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In order to get a good quality product, you need to be prepared to spend a dollar or two. Oftentimes, watches are not an exception to this rule.
A light purse is a heavy curse, they say.
Making a solid timepiece requires tens of hours of hard work and skill. The leaders in the industry hire the best craftsmen and provide the best quality materials – a combination that requires investment and massive know-how. Hence, the majority of the best brands price their watches accordingly – and that is far from cheap.
But is it really impossible to get a solid-made timepiece without breaking the bank? One brand that strongly opposes the view is Invicta.
The Swiss-born but now-American watchmaker has been around for nearly two centuries, a result that is impossible to better by most competitors. Strongly believing that everyone deserves to own a quality watch that won’t cost an arm and a leg, the company has been enjoying year-to-year growth in terms of popularity and sales for the last 2 decades.
But is Invicta a good watch brand?
The opinions in the watch enthusiasts community seem to be split. In this detailed Invicta brand review, I will do my best to help you decide whether these watches are worth your money.
Before we get into details about the quality of Invicta timepieces, it’s worth getting familiar with the lengthy history of the company. If you’d like to move straight to the quality review, it’s okay. Use the navigation below to start reading.
Invicta Watches History
As already mentioned, Invicta watches boast an incredibly long history. At the same time, when compared to some other brands with a similar pedigree such as the American watchmaker Bulova or another Swiss brand Tissot, the history of Invicta is devoid of any spectacular landmarks.
The company was founded in 1837 by a talented Swiss watchmaker, Raphael Picard. The idea he had for the brand name derives from Latin, with Invicta meaning “Invincible”. Whether or not it lives up to the name, you will find out later.
From the date of creation, Invicta was on a constant rise. In fact, the brand was in the group of highly successful Swiss watchmakers for almost 150 years. It was all rosy in the garden until the second half of the 20th century when the whole industry suffered a massive shock and was pretty much turned upside down. Here I naturally mean the Quartz Crisis of the 1970s, caused by the release of the first-ever battery-powered timepiece by a Japanese conglomerate Seiko.
Some Swiss watchmakers such as Rolex or Omega dealt with the setback brilliantly. Other brands, including Invicta, could barely get by. Used to producing brilliantly-crafted hand-wound and automatic watches for over a hundred years, the brand couldn’t successfully adapt to the new trends.
Although the release of Seiko’s industry-shaking Quartz Astron 35SQ made wristwatches more affordable for the general public and helped launch many new brands, the Swiss industry suffered enormously. That’s because it was so reliant on its superbly accurate, yet not-the-cheapest, mechanical movements.
Even the most potent Swiss brands took more than a decade to recover from Quartz Crisis. Unfortunately, Invicta’s attempt pretty much failed.
From the beginning of the industry’s new movement till 1991, for nearly two decades, Invicta was in a survival mode. The then-Swiss watchmaker got saved by a group of U.S.-based investors who completed a takeover of the company in the summer of 1991. From that movement, the mission of the brand changed: it decided to adapt to the new trends and make equally solid quartz wristwatches, this time at prices affordable for all.
Two decades later, can we say they have succeeded?
Are Invicta Watches Any Good? (Quality Review)
Now, this should be fun.
I’ve been a massive watch enthusiast for well over 10 years now and I have probably never come across a brand that splits opinions as much as Invicta. It’s incredible, really.
Invicta’s biggest supporters will claim the company produces outstanding-looking timepieces that look and feel way beyond the price tag. On the other hand, those who have had bad experiences or have turned against Invicta through word of the mouth (shame on you!) will call them overpriced junk – and worse.
Who to believe, then?
As always, when trying to rate any watchmaker on this site, I try to stay as objective as possible. All my sympathies and antipathies go out of the window. Also, I never try to stack budget brands against the best in the industry – in this case, we could say all are “bang average” or even “poor”.
Instead, I prefer to compare the brand with other watchmakers in the same price category. By doing so, we can easily define the most important metric – the quality-to-price ratio. Does the brand offer quality that matches the price tag? Are the watches overpriced compared to what’s on offer with competitors? Or, maybe the opposite – we get an awesome value for money?
You probably get my idea by now.
So, are Invicta watches good quality? Let’s settle the issue by looking at all the aspects contributing to the overall score of Invicta watches.
Design & Durability
There’s little argument that Invicta produces unique-looking watches. More often than not, the exterior is comment-worthy and looks above the budget price tag. But even the best-looking timepieces count for nothing if they struggle to get past the first year. Does this relate to Invicta?
The short answer to this question is: no.
Considering the low-to-mid price margins of these watches, they deliver reasonably good quality.
Durability-wise, there’s not much to moan about. You get what you pay for (in some cases slightly more) and should expect the watch to provide hassle-free use for a good number of years.
Let’s start with the most damage-prone part of any watch – the dial. Depending on the collection and your budget, Invicta offers three types of dial windows:
- mineral crystal – a popular choice amongst brands in the same price category. Considered the second-toughest glass after sapphire
- sapphire crystal – premium quality material. Thanks to ultra scratch-resistant and anti-reflective qualities, it’s considered the most enduring glass type on the market. It’s used by all industry leaders such as Omega, Rolex, or Breitling
- Flame Fusion – Invicta’s trademark type of crystal. Durability-wise, it’s closer to mineral than sapphire. Some say it’s the equivalent of Seiko’s Hardlex crystal
No plastic dials “protecting” the face. Amen.
All Invicta watch models use stainless steel cases, sometimes accompanied by rubber/silicone bezels (although that’s a rarity). It’s a fairly standard pick for most watchmakers.
Crucially, the vast majority of Invicta watches are equipped with screw-down casebacks. It’s really important especially for folks that plan on wearing the watch in water. The same applies to screw-down crowns that further aid the water-resistance capabilities.
Size-wise, you can find cases as small as 30mm in diameter (watches for women) and as big as 58mm (oversized type for men).
It’s not unusual to come across transparent casebacks which allow you to marvel at the workings of the movement. If you’re a fan of skeleton-type watches, you are likely to appreciate this aspect of the design. It’s quite common in the automatic watch collection.
Moving on to other integral parts, let’s discuss the bands. Again, depending on the watch model, you can expect all types of bands:
- stainless steel – the most popular choice across all collections. It’s a highly durable material that can take a beating and is a great fit for all types of occasions
- leather – probably the most elegant, yet least durable type. Invicta watches use only genuine leather type, ie. croco-embossed straps
- rubber/silicone – another highly enduring band type. It’s a common pick in all sports/outdoor collections
- titanium – the most premium type. More often than not, Invicta watches with titanium bracelets are considerably more expensive. Still, it’s possible to find titanium models below $200 which by no means is a given with other brands
Movement & Precision
The quality of movements in Invicta watches has always been a subject of fierce discussions.
Some watch enthusiasts think that the problem doesn’t lie with the standard of the movements but how they are cased. The opposite view is that Invicta delivers movement quality in line with their modest prices.
The fact is: contrary to what some might want you to believe, the majority of Invicta watches use solid movements, whether we’re talking about automatic or battery-powered (quartz) watches.
Invicta doesn’t produce its own movements. But unlike some other brands in the same price category that use no-name movements from China, for the most part, the calibers installed in Invicta watches are outsourced from highly respectable manufacturers.
In the case of Japanese-made models, the movements usually come from Seiko or Miyota. Swiss-made collections are full of timekeepers that use reliable calibers such as Ronda, ETA, or Sellita. There’s also a small portion of watch models with Chinese mechanical movements that you might want to steer clear of.
On top of delivering solid durability standards, Invicta’s Japanese and Swiss-made movements provide good precision for the price. In the case of quartz watches, you can expect a fairly standard accuracy of +/- 15 seconds/month. Depending on the caliber, automatic models can lose from 15 to 25 seconds daily.
Al Invicta timepieces, as long as they are purchased from an authorized retailer or Invicta’s own store, come with a Limited Three-Year Warranty period.
The warranty covers all manufacturing defects related to the hands, dial, and watch movement. Naturally, the guarantee policy won’t work if an issue with the watch has arisen due to your own negligence, bad service, or normal wear and tear.
Learn more by clicking here.
Invicta Watch Collections
At the time of writing, the lengthy list of Invicta watch collections includes 43 separate lines. Clearly, we won’t be discussing each one here – it would take a full day.
Instead, I’ve picked 7 best-selling collections so you could get a proper feel about the brand. It’s worth noting that many collections might have different names but they share an equal or very similar style. I tried to pick those that sell well and are distinct from one another.
Below find a brief description of all top 7 collections, as well as 1 best-selling model from each.
Invicta Pro Diver Collection
By far, it’s Invicta’s most popular collection. If you’re on the lookout for a budget diving watch for well under $200, you will find many of the Pro Diver models appealing.
Clearly, the vast majority of Pro Diver watch models have been inspired by the iconic design of Rolex Submariner. If you’re a fan of comment-worthy homages, you might struggle to pick just one watch from the collection.
As the name suggests, all watches are professional divers, meaning they are suitable for professional marine activities such as scuba diving (but not saturation diving). They come with a 20 ATM/200m water-resistance rating and screw-down crown and casebacks for maximum security.
If you’re looking for Invicta divers capable of saturation diving, have a look at the SubAqua collection.
To measure the elapsed time underwater, all Pro Diver models are equipped with a unidirectional bezel.
Because of the strong Rolex Submariner influence, most models are stainless steel watches. The 89260B model you see below is a great representative of the Pro Diver collection. You can read a detailed Invicta Pro Diver review by clicking here.
Invicta Vintage Collection
Fan of old-school yet timeless designs? The Vintage collection has got you covered.
Invicta Vintage models use the Invicta IV logo dating back from the 1830s when the company was founded. Another distinct feature is definitely the exhibition casebacks, allowing you to peek at the workings of the mechanical movements. Some models also use skeletonized dials.
To add to the vintage feel, many timepieces boast antique-finished dials, Roman numerals, and leather bands. All models come with a 50m water-resistance rating, making them a safe choice for short recreational swimming sessions.
Invicta Angel Collection
Called “The Diving Messengers of Time”, the Angel collection by Invicta is one designed exclusively with ladies in mind.
All watches present a super feminine design, oftentimes adorned with crystals and eye-catching symbols on the face. At the same time, the line is also rich in minimalistic dress watches.
Invicta Angel collection harmonizes a perfect balance between time and style, providing you with a huge choice of watches for any mood, occasion or taste. The vast majority of these watches are all-stainless steel although there are also a couple of models with leather straps.
Depending on the model, water-resistance varies between 30m (splashproof) and 100m. Below find a best-seller from the collection, Invicta Angel 21384.
Invicta Pocket Watch Collection
The aforementioned Vintage collection isn’t the only one that pays tribute to the good, old days.
Over the last few years, the American brand has re-launched a line of neat-looking pocket watches. Currently, it consists of just a few models but the number is likely to keep growing.
All but one model come with 47mm stainless steel cases and use scratch-resistant mineral crystal dials. As a testament to the vintage style, Invicta pocket watches boast skeletonize dials.
The vast majority of models use Chinese mechanical movements. An exception to the rule is the Subaqua model which runs on a Japanese quartz movement. The watch also holds an advantage as far as water-resistance is concerned. It has a 100m WR rating whereas all other models are only splashproof (30m).
Invicta Artist Series Collection
Even though many Invicta collections scream adventurous and futuristic style, not one comes even close to the Artist Series.
A trademark of this collection is the ultra-colorful and graphic-rich dials as well as uniquely-shaped cases. In the example below, the case resembles a skull but there are other variations available. On top of the distinct graphics and shapes, a large chunk of the collection boasts skeletonized dials and transparent casebacks.
The watches are styled both by Invicta’s own designers as well as contributing artists from outside the brand. Looking at all the models from the series, we could say the dials are the artists’ canvas.
On the waterproofing front, all timepieces from the series come with a 10 ATM / 100m WR rating.
If far-fetched design and uniquely-shaped watches are your things, the Artist Series provides a lot of options.
Invicta Force Collection
If I were to point to just one Invicta collection with the highest durability standards, it would probably be this one. Invicta Force watches are built to last in all types of environments, from land to air to sea.
Powered by automatic or professional quartz chronograph movements housed within surgical-grade stainless steel, these watches can take a beating.
The masculine collection is full of timepieces with oversized, tough-looking cases perfectly suited for a man’s wrist. The vast majority of Force models come with chronograph sub-dials, making them a great choice for people who are into sports and outdoor activities.
This collection offers watches with all types of bands, from polyurethane to stainless steel to leather. All timepieces come with a 100m WR rating. Below find a favorite of mine, Invicta Force 19251.
Invicta Aviator Collection
The last distinct Invicta collection I wanted to run the rule over is the Aviator.
The line was created for those who love cruising the skies. All the watches in the collection carry designs honoring aeronautical graphic history, although you shouldn’t mistake those with standard “pilot” watches. Typically for Invicta, the style is one of a kind and not on offer with any other brand.
Aviator is another collection designed solely with men in mind. All watches are equipped with chronograph sub-dials. Depending on the model, the number of sub-dials varies between 2 and 3.
Just like the Force collection, Aviator watches are available with a vast selection of bands ranging from rubber to stainless steel to leather. All models, just like Aviator 17203 you see below, come with a 10 ATM / 100m water-resistance rating.
Is Invicta a Luxury Brand?
Whereas the biggest sympathizers like to call the brand an affordable luxury, it’s only fair to say that Invicta is far from a luxury watchmaker. And any honest watch reviewer will admit the same.
Luxurious-looking? Okay, that’s more like it. At times, these watches look way above the price tag, and in some cases, are assembled from materials used by the very best in the industry.
For example, watches in the Signature Pro collection use anti-reflective, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass. Some SubAqua models boast a 500m water-resistance which also is a sign of higher-end workmanship when it comes to diving watches.
Nevertheless, any watch company that offers a large chunk of watches with basic quartz movements and sometimes uses Chinese mechanical calibers will never be classified as “luxury”. Until Invicta decides to up the game in this field, its status in the hierarchy will remain the same – a low-to-mid budget watch brand providing decent value for money but nothing that would make your jaw drop.
What Is the Best Invicta Watch?
It would be really difficult to point to just one Invicta model. That’s because it’s such a delicate and subjective matter.
Different folks will find different watches more appealing. If you’re looking for an elegant watch for more formal occasions, consider getting a timepiece with stainless steel or leather bands. Good collections to have a look at would be Vintage or Pro Diver. For ladies, check out the Angel line.
If you’re a professional scuba diver on the lookout for an affordable diving watch, give SubAqua a chance. Some of these watches come with 500m water-resistance and are suitable for saturation diving.
If we were to pick the best Invicta watch simply by looking at the number of 5-star ratings, it would be Invicta Pro Diver 30021. In fact, from all Invicta collections, it seems that the Pro Diver line is by far the highest-rated.
Where Are Invicta Watches Made?
There’s nothing wrong with Invicta being proud of its Swiss heritage. But are Invicta watches Swiss-made, as the company would lead you to believe?
They are – but not all of them.
Just so you know: legally speaking, a watch can boast a Swiss-Made label only if its movement is produced, assembled and inspected in Switzerland, and it represents 60% of the watch’s manufacturing cost.
Whereas Switzerland is still home to a large portion of manufacturing, some watches are produced and assembled in Asia using Japanese or Chinese elements, especially when it comes to the choice of movements.
More often than not, a Swiss-made Invicta watch will set you back more than that using movements from Japan or China. A good example is the Invicta Pro Diver watch line that has both Swiss-made and Asian-made models. The difference in pricing is there for all to see – just compare the Japanese-made Pro Diver 89260B with the 99370B model that uses Swiss automatic movement. A $200 price difference is surely a sign of varying quality.
What Are Invicta Special Edition Watches?
Over the last few years, Invicta has been priding itself on collaborations with popular people and enterprises. A result of this is many special edition watch lines.
Quite frankly, the brand has hit the bullseye with the idea. Apart from just looking extremely cool, these watches are racking up huge amounts of sales mostly generated by the fans of people and movies Invicta has struck collaborations with.
Currently, Invicta is offering special edition watches focused on popular themes such as DC Comics, Marvel, or Star Wars. American football legend Jason Taylor or the former NBA superstar Shaquil O’Neill also have their own lines of Invicta timekeepers.
Because of the massive success of all special edition collections, we can expect new to be released soon.
Where to Buy Invicta Watches?
Although Invicta is not a brand counterfeited as often as the likes of Rolex or Casio, to say that there’s no risk in coming across a replica watch would be a lie. Especially online.
If you don’t plan on shopping at one of the tens of physical Invicta stores across the country, you might want to know about the safest online destinations.
The first obvious choice is the Invicta official website. It offers the widest range of watches and with a newsletter sign-up, you can enjoy free delivery on your first order.
Probably the biggest issue I have with it is the good, old snake oil salesman strategy. Products on the site seem to be forever heavily discounted because of the inflated MRPs at which these watches were never listed in the first place. Hence, you can regularly see “discounts” of even 80% off. That’s a tactic that I might expect at the likes of Aliexpress or Wish, not one of the best-selling watch companies in the US. All prejudices aside, the Invicta Stores review score is pretty high.
Your second-best bet would be popular marketplaces like Amazon or eBay. Both offer legit Invicta watches at prices oftentimes lower than the official store. When buying from either, make sure to pick watches with good ratings and from trusted sellers. It wouldn’t hurt to double-check with the seller whether the watch comes with the same manufacturer’s warranty.
Finally, there’s a huge selection of Invicta timepieces on Jomashop. It’s one of the most respected and reliable online watch/jewellery stores in the United States. All Invictas listed there are authentic and come with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Are Invicta Watches a Good Investment?
If “a good investment” means delivering a few years of solid performance, then the answer to this question is yes (although it will depend on the specific model and your budget).
If you’re considering buying an Invicta watch for a nice resale value in the future, simply don’t.
Are Invicta watches worth buying? Yes, in most cases they certainly are.
As good as certain Invicta watches can be, there are still some question marks regarding the quality control of the brand. Also, Invicta doesn’t produce the movements in-house, meaning they are unlikely to maintain the value over the years, never mind increase it.
If you’re looking for an affordable brand for investment, consider the likes of Seiko. Citizen timepieces are also a good bet. These two Japanese brands have some discontinued watch lines to their name which naturally is a big factor in determining the resale price of pre-owned timepieces.
In contrast, an Invicta watch is likely to lose a fair share of its value the very moment you put it on your wrist. That’s because the company is one of the leaders when it comes to the number of newly-released watches every year. People that say the brand focuses more on quantity than quality might actually have a point.
Invicta Watches Review Conclusion: Is it a Good Brand?
That was quite a long read. But a brand that’s on the lips of everyone (whether for good or bad reasons) deserves having a pretty good look at it.
I’m pretty positive that today’s Invicta watch brand review has helped you decide whether these watches are what you’re currently looking for. To conclude, let’s once and for all settle the nagging question that inspired the article in the first place: is Invicta a good watch brand?
Considering the most important aspect of the review, the quality-price ratio, Invicta watches provide enough value for money to consider it a solid watch brand.
Contrary to what some critics would like you to believe, the vast majority of Invicta watches deliver on the brand’s main promise – providing well-crafted timepieces at price points affordable for all.
In terms of the durability and movement standards, the brand doesn’t fare badly at all compared to some watchmakers in the same price category.
In fact, in some aspects, for example, the movement quality, it provides a surprisingly good value. Whether quartz or automatic, Invicta watches use calibers from quality manufacturers such as Seiko, Miyota, or Ronda. The relatively low prices of automatic watches with Swiss or Japanese movements is undeniably a strong pull.
A major plus is also an incredibly wide selection of styles and designs. From sports to dress to aviator watches, Invicta has it all. On the other hand, the fact that Invicta releases literally hundreds of new models every year means most of them are unlikely to hold any value. If you’re looking for watches for investment, give Invicta a pass.
Final Say: When buying an Invicta watch, you shouldn’t expect to get a time-telling powerhouse. It’s a low-budget brand that in most cases won’t set you back more than $100-150. If your expectations are too high, tamp them down immediately and you’re unlikely to be disappointed with what an Invicta watch has to offer.
If you’re new to the brand and decided to get your first Invicta timepiece, feel free to let me know which one and why in the comment section below.
And if you already have some experience with the brand, feel free to share it as well. In your opinion, is Invicta a good brand? Or do you disagree with what’s been said in the article? If so, why? Let’s interact!