The Famous INVICTA Sub
A lot has been written about the remarkable
Invicta Sub on TimeZone over the past year. Quite a few TimeZoners
have have aquired one or more of these watches, and the general
consensus is that they are very good value for money, and a fun
timepiece to boot.
One thing I have noticed, however, is that
whilst a lot has been said about the watches, would-be purchasers
have had to rely on written descriptions, and the somewhat poor
pictures on the various dealers' websites. As I own 3 of these
little beauties, I will attempt to give a more detailed look
at the marque. I will not go into much detail, as this has been
provided in other posts. Rather, I will illustrate both the old
and new Sub models, and point out their main differences.
A small collection of Invicta
There are 2 types of Invicta Sub. The older, original models
are represented above by the 8235 & 8237 models.
8235 & 8237: these
are the same basic watch, the 8237 being a two-tone model. Note
that these older 82xx models have chromed base metal cases. In
the picture above I have replaced the bracelet of the 8235 model
with a waterproof Hamilton leather band, just to see what it
this is the newer model, and is much more of a 'Submariner' lookalike.
This is the all stainless steel version. It is also available
in two-tone, and gold-tone.
A closer look at the watches
There are quite a few differences between
the old and new models. The new 8926 model has a differently
shaped case (more like the Submariner), as well as a bigger
dial and bezel. The dial of the 8926 has an applied silver 'Invicta'
logo, as opposed to the older, coloured printed version. The
dial printing on the 8926 also attests to the increased water
resistance rating - 200m as against 100m for the older models.
The hands of the 8926 have been altered to more closely conform
to the Submariner styling, but they appear to be 'flatter' and
of lower quality than those of the older models. Another aspect
in which the models differ is the crown:
Comparison of crowns
As you can see, the newer 8926 model has
a much larger crown reminiscent of the Submariner. In my experience
the new crown affords a more precise feel to the quick-set date
& time setting functions.
A very welcome quality improvement has
been made in the bracelet of the new 8926 model. The older models
have a bracelet of folded link manufacture. This was quite adequate,
but was a little out of keeping with the quality of finish of
the rest of the watch. The 8296 model has a bracelet formed from
solid SS ingots, and is significantly more substantial than the
previous type. Both bracelet types are very comfortable.
Comparison of SS Bracelets
Both the new and old models have the same
flip-lock clasp. This is a pressed SS affair with the Invicta
logo engraved on the outside of the clasp. It locks securely
on all of my watches.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Invicta Sub, apart
from it's price, is the SS display back. All models share the
same Japanese 21 jewel Miyota automatic movement, which appears
to be both reliable and accurate. The display back crystal is
mineral glass, as is the front crystal.
The Display Back
Whilst similar, the two models do have
some apparent differences. The newer 8926 model lacks the black
outer surround to the crystal, but has gained the Invicta logo
printed across the crystal. Personally I feel this gets in the
way of the view, and I much prefer the older model in this respect.
Neither old nor new models have any sort of finish applied to
the movement, but at the price this is understandable.
I hope this has given a more complete view
of the Invicta Sub, and is of some assistance to anyone contemplating
Review of the
Invicta 89xx Sub Series
Case, Bracelet and Dial
All Invicta Subs are provided with stainless
steel cases and bracelets. Though the long term durability of
the two-tones and gold-tones isn't known yet, if there is wear
of the yellow metal at least the stainless steel base metal will
not be subject to tarnishing as brass would be.
Invicta Subs are fitted with a screw-down
diver-type crown, which nestles between hewn-from-the-case protective
shoulders. The case tube appears to be "white" in coloration
suggesting stainless steel. The watches are rated for 200M/660
ft. water resistance. Whether an Invicta owner would use one
of these ~$60.00 (U.S.) watches for snorkeling or SCUBA use would
be a decision only he/she could make. It would certainly be prudent
though, to carry along a trusted diving watch as backup for the
initial several dives.
The Invicta Subs have an exhibition back
and it, as well as the dial crystal, are both mineral glass as
verified through the importer.The front crystal is supplied with
a magnifying lens. It has at best about half the magnifying power
of the Cyclops lens used by Rolex. The bracelet supplied with
the 89xx series is a quite well-done look alike of the Rolex
Oyster bracelet. Invicta Subs use the standard 20mm lug width
common to the Rolex Sub/Sea Dwellers. Unusual for this price
point is the inclusion of solid stainless steel ingot links -
including the central links. The clasp is a servicible variation
of the Rolex "Fliplock" style. The Invicta clasp does
not have the special concealed fold-out extension links for use
with a wet suit. There are a total of three removable links of
the pushed-in pin type. Additionally the cover piece of the clasp
has seven adjusting holes. Short of Munchkins or Bigfoot, most
people should find a workable adjustment for their individual
wrist size. The outer links are brushed finished, while the central
links are polished. The lateral ends of the outer links are also
polished. The "head" links attached to the lugs are
pressed metal, as is the clasp assembly.
The dial, available in black, blue, and
white, depending on model, is a very close copy of the Rolex
dial. There are applied circular markers except at the 12:00
o'clock (applied downward pointing "arrowhead"), 3:00
o'clock (aperture for date wheel) and both 6:00 o'clock and 9:00
o'clock positions (applied stick markers). Just below the 12:00
o'clock marker is the applied Invicta "winged Swiss Cross"
logo. All in all a very worthy appearance belying its humble
price point. Luminous coating is applied to the hands and markers.
This coating is of the "retained energy" type that
is activated by light exposure. The duration of glow is on the
brief side, not showing any useable readability beyond an hour
at most in the dark. The minute and hour hands are a nearly perfect
copy in shape and size to those supplied with the Rolex Sub/Sea
Dweller. The seconds hand is supplied with the luminous blob
as Rolex uses, but the rear counterweight of the Rolex seconds
hand was not included on that of the Invicta. The bezel includes
an almost identically sized and graduated unidirectional Rolex
style ring for timing dives, ascensions, or, with a bit of ingenuity
on the part of the owner, a means to keep track of a second time
The movement supplied with the Invicta
89xx Sub series is a Miyota 8215 21 jewel unidirectional winding
automatic. The Miyota Company is a wholely owned subsidiary of
Citizen Watch Company. Indeed, it's been brought to this observer's
attention that there is an identical Citizen movement (caliber
number not known by this observer) that differs only by the brand
name inscribed/printed on the winding rotor. There've been a
number of owner threads that these Miyota movements typically
settle into a daily variation of 10 sec/day or less. These movements
are not adjusted for position, temperature, or isochronism, yet,
on the wrist, are quite consistent. It appears that regulation,
if necessary, can be accomplished easily with a small jeweler's
screwdriver at the balance bridge. The plate and bridges appear
to be micro-sandblasted. There is no other visual embellishment.
The balance is smooth, gilt, and likely glucydur based, given
the movement's generally consistent accuracy. There is a shock
protection mechanism at the balance, but does not appear to be
the familiar Incabloc type. It may be propriatary to Citizen/Miyota.
The power reserve is in excess of forty hours. When manually
wound, the sound and feel is smooth and light. The beat frequency
is 21,600 A/h.
The Invicta Subs are supplied with a subtle,
but nicely done sprung-hinge hard case covered in two-tone brown
vinyl, with the lid padded. The watch rests inside on a removable
vinyl covered pillow. For whatever reason, there is no instruction
manual or warranty certificate or address. There is a warranty
card, and the Invicta warranty is one year on the movement only.
Through great and exhaustive effort and expense on this observer's
part, the warranty service address is presented herewith:
Asiatic-American Service company
2227 North Federal Highway
Hollywood, FL 33020
To date the lowest price for Invicta Subs
is online through "ValueNet Superstore". Again through
intensive and exhaustive efforts, this observer has spared no
expense nor effort to bring you, the crazed Invicta wannabe,
the URL to indulge your most depraved fantasy:
This observer has yet to encounter any
negative experiences with the functional aspects of the Invicta
Subs in the 89xx series. The general concensus of Rolex owners
who've ordered one of the Invicta Subs is that they're amazed
at how much Invicta did right when compared to the Rolex reference.
The only negative comment about the appearance related items
in the Invicta was one owner's experiencing of flaking of the
yellow metal plating on the bracelet of either a two-tone or