If you are looking for a dive-style watch that looks a lot like a Rolex Submariner but costs less than $200, then you will have more than likely come across the Invicta Pro Diver and as you are reading this, it has obviously got your attention but should you buy one?
I’m going to take a deep look into this budget diver and give my experiences as I’ve owned one for over 5 years and still wear it to this day.
Just for reference, I’m only going to be looking at the black bezel and face Rolex homage version of the Pro Diver.
Invicta Pro Diver Specs
Many reviews focus on the 8926OB, which is the most popular version of the watch but the Pro Diver actually comes in a couple of different sizes but as I focus on slimmer wrists, I’ll only be looking at 40mm and the 37mm.
|40mm Pro Diver
|37mm Pro Diver
|Case Dimensions (diameter x lug to lug x depth in mm)
|40 x 48 x 14
|37 x 47 x 11.5
|NH35A (Mechanical) or PC32 (Quartz)
Invicta doesn’t offer the 37mm with a mechanical movement but I can’t see why as they do a 36mm ladies pro diver with an NH35A movement, strange move by Invicta on that one.
The pro diver sports a stainless steel case with a mixture of brushed and polished finishes, which is done to a good quality considering the price point but one thing that many won’t like and I’m not a big fan of either is the engraved Invicta on the side of the case.
It just looks a bit tacky to me and while the letters do have a very crisp finish, it does feel a little bit rough when you run your finger over it.
When it comes to the case, there are two notable differences between the Automatic and Quartz versions, which are:
|Automatic Pro Diver
|Quartz Pro Diver
I’m not sure why both versions don’t have a screw-down crown as it is an important component in water resistance, which does make you question whether they both have 200m water resistance?
I have the quartz version, so can’t comment on what the screw-down crown feels like but the push-down feels solid with two noticeable clicks when pulling it out to adjust the movement and the crown guards provide a good level of protection without impeding the use of the crown.
I do get the different case backs as the automatic is a much better-looking movement and nearly always comes with the yellow branded Invicta rotor and the quartz is well, a quartz, which aren’t exactly aesthetically pleasing to look at.
The 40mm version has basically the same dimensions as the famed Submariner and wears well on the wrist, I can even pull it off on my very skinny 6-inch wrist but the 37mm does wear better for me.
Taking a lot of inspiration from the Submariner, the black version of the Pro Diver comes with a plain black dial with a matt/satin finish but there are some limited edition Pro Divers that have textured dials and some of the colored options come with a sunburst dial, which does look quite nice.
Inspiration from the Submariner can also be seen with the hands, hour markers and bezel.
The only real difference between the hands is the second hand on the Pro Diver is the Invicta logo, which some might not like but each to their own.
One thing that is poor on the Pro Diver is the lume, now it isn’t to bad on the hands but on the hour markers it is very poor, not only in strength but also how long it stays illuminated and the lume pip on my bezel also fell off after just over a year.
Talking of bezels, the bezel on the Pro Diver works well but is a little stiff and annoyingly doesn’t quite align with the 12 o’clock marker on mine and the aluminum insert has held up well, with no visible scratches considering my watch is 5 years old.
With both the 40mm and 37mm, you can choose a scalloped or coin-edge bezel, I went for the coin-edge as it stays true to the sub-homage style but the scalloped bezel does also look very nice.
The dial is protected with a mineral crystal, which is to be expected at this price point and while it is not as scratch-resistant as a sapphire crystal, it is still perfectly fine for this watch and it isn’t affected by sunlight as the watch is still easily readable when worn outside on a sunny day.
The only thing I’m not a fan of is the cyclops for the date but I don’t really like these on any watches to be honest but the magnification is good and mine is pretty well centered over the date, which is nice.
One of the things that I was very impressed with on the Pro Diver was the quality of the bracelet, now it isn’t going to be of the same quality as a Submariner but considering the price point, it is very good.
This is because outside of the hollow end links, the rest of the bracelet is made up of solid links that are finished to a good quality as there are no sharp or rough bits and the mix of brushed ends and polished centers also looks quite nice.
Some people weren’t very impressed with the clasp as it is a click to close/open clasp with a fold-over safety as some prefer the push-button style for opening but my watch has a nice solid click and has always felt secure on my wrist and has never opened.
Overall, I was very impressed with the quality of the bracelet and clasp, especially considering the price of the watch and the quality of the bracelets on similar-priced timepieces, it was also very easy to adjust as the solid links with pins made removing links nice and easy and the micro-adjustments in the clasp mean you can get it fitting just right.
As I’ve already said, the Pro Diver comes with two different types of movement and I’ll cover these separately below:
Pro Diver Automatic Movement
The automatic Pro Diver comes with the Seiko NH35A movement, which is a reliable and fairly accurate movement and the ones used in the Pro Diver are made in Malaysia and has the following specs:
- 41-hour power reserve if fully wound
- Bi-directional rotor
- 24 jewels
- Hour, minute and date
- Sweeping second hand
If you look through the case-back on the auto Pro Diver, you will see that the rotor wheel is yellow, which is the signature Invicta color and it will say USA Product Designed but don’t be fooled, this doesn’t mean that the watch or movement is made in the US as this is just a sticker on the rotor.
There isn’t really much more to say about the NH35A as it is just a solid automatic movement for lower-priced pieces such as the Pro Diver but as I said in the specs section, this isn’t available in the 37mm, which is a little bit annoying.
Pro Diver Quartz Movement
Once again, Invicta has gone for a Seiko movement with the PC32A for their quartz offerings and this is the same movement that is used on both the 40mm and 37mm.
While it doesn’t offer the sweeping second hand that you get with the automatic, it is still a reliable and reasonably accurate movement that offers:
- Minute, hour, second and date functionality
As mentioned earlier, the quartz Pro Divers come with a closed back as the movement really isn’t much to look at but one thing I do like is that the tick is quiet but annoyingly the second-hand doesn’t align very well with the minute and hour markers and if you like perfection, then this might not be the movement for you.
Invicta Pro Diver Pros and Cons
A lot of people reading this will probably come straight to this section, so let’s look at the pros and cons of the Invicta Pro Diver:
Should You Buy One?
So, should you buy an Invicta Pro Diver?
For the price, the Pro Diver is definitely worth considering, especially if you want the look of a Submariner but haven’t got a few thousand dollars to spend on one.
I would recommend going for the 40mm automatic version as it offers a couple of advantages over the quartz, including:
- A screw-down crown
- See-through case back and the auto looks quite nice
- Sweeping second hand
I just wish they did the auto in the 37mm as that is the one I would have gone for but after 5 years of ownership, it still looks good and works well, it has even had some comments along the way and I don’t regret buying it.