Sunday, August 06, 2006

Invicta Scuba Diver 500 (3076)

I am almost ashamed to admit it, but this watch came courtesy of ShopNBC. T is also an Invicta. For many WIS’, this is anathema, as Invicta and their partner ShopNBC, or as they are semi-affectionately known, “Invictim” and “SlopNBC”, are so named due to their reputation as cold businessmen with little or no concern for QC as long as they can move 5000 units. Reports of defective or DOA watches issued from ShopNBC appear repeatedly on many of the watch boards. Factor in the fact that I had just purchased an OTV item, which had arrived DOA, (disposition still open), the retailer’s less than stellar reputations, and it is easy to understand my hesitation to pull the trigger on this one. On the vendor’s side was the sub $300 price tag, which only got better with a promo code and the watch’s potential as a legitimate 500m water resistant, Swiss motor supplied auto. I pulled the trigger.

The Specs:

Bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet
Movement: Swiss automatic movement
Crystal: Sapphire crystal
Crown: Screw down crown
Clasp: Deployant clasp with locking closure
Bracelet Measurements: 9"L x 25mm
Case Measurements: 44mm
Water Resistance: 50 ATM - 500 meters - 1,650 ft
Model Number: IN3076

Nothing left to do but sit back and wait for the watch to arrive. A few days later, the FedEx man came a calling with my package. I opened it carefully and much to my relief found a hefty, well-built deep diver. I wound it, set it and let it run, not forgetting my recent experience with a watch arriving in non-operating condition. After it kept time and I had a chance to examine it, which I did intently, I decide to size it. At that moment, it became clear to me just how substantial this watch’s bracelet truly is.

The bracelet is SEL 316L, lightly brushed, with a width of 25mm and does not taper down to the clasp. The beefy links are held solidly with split pins, which proved to be a bit off a pain to get out. In other words, yes, I did use a hammer to size the bracelet in this watch!! !! That being said, this is a very solid high quality bracelet that infuses the watch with a sense of presence. This is the sort of bracelet you would want to spin over your knuckles for use in hand-to-hand combat. It has a lightly brushed finish that adds to its purpose built appearance.


The case is a 44mm slab of metal with crown guards protecting the screw down crown. It is branded on the 9 o’clock side of the case, which many WIS disprove of. I am unsure at this point how I feel about this tag so left by the watch behemoth. The case shape is round, somewhat bulbous in a way I find reminiscent of the ORIS divers. In most instances, a case size of 44mm would be on the large size, but this case almost appears a bit small when fitted to a bracelet of this magnitude. The caseback screws in with eight fasteners and is nicely etched with the watch’s specifics and a scuba diver in descent.

I managed to dislodge one of these screws my first day with the watch. I did play racquetball and go swimming the first day I had the watch and it may have been loose when shipped but either of the two activities that day could have been the culprit as racquetball is racquetball and I was performing aerial flops from our local pool’s high dive. I replaced the screw and have decide this is a no harm no foul event as I really should have checked the screws upon receipt. Actually in retrospect, a new watch should be checked by the vendor,not the buyer. Needless to say they are all tight at this point. I have no idea how this might effect the claimed 500 meter water resistance and don’t plan on finding out. The watch was watertight even with only seven of the eight screws.

The watch has a classic re/black bezel around a black dial, which is more a deep charcoal then true black. The charcoal color give s the dial some texture and depth. The chapter ring is marked with second and sub-second indices and has luminous pips every five minutes with 12 having two pips. The applied markers are luminescent, plump and rounded at their ends. Lume is adequate but not out of this world. The illuminated face is pleasing though. The date is a white window at three o’clock. This watch would look great with a red window date as its dept resistance is stated on the dial in red lettering. The hands are wonderful, in my opinion. They are swords with the hour hand being split by silver edging and the second had is a long tipped arrow with a red tip. It moves with the seamless sweep of an ETA 2824-2. All this is, of course, covered by a sapphire crystal.

Now, to the movement.

Allegedly, this watch has a plastic movement holder, which I find unconscionable in a watch with the supposed retail price of this one. In fact, I hate plastic movement retainers as a cost savings measure in any watch!! Realistically, this isn’t the end of the world, but I really expect it only in cheap rip offs and homages. Perhaps Invicta wishes to troll in those waters. It is of course the old chestnut ETA 2824-2, which needs no introduction to mechanical watch fans. The movement is said to be gilded (whatever that means), and again, I haven’t ripped open the case to verify or disprove since I don’t really give two sh*ts. I know this movement to be reliable and accurate and find this one to run about +7 per day. I am satisfied with this performance from the movement.

Overall, I think this is a great package at the price I paid for it. I would not wish to spend much more than that as the watch is Swiss movement only and is put together in Asia most likely. This is not a kiss of death, merely a fact, which keeps this watch from ever really attaining more than a purpose, built tool watch with little cachet. Not a biggie for me. I find the watch extremely comfortable although it weighs a ton. This watch has a lot of presence and looks rough and refined in context.

This is probably the only Invicta I will ever own as I prefer to spend my hard earned with companies that have more soul and love watches like we WIS do. Invicta seems too soulless a conglomerate to bother with, but I am glad I got this piece at its bargain buster price.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I own many Invicta watches purchased from ShopNBC including the Scuba Diver #3076. I don't know why you are so adverse to the Invicta name or quality. As I have over 52 watches in my collection, with varying brands/costs, I do believe many of the Invicta watch brand models to offer excellent quality and value for the price.

Ramón said...

I like much this Invicta.
Probably it will be my close buy.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Paxman...great post. I bought this watch as well and echo your comments. Good for the money. I am worried about the 500M's though :)

Question for you...do you know where I might find a rubber band for this watch? I would like the option to wear a rubber band and leave the heavy band at home.

Anonymous said...

one more thing...feel free to email me at gsanders@sortismarketing.com directly about the rubber band. Figured I would ask another Wisconsin guy :) Go Badgers!

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cagedruss said...

I do not have this particular watch but I have other Invictas and I am pretty happy for the most part. I did not buy them with the notion that they are well built swiss pieces but that the styles are very cool and affordable. I have had reasonably good luck with all of them but have been turned off lately because of ShopNBC and their business practices. I believe the trend now days are just what you mentioned with cheaper parts and labor. It really is to bad and that just makes the shopper to be more vigilant in their purchases.

Anonymous said...

Invicta sucks! Face it.

Anonymous said...

I have this same watch. I like it very much. SHOP-NBC is not a good company to buy from. They don't stand behind what they sell. I have about 20 Invicta's and for the most part they have been good watches.

Steve Martin said...

I have this same watch. It is well built and keeps great time. I wore it for two years collecting marine tropical. I have had it down to 125 feet, over 100 times. I lived in Sugar Loaf Key and dove at least 20 days out of the month. I don't like shopnbc, they screwed me twice. Invicat rocks with this watch.--Treasures of the Sea

Jim Marven said...

Is it worth buying an invicta watch?
Invicta Women's Watch