is stunning to behold, shiny like you wouldn’t expect, and quite thick. No matter how you wear it, it will attract a ton of attention – from envious glances to the spontaneous clapping of adoring fans.
The gold and black tones are very striking, and the time is easy to tell. While impressive in its own right, it’s nowhere near the biggest Invicta watch.
Best Racing Watch: Invicta Speedway
For fans of a classic look that touts their racing and motocross allegiance, the Invicta Speedway is a great choice. This watch is a homage to the Rolex Daytona – the quintessential racing watch.
Along with being most stylish, the Invicta Speedway is a bona fide chronograph, meaning that it can work as an analog stopwatch. Simply press the top right button like you would on a digital stopwatch, and watch the seconds hand tick away the elapsed time.
This is a very useful function for timing a train ride or how long your annoying manager has been talking in your ear. Just make sure to unscrew the crown around the pushers – they are there to give it that fantastic water resistance. Oh and don’t use the timer underwater!
It’s not all dive watches in Invicta land; pilot watches have been around for longer, and the Invicta Chrono Aviator is jam-packed with a busy dial.
The real selling point here is not the chronograph function, or the date window, or even the gold two-tone plating. It’s the aesthetic of an aviator’s instrument, like out of some luxury cockpit – meant to conquer the skies and have a turbulence-free flight.
Fashionable Ladies’ Watch: Invicta Rose Gold
For the modern woman who is both brave and courageous, this is a great choice. Borrowing technical design cues from Rolex (the hands and the date window), this Rose Gold Invicta classic is brought down to a ladies’ size and style.
While it appears to be encrusted in diamonds and bling times a hundred, only the most inexperienced of muggers will accost you and demand you choose between your life and Invicta. If this does come to pass, you can laugh it off on the cab ride home while you order another, since it was so cheap, and the mugger will take a loss on the robbery when he sells it.
My name is Tom Leto, and I’m a watch enthusiast at heart. I’m here to steer you in the right direction when looking for your next watch, and to help you avoid common newbie mistakes. Right now my favorite brands are Orient Star, Longines, and Nomos.