INVICTA Sub


A Pictorial Invicta Adventure...

by Paul D.


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 Subs


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 looks like.

8926:

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 a purchase.


A Modest Review of the
Invicta 89xx Sub Series

by Ray Haeffele

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 zone.

Movement

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.

General

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:

Conclusion

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 gold-tone model.



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