Top positive review
Yes it's a copy, but tastefully done and a quality timepiece for the price.
December 12, 2017
Let's just put this out there: the Invicta Pro Diver is an "homage" to (read: shameless copy of) the Rolex Submariner. About the only thing that prevents it from being an outright counterfeit watch is that Invicta has the decency to put its name on the watch dial as well as engraved on the case.
But in spite of that, indeed partially as a consequence of that, this is a very handsome, solid watch. It's not some quartz-powered, pot-metal knockoff. Notably, it is powered by the well-regarded, mid-range Seiko NH35A automatic watch movement. It has a solid reputation for reliability and accuracy. It features manual winding and hacking, both nice upgrades from the entry level Seiko 5 field watch I bought for about the same price. This quality movement is rarely found on time pieces retailing for less than $300.
The magnified date complication is nicely executed and the iridescent blue dial plays off the light beautifully. The uni-directional bezel is a marvel of precision. 120 clicks - not one more or one less - will bring it precisely back to the 12 o'clock position. An easy to overlook feature is the quick set date change, which means you don't have to move the hour hand twice around the dial to advance the date. The trick is to be aware that the screw down crown has three distinct detents. The first allows hand-winding of the main spring. The third is for setting the time. But there's a middle setting that's easy to miss if you don't know it's there. It allows you to change the date with a counter-clockwise twist.
One other note about the crown. This is a diver's watch and in order to achieve that 200m water resistance rating, the crown stem has internal seals that engage only when the crown is fully screwed down. Hence the term "screw down crown". This feature is standard for just about every true diver's watch on the market. I'm noticing that some of the less favorable Amazon user reviews complain of water infiltration, sometimes with little more than splashing around in shallow water. Given the way this watch is built and my own experience with it (showering daily, fresh and salt water swimming), that's frankly difficult to believe. *Unless* the user neglects to screw that crown all the way in. In which case water will most definitely penetrate the case. For non-divers, that extra step might seem like a needless complication for an everyday watch. Which is a fair concern. If you think that level of user engagement will be too much for you, my advice is twofold: 1) you'll be much happier with a non-diver mechanical watch and 2) don't ever buy a convertible.
And finally there's the transparent exhibition case back. allowing you to see the inside of that intricate, jeweled mechanism. An honest to gosh mechanical movement is a rarity in modern, mass market wrist watches. Position that engraved rotor until you can see a tiny gear that's a blur of movement. Look closer and you'll see it's rapidly switching rotational direction. That's the balance wheel. It incrementally apportions the stored tension on the main spring though the escapement to the rest of the clock train; running the hour, minute and second hands, as well as the date complication. Invicta allows the owner the sublime pleasure of viewing that exquisite mechanism beating away - hour after hour, day after day, year after year.
Circling back to my initial point: you need to understand that watch aficionados sneer at this Invicta because it's such an obvious copy of the Rolex. And to be fair, they probably have a point that if you're going to hew this closely to the Submariner format, it would have been nice if Invicta had tossed in a little design variation just to show some semblance of originality.
But all that is largely irrelevant if you're buying this watch to please yourself. Because here's the thing: this is a legitimately attractive, high quality wrist watch. Most of us - myself included - will never be able to afford a Rolex. But the Invicta gives me a tremendous amount of personal satisfaction owning and wearing a fine mechanical timepiece. If you're on a budget and out to impress your affluent watch snob friends, this isn't the watch for you. But if you're on a budget and out to impress yourself, this thing is a bargain.