Are Invicta Watches Good? (Honest Review)

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Invicta watches are popular around the world for their large and bold. And to some, like myself, they have served as the gateway into a lifelong hobby of watch collecting.

Yet, questionable business practices and some over-the-top designs have people wondering if the brand, and the watches they make, are any good.

In short, yes, Invicta watches are good. They often have very unique designs at an affordable price point, as long as you can find them on sale. Their retail prices are often inflated, making the watches seem more expensive than they are. You should never buy one of their watches at full retail price.

In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at Invicta and if their watches are any good.

Invicta Pro DIver 1953 and 8928OB

History of the Invicta Watch Group

Invicta is a Swiss company founded by Raphael Picard in 1837. Originally, they produced great mechanical wristwatches.

In 1983, the business was sold and reestablished in 1991 by its current owners. It is now an American brand with its corporate headquarters in Hollywood, Florida. But, some of their watches are still manufactured in Switzerland today.

Are Invicta Watches Good?

Between 1837 and 1991, Invicta produced many fantastic mechanical timepieces. This article will focus on its modern watches from 1991 to the present.

Many people love these watches for their affordability and unique styles. However, Invicta is as well-known for its various business practices, often overlooked by those who are uninformed.

Let’s compare the pros and cons of Invicta watches.

Pros

Invicta watches are popular around the globe for various reasons.

Unique Designs & Variety

They have many unique designs, with over 4,000+ watches currently on their website. Most brands usually only have a few dozen different watch designs in their lineup at a time.

Invicta also frequently collaborates with others. Some of their partnerships include Marvel, Spongebob, and South Park, to name a few.

Some of their other popular models are homages of well-known luxury watches. I.E. their Pro Diver which is an homage to the Rolex Submariner. More about that later.

Brand Recognition

They’re heavily marketed, making them recognizable by many. Their bright yellow branding sticks out like a sore thumb in stores and kiosks. They’re also featured on popular online retailers such as QVC and found on many cruise ships

Invicta-Watch-Store-in-the-Mall
Photo by Phillip Pessar

Affordable Pricing

Many of Invicta’s watches are quite affordable. This makes them a great entry point into watch collecting. In fact, the Invicta Pro Diver is the first mechanical watch I’ve ever owned. It will forever hold a special place in my watch box because of it. They say you never forget your first, and they are right.

Some of their watches use cheaper parts to keep costs down. An example of this is how they use mineral crystals instead of sapphire which are more likely to scratch.

But, their watches are still built well, often better than similarly priced watches.

Cons

It may seem like Invicta has a lot going for it. They offer tons of unique watches at seemingly reasonable prices. So what’s not to like?

Inflated Retail Prices

Invicta often participates in misleading marketing and business practices. Their watches often have inflated retail prices, sold at a ‘large discount’ to those who are unaware of the watch’s actual value.

This is an especially distasteful practice in watch shops on cruises, where many Invicta models are sold. Cruises often have shaky internet connections, so cruise-goers can’t look up the real value of these watches.

They will market Invicta as a luxury watch sold at a discount. Invicta is not a luxury watch, but its retail prices are often set at luxury watch prices.

They Copy Luxury Watch Designs

Some of their models homage, or take inspiration from, the designs of popular luxury watches from brands like Rolex.

While homage watches aren’t bad in themselves, some Invicta watches look a little too much like the watches they are a homage of.

This can be a good thing; it offers a taste of a luxury watch that not everybody can afford at a much more reasonable price point. But they lack originality. It would be better if Invicta included at least some unique design elements, like new dials, hour markers, or colors.

Poor Quality Control

There are often inconsistencies in build quality from watch to watch and model to model. This means you might buy one well-built watch with no issues, but you might buy another—the same model—with many.

Further, the two different watches in the same lineup might be built in two different factories, or use different parts. This can lead to inconsistencies between similar watches, so you never know how good your watch will be, until you receive it.

Large, Over-the-Top Designs

Some of the company’s watches are amongst the largest, and most over-the-top watches on the market.

While some people love these models, they look too oversized and downright ridiculous on the average wrist. Better bulk up if you want to sport these.

Questionable Warranty and Customer Service

Invicta’s warranty is questionable. Many people have reported that their customer service is unhelpful. Worst of all, Invicta will not cover any manufacturing defects under its warranty.

Where are Invicta Watches Made?

Invicta is an American brand, but their watches are made by third parties in Switzerland, Japan, China, and Malaysia. Their Swiss-made watches are noted in a dedicated section on their site.

With cheaper manufacturing costs than in the states, Invicta has the freedom to frequently pump out new designs, hoping a few stick. This is part of its business model and part of the reason it can sustain a lineup of thousands of watches at a time.

Some of Invicta’s watches have some parts made in one country, with the rest made in another.

The company will sometimes write a part’s country of manufacture at the bottom of the dial. For example, the Invicta Pro Diver 8928OB reads “Japan MOVT” on the bottom because the NH35A movement inside was built by Seiko, a Japanese brand. But, that doesn’t mean the entire watch was built in Japan, a bit deceiving.

Similarly, some other models will read “Swiss MOVT” at the bottom of the dial. The movement inside might be made in Switzerland, but that doesn’t mean the entire watch was.

Who Makes Invicta Watches?

Invicta watches are made by third-party manufacturers in Switzerland and the Far East (Japan, China, and Malaysia).

How Much Are Invicta Watches Worth?

Invicta watches often have expensive price tags, but their watches are worth nowhere near their retail price. Their watches are set to a ridiculously high retail price, then heavily discounted.

This may make it seem like an Invicta watch you are looking at is an excellent deal. It’s heavily discounted for a limited time, after all, right? Wrong.

Invicta models may be worth their sale price but are never worth more. Don’t expect to be able to buy the watch and sell it at a premium because it claims to be on sale. This is just a marketing tactic the brand uses to make you believe these timepieces are much higher quality than they are.

What Are Invicta Watches Made From?

Invicta often uses cheaper materials to keep costs down.

Case

The cases of Invictas are often made out of stainless steel, a common watch material for its rust-resistance and durability, even among luxury watches.

Their gold watches are often ion-plated with 18k gold, which is real gold, but only a thin coating. Thus, the gold plating may wear off and reveal the steel case underneath over time. The alternative, a solid gold watch, would be much more costly because of the volume of a precious material that would need to be used.

Movement

The movements inside of Invicta watches can vary from watch to watch, but the brand has used movements from third-party manufacturers such as Seiko, ETA, Ronda, and Seagull.

Seiko-Nh35a-movement-macro

Their watches feature either a mechanical or quartz movement. The movements used are on the more affordable side to help keep costs down, but they aren’t bad, just rather basic.

Crystal

Often, Invicta will use mineral crystals instead of sapphire, which are much more prone to scratching and can cause more glares and reflections. Mineral crystals are much more affordable and help keep costs down.

Bezel

Finally, while some watch brands will use scratch-resistant materials for their bezels, such as ceramic, Invicta will use aluminum more often. This metal is much more prone to scratches and fading over time. Again, this keeps costs down.

Invicta uses reasonable quality watch parts for the price, but not the best. It is not a luxury watch, and its build quality reflects that — but they are still reasonably priced for the materials you get.

Do Invicta Watches Hold Their Value?

No, Invicta watches don’t hold their value well. This is primarily due to the business model Invicta uses to inflate, then discount, its prices. Hence, the watches will never sell at retail price, as they are almost always discounted.

Further, since the company boasts such a wide variety of models, the chances of somebody looking for the exact model you have for sale are slim. They are not high-demand luxury watches, and their value over time reflects that.

Are Invicta Watches Worth It?

Whether one of these watches is worth it depends on what you’re looking for in a timepiece.

Many Invicta watches have very unique designs. If you love the look of a particular Invicta, there’s a great chance they’re the only brand making anything like it.

But, if you just want the best watch you can get for the money, you can often find better, similarly priced watches, from more reputable brands such as Seiko and Bulova.

Invicta’s Best Watch

Check out my full review of the Invicta Pro Diver

Despite the many large, flashy, and overpriced watches the company has in its lineup, there are a few fantastic watches, especially in their Invicta Pro Diver lineup.

The Invicta Pro Diver is an obvious homage to the Rolex Submariner. It takes many design cues from the popular watch but delivers it more affordably.

For around $100, the Pro Diver offers an automatic movement (make sure you get the automatic variant and not the quartz model), 200 meters of water resistance, and quite a good-looking watch — a value that’s hard to beat.

The movement housed inside is the NH35A, an automatic Seiko-built movement that is accurate, reliable, and affordable.

Invicta Pro Diver 8928OB
Invicta Pro Diver 8928OB

These traits make it one of the most popular movements in the world amongst watch modders and microbrands. The movement itself costs around $60, so finding it in a watch that costs only $100 is quite a bargain.

Further, the Pro Diver has 200 meters of water resistance, meaning it can be submerged up to about 600 feet without water damage — another rarity in more affordable watches.

Finally, the watch simply looks great. It’s based on the tried and true Rolex Submariner, arguably the most recognizable watch in the world.

Overall, the Pro Diver is one of the company’s best watches ever and is the watch that kicked off the hobby for many people, including myself.

Other Notable Invicta Watches

Other notable watches from the Invicta lineup are the Speedway, Aviator, Specialty, Subaqua, and the Russian Diver.

Summary

Invicta is a well-known brand with a large variety of watches, which is encouraging for new watch enthusiasts. Since the brand has changed hands many times over the years, this company is no longer the family-owned business it once was.

Now, Invicta makes intentionally overpriced (and then discounted) watches which are almost never worth their retail price.

Some of their modern designs are enormous, overly flashy, or just downright gaudy. However, there are a few hidden gems in the rough, like the Pro Diver lineup, which are quite good looking and well-built.

Overall, if you enjoy Invicta watches, feel free to continue. But, with a few exceptions, there may be better values for the money out there. And don’t let their pricing scheme fool you into thinking their watch is more valuable than it is.

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