How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

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How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by conjurer » October 30th 2012, 9:09am

Remember the old days of driving, when American cars ruled the turnpikes, and all the Japanese and German car drivers saw the big old grille of some Detroit rolling iron in their rear-view mirror, panicked, and got the hell out of the way?

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Imported from Detroit! It can't get worse than this. Can it?


Well, yes. Yes, it can--because today I'm posting impressions of the horological world's version of an elephantine Chrysler, the Invicta Ocean Ghost:

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Now, before the Invicta fans start screaming "hater!", let me say right off the bat that I've owned a few Invictas in the past, particularly the classic 40mm Pro Divers, which I once called a superior watch to the vaunted Orient Mako. I owned two of these, both with the workhorse Miyota 8215 automatic movement, and they were probably the best made, around $100 Rolex Sub homages out there. I gifted both away, one to a friend who still wears it every day, and another to my brother-in-law, who killed it inside of six months.

Unfortunately, while Invicta still makes the Pro Diver, they've vanguarded the craze towards manhole-cover-sized timepieces, and the Ocean Ghost, which goes back a few years, was one of those early hockey-pucks for the wrist. I compare Invicta to the outsized Chrysler 300 because both huge products seem to appeal to the same demographics. My brother, a successful businessman in Chicago, bought a 300 because he wanted a big damn car that would be comfortable, project success, and really, really help destroy the planet. Since the 300 came out, it seemed to attact two types of people, either young gangstas who couldn't afford a Cadillac CTS or really old guys who wear Members Only jackets and always bought Chryslers in the past, and even though they hated the look of the 300, they're not about to buy anything else than a Chrysler, goddamn it.

In its way, the Ocean Ghost is the same--I see a lot of customers at my place of business sporting Invictas, and again, they seem to be young guys who wear a lot of sports jerseys and bandanas or really old guys in Members Only jackets.

I got this sample OG (Ocean Ghost, or Original Gangsta, get it??) from a good fellow on another forum for free; I'm not sure what these sell for, but I'd presume for around $100-125 US, which makes the OG fine fodder--err, a fine specimen for a review in this series, in which I look for an automatic watch for around a hundred bucks.

On to the OG (model #2299 according to the caseback). It's a big watch, no error--not as big as Invictas get, up to 65mm, which is of course insanity, but nobody's going to confuse this watch for a Rolex Air King:

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Ten-to-four the OGs case is 47mm, 51.5mm with the crown, and 15.75mm tall on the wrist. The lugs are 22mm. OK, so it's big; it's a little outside my comfort zone, but not too much. Here it is next to the pretty large OS300:

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So it's not so big that you'll be mistaken for a rap star or a mental patient by wearing it.

My first impressions on the look of it were good; it's an attractive watch, with a somewhat cool and original design--a couple of things that Invicta's not necessarily known for. The crystal (I'm assuming mineral, as the patented Invicta Flame-Fusion, whatever that is, is not stamped on the caseback) is slightly domed and clear, making the time easy to read. People seeing this on your wrist won't mistake it for a high-end knock-off, because it looks exactly what it is, an Invicta. In case you forget what brand you're wearing, this is taken care of, too:

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The dial is OK, too, with decent applied indices and nameplate:

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Under the hood is the Seiko 21 jewel NH25, which is the secondary market version of the 7S26, the same movement used in the superb Seiko Monster and in their less expensive Seiko 5 series. The old movement used to be the Miyota 8215, also 21 jewels. I really don't know if the NH25 is a step up or if Invicta is having issues sourcing the Miyota, but the Seiko is a decent, if low-end, automatic. Like the Miyota, it neither hacks nor handwinds, so you have to shake it to get it running, and then over the course of a few hours wearing it, you build it up to its full 40 hour or so power reserve. The movement, visible through the mineral exhibition back, it pretty spartan, although there is some geneva stripping on the rotor:

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Timekeeping seemed acceptable, running fast around 20 seconds a day, which is better than my Monster, which is closer to 30-40 seconds fast.

On to the bracelet, which is OK as well, although there's a lot of rattle. The endlinks are stamped and folded, which isn't unusual for this price point. The clasp, however, totally blows, and is the standard cheap Invicta foldover with safety. There's so much play in the clasp:

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That it's difficult to seat and close, and the safety is so loose that I actually had both accidently break open while wearing it, not once, but twice. This might have been because I had to wear the watch a bit tighter than I would have liked, so it didn't flop around on my wrist. The design of the case helps a bit, but here it is on my 6.75 inch wrist:

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Wearing the watch was, honestly, an ordeal. It is very uncomfortable on the wrist, with the untapered bracelet biting into my skin like a handcuff. Compared to the OS300 (which costs about 12 times the price of the OG) the Invicta was poorly balanced and fatiguing, even though the OS300 weighs slightly more. After my initial impressions of the attractiveness of the watch started wearing off, it looked blingy and more than slightly stupid on my wrist. I wore it for an eight hour shift to work and a couple of coworkers who are not WISs but know of my love of watches actually commented that the OG looked cheap and gangsterish, which isn't the sort of feedback you really want.

Another issue with the watch is the very cheap divers bezel, which sounds like a worn-out coffee grinder when rotated, and with the very low relief on the stamping, is difficult to read, even in bright light:

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Indeed, Invicta trumpets this watch as "Professional," on the dial and the caseback, with 200m WR. I'm not sure if they mean "Professional Diver," but if an original gangsta is going to take the Ocean Ghost diving with no backup timekeeping, he'd better make out his will and change his stage name to The Notorious DOA, because he's not going to survive to get gunned down later in a Las Vegas nightclub. The OG doesn't come within shouting distance of the ISO certs of a divewatch, particularly lume-wise, which is not notable:

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OS300 on the left, OG on the right.

In fact, the OG is the only "dive" watch I've worn that failed the Conjurer-quick-glance-inside-a-dark-car test so completely. It apparently uses the proprietary Invicta Tritnite lume, which in the best of circumstances really sucks.

So, what do we have here, then? The Ocean Ghost is really nothing more than bling jewelry. Like so many other watches I've reviewed in this series, it fails because Invicta tried to get too clever and cram too much into the dang thing. The watches I've written about in this series that were worth the money were simple, with decent fit and comfort (the Tiger Concept and the Orient) while others that failed (Stuhrling, Stauer and now Invicta) were cheap--in the bad sense--and uncomfortable.

After wearing the OG for a few days, I had to get the stupid thing off my wrist. It is really an appallingly bad watch, and one to avoid. Don't--I repeat, don't buy one of these.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by eddiea » October 30th 2012, 9:29am

Excellent review Image

Invicta makes overpriced fashion accessories for the taste challenged and bling prone...to think that some actually are compulsively hoarding (or pathological collecting) these pieces of shit, is disturbing.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by foghorn » October 30th 2012, 9:41am

I have a nearly 10 year OG with the Miyota movement and the proprietary Invicta under crystal coating (fog). It's a real peach and I wind it a few times every year whether I need to or not.



It's probably worth a lot of money considering it's provenance and if I ever go to Lost Wages, Nev. I'm bringing it to that fat fuck in the TV pawn shop and getting big bucks.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by BigCheez » October 30th 2012, 11:30am

Very fair and reasonable review.

I've owned two of these monstrosities, one purchased new at retail (my first Invicta) and the second which is now owned by WD.net (the meteorite). That last one has an interesting provenance, but I'll leave that for later.

The deal breaker is the ridiculously long lugs which make placing it on a better bracelet or strap basically impossible. I might have kept the meteorite if I could have gotten rid of the awful, clattery bracelet and flimsy, tinny clasp.

Here it is in all of it's glory:
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Before I sized it, I suppose.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by conjurer » October 30th 2012, 12:17pm

Thanks for the kind responses, all!

A humorous anecdote regarding this watch--I actually told a bit of a stretcher when I said in the review that I wore the watch for an entire eight hour shift at work--it was more like six. Being a WIS, I had brought along a Seiko quartz chrono that was my "escape" watch, should the Invicta become too much of a torture to wear.

About six hours into my shift I was become profoundly uncomfortable wearing it, due to:

1. How appallingly uncomfortable the watch really was on the wrist,

2. The sheer shame of wearing it, and

3. The horror of running into a watchgeek and having to talk watches.

Interestingly, one of the coworkers who commented on how cheap and ghetto-ish the OG was noticed when I had changed it out for the Seiko and said that the shift had suddenly become better--the customers seemed less stupid, the weather cleared up outside, and sales seemed to increase. She commented that it was as if the Invicta had been sucking the life-force out of the business. Naturally, I didn't add this anecdote to the review, as it wasn't quantifiable.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by Tzimisces » October 30th 2012, 12:57pm

conjurer wrote:

3. The horror of running into a watchgeek and having to talk watches.

Interestingly, one of the coworkers who commented on how cheap and ghetto-ish the OG was noticed when I had changed it out for the Seiko and said that the shift had suddenly become better--the customers seemed less stupid, the weather cleared up outside, and sales seemed to increase. She commented that it was as if the Invicta had been sucking the life-force out of the business. Naturally, I didn't add this anecdote to the review, as it wasn't quantifiable.

You are perhaps unaware of the other, far more dangerous effect of wearing that watch and how close you came to losing your very sanity.
Please consider that it was your co-worker that noticed the life -sucking force. You, my friend, were unaware. Luckily you kept enough sense to realize how uncomfortable the watch was and took it off before you became fully delusional. We have seen how bank tellers start to imagine they are actually Vice-Presidents, used car salesmen believe they are Captains of Industry with thousands of employees....very sad. Further, they suffer from auditory delusions as well.
"Oh my God, what a hideous watch!" You hear "Jesus Christ what a beautiful watch!"
Someone grabbing your arm hoping to wrench the cursed item from your person becomes a Billionaire trying to trade his Patek for your "Timepiece".

Narrow escape my friend, and I'm glad you turned back to reality before you got too far down a very dark path.



Nice review, BTW. I'm really enjoying this series.
#3 above reminded me of that old Belushi sketch "The Thing That Wouldn't Leave".
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by conjurer » October 30th 2012, 2:41pm

Tzimisces wrote:
conjurer wrote:

3. The horror of running into a watchgeek and having to talk watches.

Interestingly, one of the coworkers who commented on how cheap and ghetto-ish the OG was noticed when I had changed it out for the Seiko and said that the shift had suddenly become better--the customers seemed less stupid, the weather cleared up outside, and sales seemed to increase. She commented that it was as if the Invicta had been sucking the life-force out of the business. Naturally, I didn't add this anecdote to the review, as it wasn't quantifiable.

You are perhaps unaware of the other, far more dangerous effect of wearing that watch and how close you came to losing your very sanity.
Please consider that it was your co-worker that noticed the life -sucking force. You, my friend, were unaware. Luckily you kept enough sense to realize how uncomfortable the watch was and took it off before you became fully delusional. We have seen how bank tellers start to imagine they are actually Vice-Presidents, used car salesmen believe they are Captains of Industry with thousands of employees....very sad. Further, they suffer from auditory delusions as well.
"Oh my God, what a hideous watch!" You hear "Jesus Christ what a beautiful watch!"
Someone grabbing your arm hoping to wrench the cursed item from your person becomes a Billionaire trying to trade his Patek for your "Timepiece".

Narrow escape my friend, and I'm glad you turned back to reality before you got too far down a very dark path.



Nice review, BTW. I'm really enjoying this series.
#3 above reminded me of that old Belushi sketch "The Thing That Wouldn't Leave".


Thanks, Tz! And quite a perceptive post as well.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by elau » October 30th 2012, 3:41pm

Conjurer, I think you have gotten all the Geeks hot and bother looking at your picture. No matter what a piece of crap in real life it is they will fall all over themselves for one next time it airs. And they will all hand jerk each other lying to themselves what a heirloom it is.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by jason_recliner » October 30th 2012, 3:49pm

I Lik this Dives-Wotch it is Lik a Yot-Master but for a better prise Rolex is a RIP-Off! The Invikta OG Ghost is much better than those LAME Audimar PEEKays wich tak so long to make by hand coz the Swiss dont know how to make a Wotch! Stupid idiots masheens ar much faster and better.

Invikta Ocean OG FTW! Haters FUK OFF!

E. Low yu are a HATER!~
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by Horse Feathers » October 30th 2012, 4:28pm

conjurer wrote:Thanks for the kind responses, all!

3. The horror of running into a watchgeek and having to talk watches.


No need for concern, you manage a B&N not an Arby's

Much more likely to have a WG asking for extra Tartar and Horsey sauce then a copy of Eugene Onegin
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by Falstaff » October 30th 2012, 4:50pm

What the hell do you have against Members Only jackets, hater? I'm very tempted to get up a gang of monkeys dressed in Members Only jackets wearing Smiths Everest watches to pay you a visit and purchase every copy of Eugene Onegin in your fucking store - and make you special order more with a gift card that you'll have to enter manually! They'll be in a Chrysler 300. I'd keep an eye out, if I were you.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by conjurer » October 30th 2012, 4:51pm

jason_recliner wrote:I Lik this Dives-Wotch it is Lik a Yot-Master but for a better prise Rolex is a RIP-Off! The Invikta OG Ghost is much better than those LAME Audimar PEEKays wich tak so long to make by hand coz the Swiss dont know how to make a Wotch! Stupid idiots masheens ar much faster and better.

Invikta Ocean OG FTW! Haters FUK OFF!

E. Low yu are a HATER!~


kinde Wurds, Tobay. thank Youse kindely.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by conjurer » October 30th 2012, 4:54pm

Horse Feathers wrote:
conjurer wrote:Thanks for the kind responses, all!

3. The horror of running into a watchgeek and having to talk watches.


No need for concern, you manage a B&N not an Arby's

Much more likely to have a WG asking for extra Tartar and Horsey sauce then a copy of Eugene Onegin


Actually, H-F, I see at least half a dozen or so Invicters a week, and sometimes far more, in my store. Most of the wearers of these timepieces-of-shit are looking for either Westerns by Louis L'Amour (for the old-timers) or those really creepy Japanese Manga comic books (for the youngsters.) I don't recall selling any Russian literature to an Invicter sporter.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by conjurer » October 30th 2012, 4:58pm

Falstaff wrote:What the hell do you have against Members Only jackets, hater? I'm very tempted to get up a gang of monkeys dressed in Members Only jackets wearing Smiths Everest watches to pay you a visit and purchase every copy of Eugene Onegin in your fucking store - and make you special order more with a gift card that you'll have to enter manually! They'll be in a Chrysler 300. I'd keep an eye out, if I were you.


This is a nightmarish scenario.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by conjurer » November 3rd 2012, 8:34pm

Rusty wrote:Ha ha! Good blast from the past. Back in my Invicta days, I had one of those. I kept asking myself WHY? So off it went to ebay. Maybe YOU have it, conjie?


This is entirely possible, Rusty. There may have only been five or ten of these actually made, and they're passed around, fruitcake-like, to unsuspecting schmucks out there.

I wore this thing for about two days; these were the longest two days of my life, but my appalling sacrifice may well have been worth it if I took a few dollars out of Eyal's wallet.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by theKING » November 4th 2012, 3:14am

I actually like the new Chrysler 300. Better proportions than the previous model with a much nicer interior... Choice of a powerful v6 or the Hemi... with the new 8 speed transmission it gets good mileage too. I drove one and it is an impressive car...

cant say the same for the invicta... reminds me of a cimmaron
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by TemerityB » November 5th 2012, 8:21am

Great review, conj; late chiming in because of the storm here in the NYC area.

Tell you what: After owning some good watches, putting an Invicta on is exactly like reaching into the hamper to re-use a pair of drawers when you don't have any clean ones - only to discover the ones you pulled out had shit all over them.
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Re: How Bad Can It Be? Part 6--Invicta!

Post by ocean » November 5th 2012, 8:57am

TemerityB wrote:
Tell you what: After owning some good watches, putting an Invicta on is exactly like reaching into the hamper to re-use a pair of drawers when you don't have any clean ones - only to discover the ones you pulled out had shit all over them.


First glad to see your doing ok. Second this made me laugh hard!
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