ZLATOUST vs. INVICTA - the true story

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ZLATOUST vs. INVICTA - the true story

Post by koimaster » February 26th 2020, 4:02pm

ZLATOUST vs. INVICTA - the true story
Real History Behind Famous Zlatoust Diver Watches or Enough of Your Lie, Mr Invicta

Настоящая история знаменитых подводных часов из Златоуста или хватит лгать, товарищ Invicta

Original version of the article in Russian by Sergey Klimakov The Cheliabinsk Worker

One day surfing the Internet I ran across the source where people were discussing which watches Arnold Schwarzenegger is wearing: Invicta watches or ones from Zlatoust and the only thing they had in common: everybody agreed that these watches sat on his wrist well, met his role as politician and the choice was far better then his previous provocative Audemars Piguet. In the whole world Schwarzenegger has begun the best walking advertisement for Russian diver watches. As many know Arnold Schwarzenegger began to show preference to “Russian Divers” about two years ago. He often appears with his watch on the wrist in public and gives interviews. This watch looks really impressive on his huge wrist. “Terminator” has raised the popularity of “Russian Divers” and, accordingly, the popularity for the city of Zlatoust and how! If you google “Zlatoust knives” you get 25.000 responds against about 40,000 if you google “Zlatoust watches”.

I had often paid attention to watches looking like old Soviet diver watches from Zlatoust and, of course, I knew that a Swiss company, Invicta, produced such type of watchess called “Russian Diver”. I read their story about their watches which only raised a lot of questions in my mind.

As I’m from Urals and the name Zlatoust means much for me, I began thinking about Zlatoust Watch Factory, Schwarzenegger, and Invicta and how that all is tied together. I’m not only from Urals, but I’m a journalist working in Urals region. A strong decision occurred in my mind to find all possible answers to my questions. So, I went to Zlatoust Watch Factory with all my questions. Now listen what information I’ve found out.

In 1950s and 60s Zlatoust watch plant apart from other interesting products were producing 191-ChS watches for the Soviet Navy divers. Without any exaggeration, these watches are something unique! It’s the largest watches in the world: diameter (without the crown) is about 60 millimeters, the weight is 250 grams. Massive stainless steel case is very complicated, but it’s meant to be undestroyable on principle. And the most exotic thing about the watch is that it was produced with the use of radioactive materials! To achieve luminous effect, digits on the dial were covered with radium salt. Watches indicated a high level of radioactivity: the Geiger counter went beyond 8.000 (!) microroentgen per hour. Just for comparison: the natural level of radioactivity amounts 15-30 microroentgen and the permissible level of radiation for the housing accommodation must not exceed 60 microroentgen. But such a high level of radioactivity wasn’t a technological miscalculation. For high intensity of dispersion of gamma-rays the level of radioactivity at the distance of 10-12 centimeters equals only 200 microroentgen per hour and if the distance is over 1 meter the emission of radioactive elements equals natural. Such a huge watch didn’t feel comfortable to wear on the wrist but if the watch is on sleeve of the diver suit with dial positioned outside then the radioactivity hardly exerts harmful influence on the diver.


The production of these unique watches was stopped in the first half of 1970s. Since that time they have became a real legend. These watches and the legend behind them were especially popular abroad USSR and then Russia. Most evidently the story of Russian navy divers wearing radioactive watches seemed to be unbelievable and therefore especially attractive and intriguing. On the other hand, the soviet military watches have always been popular in the Western countries and around the world.

You can ask: but where is a mention about Invicta? Nowhere. There is no place for Invicta in the real history behind Zlatoust diver watches.

Of course, it is not accidental that in 2003 Invicta watch company began to promote their watch line called “Russian Diver” and made them in the same style as famous Zlatoust 191-ChS diver watches. As for the purposefulness of Invicta watches, they are sooner decorative then really functional ones seriously being inferior to Zlatoust 191-ChS ones in this point.

Invicta is a Swiss watch company and is well-known from the middle of XIX century. In 1991 it was bought by American businessmen, who worked out and began to promote a very aggressive marketing strategy for the brand.

The tall tale, which was chosen for promoting the so-called “Russian Diver” style line was very interesting. They alleged that in 1959 the USSR Navy General Headquarters chose Invicta as the best among other Swiss watch companies and, thus, the company was commissioned to make a limited edition of 100 diver watches whether as prize watches for the best Navy divers or to compare the quality of Swiss watches to that of Soviet ones. As for the design, they say that the style of these watches was discovered among documents belonging to grandmother of Eyal Lalo, the president of Invicta. ( frajer je firmu kupio tek 1991) According to their words, that old sample thoroughly and improved was the only real prototype of all diver watches made in Zlatoust. And that’s why, as they conclude, Invicta have moral rights to produce watches of this style. Of course, not a single document or other serous evidence was introduced in order to prove it. All the respected specialists display irony towards their tall tale.

Even the inscription on the dial of so-called “Russian Divers”, written intentionally (or maybe just through ignorance?) with glaring mistake as «ИМФ СССР» instead of «ВМФ СССР», indirectly can show non-participation in creating real Zlatoust diver watches. This type of a “mistake” is often used by the pirate companies stealing other companies` ideas.

(meni osobno NAJBOLJI dio:)
The mistake can`t be translated. As you already know the abbreviation in Russian must be "ВМФ" – translated in English as simply “Navy”.

How did they get “ИМФ” instead of “ВМФ”? I understood how. The Invicta worker typed the Latin “B” on the keyboard, when the Russian language was on, and got “И”. That`s how.

However, all that doesn’t prevent Invicta from selling thousands of watches because their advertising strategy is worked out to have influence on average men which first buy a watch and then interest about its authenticity.


Nowadays, the Invicta Russian Diver line numbers about thirty different models at the price range between $150 to $2.000 ad the basic model of this line, a copy of the real Zlatoust diver watch remains Model 2625 with the price at $600.

Invicta actively promote their watches through Internet sale sites and ShopNBC TV channel.


Perfectly planned and methodically carried out, this strategy yields excellent results. Popularity of their so-called “Russian Divers” has greatly increased. This success has attracted Invicta competitors. And first of them all are Chinese “pirates”, absolute evil for all brands. Guys from Invicta don’t conceal that their “Russian Divers” are being officially produced in South Eastern Asia with slight usage of Swiss and American components. And naturally as a second wave, a wide stream of primitive “Russian Divers” fakes appears now here and there.

Secondly, smart fellows from Russia are also not idle and have joined in with this trend to get their tasty morsel from the pie called “Russian Diver”. They unscrupulously use not only the legend of Zlatoust 191-ChS watches but also the name of the factory itself. They have been selling their fakes mainly to foreigners through the Internet and traditional watch shops in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, advertising them as authentic 191-ChS. They are almost equal to the real Zlatoust 191-ChS in size (1-2 mm smaller) but not in quality. Their fakes have serial number and “ВМФ СССР” logo on the dial and the back cover. A certificate with the “ОТК” mark with the “Не радиоактивно/No Radiation” stamp is applied to the watch. There is the inscriptions «Заказ Министерства обороны СССР» and «Златоусовский часовой завод» (where the letter “Т” in the word “Златоустовский” omitted intentionally).

The secret of new fake Zlatoust diver watches from Saint Petersburg discovered one of the members of WWII collectors’ forum: Here is a citation from his post in this forum:
“ … It`s even not a modern replica, just souvenir products having nothing to do with the USSR except the case of the watch. It’s a “made in Saint Petersburg” watch made in 2005-07 years. The movement is from Molnija pocket watch and, how it is abovementioned, they often break down. I am acquainted with the author of this “project”. By the way, if you have the box for this watch you can read on it: Златоусовский часовой завод (try to find lost letter!). The author thinks that if in case of any problem for him, this trick can save him. First time he was writing right: Златоустовский, then somebody advised him to do so.” As you know this trick is usual for a “pirate”.

Apparently, this smart fellow from Saint Petersburg has expanded the collection of his “Divers” up to 13 models at average cost of $350 and his business is going on well.

http://www.portalsatova.com/forum/viewt ... f=8&t=1325

https://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/ ... -schw.html
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Re: ZLATOUST vs. INVICTA - the true story

Post by koimaster » February 26th 2020, 4:06pm

Post Re: ZLATOUST vs. INVICTA - the true story
Saw this on another forum and thought it would be good fodder for discussion.

A little history for those not in the know.....

If you have not heard Invicta has been selling a new Speedway model with a Dubuis-Depraz 2021 module movement that has an incredibly high failure rate (higher than normal).

It was stated by Slop and Invicta that the problem had been identified as a D-D problem and that Eyal was in communication with them and that D-D was addressing the issue.

It was also stated in the presentation of the watch on Slop by Eyal that Invicta was lucky to be doing business directly with D-D and it was a real honor to be getting these movements direct from D-D.

So a fellow WIS decided to contact D-D directly to find out the real story...here is the email sent to D-D and their response.

This all comes on the heels of Eyal admitting that Invicta watches with "SWISS" on the dial are in fact made in Asia.

Remember that Google is your friend if you want more details on this

Dear Mr. Becker,

I am writing to you to inquire if you had seen or heard of the complaints by buyers of a new Invicta watch that has been touted as using the Dubois 2021 module. If not, all of the posts, unedited by my small forum of dedicated collectors are available for viewing.

It seems that the hands on the watches were mis-aligned and there were other related issues. The TV cable host of the site where these Invicta Speedway watches were sold made a big deal of the fault being that of Dubois. He went out of his way to state the owner of Invicta Watch Group would be having a "loud conversation" with Dubois Dupraz. He and the watch company have made it clear that the faults of the problems discussed are not the fault of Invicta and repeated opinions that the fault lay with your company. It was inferred by the afore-mentioned Host for Shopnbc, Jim Skelton that other unnamed watch companies had experienced similar problems with Dubois modules. As the owner of several watches with Dubois modules including a Maurice Lacroix, I would dispute that statement.

I am also asking if you could provide any information as to the back-story on this issue and perhaps how Invicta came to obtain this module. The vendor made a big show on how difficult it is to obtain them and to be approved by Dubois. Of course, this same company has been forced to admit that the watches it sells with the word Swiss at the 6 oclock position have Chinese movements in them.

Most of us are of the opinion that the modules or movements and modules were obtained from a third party other than Dubois and exported to the middle east. Our little forum, which has 80 core members of long time serious watch collectors has aproximatly 500 visitors a day. Not too bad for a forum which does no advertising, and limits membership to those approved by the members themselves.

If you do respond, I could if permited, post the response for people to view. We are small but our reach is very long.
Best regards,
Re: Dubois 2021 & Invicta fiasco
From: Christopher Becker

[email protected], [email protected]
Sent: Fri, Jun 11, 2010 02:17
Dear ,

Thank you for your e-mail. As a matter of fact, I received a call about this from someone in New Jersey just last week.

We are currently investigating what has happened here, and can clearly state the following:

1) Invicta has never purchased a movement or module from Dubois-Depraz. We have had sporadic contact in the past, but to date no movement has ever been supplied to them.

2) The 2021 has been made by the hundreds of thousands, and "opinions" notwithstanding, we have never heard from any customer for this movement regarding the types of problems you have described. After hundreds of thousands, we think we would have by now if there were actually issues.

3) Since Invicta is not a customer of ours, we have no idea if the movements alluded to are in fact genuine DD modules or not. We have seen "duplicates" of our modules in the past (sadly, not bad ones, either), and if they are such, Invicta may very well not even be aware that they are, since they have never had the real thing to compare it to. If they are genuine, we do not know how many hands they passed through before they arrived at Invicta, and what treatment they were subject to.

4) We have contacted Invicta Watch and requested not only their reaction to your e-mail, but also 5-10 samples of cased watches with the modules to determine their origin (see 3) above) and initial sales point (both of which we can do). As you and your members are surely also aware, the casing procedure itself is very delicate and can de-regulate a chronometer-grade movement as well as cause damage to components, such as dials and hands, if done improperly.

5) Obviously, the President of Invicta has not had, nor would he have reason to have had, any "loud conversation" with Dubois-Depraz since he is not even a customer. I would be very surprised if he or anyone from his company publicly blamed DD for something of that nature as claimed; it is not his style as I have known him.

Any person making the types of claims you have mentioned in your e-mail should be advised to be very sure of their information, and the veracity of any information, before making pejorative public statements, especially on a national network.

You may feel free to post this response on your site, and we appreciate your keeping us informed of these events.

Kind regards,

Chris Becker
Business Development Manager--Americas
Dubois-Depraz SA

I'm shocked that someone as knowledgeable as Oompah Lupah would blame DD for the POS Invicta has been making for years!....it's nice to know that more than one WIS was able to copy his statements before they were erased!!!subtlelaugh.gif

MD post from 5/27:
Speedway Elite Issue Update - 05/27
I was able to speak with Eyal very late last night and part of what was discussed was the issues related to the Speedway Elite. I wanted to share with you what came out of that conversation.

First of all, what has been stated before still remains true. That being, this never should have happened. Eyal is very upset over the fact that all of this is happening. The bottom line is that, as a company, we are doing all that we can to make this situation right.

Obviously, for those not wishing to keep their watch and take the route of getting it repaired, you can return it to SNBC for a full refund. I would just add that we strongly urge everyone taking the route of returning their watches to PLEASE add a note along with your watch that it is physically defective. We, obviously, do not want to have even the possibility of SNBC sending out watches that they thought were simply returns with no physical defects.

For those who wish to have their timepieces repaired, I would urge you to read the first post of this thread created by Jim located here:


Additionally, I will share with all of you that Eyal communicated to me that Dubois-Dupraz is working with us directly on a case by case basis to identify and correct the issues with each of the watches. Once a root cause has been identified, I have asked Eyal to share that information with me so that I can, in turn, post it here and share it with all of you. Watches are just now beginning to come into the office in FL and they are each being expedited to Switzerland for review and analysis by Dubois-Dupraz. As I have more information, I will share it with you all here.

Again, you have my apologies as well as those of Eyal for having to experience these issues on such a great watch with such a unique movement in it. It should not have happened and all that can be done to rectify the situation is being done.

Thanks for your time in reading this.


WHAT a weekend it’s been for critics and devotees of the Triumvirate of shady known as Jim Skelton’s ShopNBC, Invicta Watches and the horological world’s branch of Scientology known as watchgoobers.net. On the heels of Invicta CEO Eyal Lalo’s revelation that Invicta timepieces labeled SWISS are actually Swinese and on the day of the Watchgeek’s first annual gathering of the Jimilo’s, the revelation that the flop known as the Invicta Speedway Reserve featured a Dubois Dupraz movement not sourced from the source. This despite Eyal Lalo and Jim Skelton inferring that it was.

Fear and anger quickly spread through Invicta’s camp of loyal followers as many started to suspect that they may have blown a thou-wow on a Chinese copy; a suspicion driven in a big part by Invicta admitting that they misled buyers of SWISS labeled watches into believing that they were buying Swiss made timepieces and not Swiss Parts / Chinese cased watches like several Android or Croton models.
I never thought that they were counterfeit; most notably because the current global economic depression that has Swiss watch sales falling off a cliff. Whether you love Invicta or hate them they do have, at least for now, a fan base that rivals some Major league Sport franchises. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that as sales fell, several major companies are probably unloading movements in a bid to keep liquid assets waiting for a reversal. And Invicta die-hards keep buying with salvation only 5 value pays away.

watchgoobers immediately went into damage control. How? By deleting posts and banning members. The same Yellow Shirts that trolled several of my blogs were in full force, causing trouble on threads to force a violation of WG’s Terms Of Service in a bid to get threads closed and ultimately deleted, with some members calling out these individuals. They pretty much succeed and enough Sheeple accepted it and complied with silence. I find it unimaginable how that site still has members after this latest revelation – what type of person takes Corporate bullying lead by a toad like Jim Skelton? If you’re one of those people and you’re reading this; why are you still a member? Aren’t you feed up with the phony two party system and multi-national corporate serfdom? Where is the outrage of being treated like a sucker; a mere means to someones fiscal end?

But I digress.

THE big issue are the continued seemingly untruths released as statements of fact and sometimes, like the case with the Swinese watches, admissions. When it became clear that the Speedway had serious issues, vague statements were released on the WG site. Customers who had purchased it were assured that Lalo was directly communicating with DD directly through “many conference calls” and this threatened to put “several large scale projects with D-D” “ON HOLD”. Skelton’s statement from Lalo went on to state, “All involved believe the issue is a D-D issue” and so “D-D as” Skelton understands is “owning up to their responsibility”.

Skelton also made a statement and implied that it was a problem with the movement in a bid to redirect the anger from his forum’s sponsor; precisely the slippery slope of interwoven shenanigans and self interests that I pointed out in October. But as the emails began to surface, from both an inquiry and several angry purchasers of the turd, it became clear that this was another Lalo “Swiss is Swiss Made” misspeak.

According to Jim Skelton, ShopNBC’s resident horological expert and watchgeek forum owner, the problems with the hands can be solved with a washer, and we can expect a statement from DD and Invicta within a few days. I suspect a team of lawyers is working hard to retract Eyal’s statements an absolve DD from any responsibility.
In light of the technical solution to the problem, the question really is where were these watches assembled? One would assume that a Swiss manufacturer would be aware of these nuances and build the watches accordingly with respect to the precise tolerances required. And so this begs the question: are these pieces in fact Swiss Made?

ONE also has to wonder what liability might Skelton have and how might that extend to ShopNBC. I have a suspicion that Skelton may have sold his interest in WG to SNBC. Do I have proof? No. But there are a couple of interesting facts: he has been on an extended medical leave because of issues with his jaw related to TMJ – yet he’s stated that he hasn’t had time for WG because he recently bought a new house and has been on the phone with movers and he’s also purchased a new muscle car to park in the driveway. So he appears to be flush with cash and just a few weeks ago, Michael “f***in” Davis made a vague, seemingly stunned mention opposite Shawn Wilsie, of “Big Acquisitions”. With the economy what it is – ShopNBC reporting a 6.6% drop in net sales in the first quarter of the year – would you burn through money? The elephant in the room is the hiring of Bill McGrath and ShopNBC’s Anywhere Initiative. their aim is to leverage social media sites like Twitter and Facebook as well as iPhone apps and shopnbc.com. So where does that leave watchgoobers?

Competition .

And then there is that sticky matter of Jim’s comments regarding the debacle as a DD issue. His words: “Learned today through conversation with another brand that they have seen “slop” in the gear train of som DD modules that can create an up/down shift in gears.” But he did manage to add within the same message, “Is this absolutely the case? No idea yet…” I’m not a legal scholar so I don’t know if the final bit absolves him of responsibility. I don’t think it does because it implies direct knowledge of “slop” in some of D-D’s movements. As an agent of ShopNBC, I think this may open the way to a lawsuit against his employer. He is one of the faces of ShopNBC and has implied in the past that he is no horological amateur. But only sometimes. When the heat is on, he’s just the guy that sells the watches.

I for one, eagerly await the outcome.

Posted by betterskills Filed in Betterskills, Consumerism, New Media, Twitter, betterskills blog, eyal laylo, fashion, f*** yinz, iPhone, invicta, shopnbc, television shopping networks, tv, wristwatches
Tagged: cult, google, @rondmc, blog, shopnbc, jim skelton, invicta, eyal lalo, invicta watch group, betterskills blog, Skelton out at shopnbc, wristwatch, home shopping hosts, android watches, croton, watchgoobers.net, watchgoobers, Betterskills, betterskillsblog, news, michael davis, Bill McGrath, google news, Dubois Dupraz, D-D, Speedway elite, hands, defective invicta 6 Comments » 6 Responses to “Invicta’s Latest Stumble is a Stunner!”

krane11367 Says:
June 15, 2010 at 12:15 am The worst aspect of all this is that the people involved are gonna skate, as usual. I’m really hoping that, eventually, the big picture here is realized; that the simply awful business practices that have been displayed time and time again are dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.
Hopefully, this doesn’t read as over-dramatic, but if this sort of thing happened at a car manufacturer…well, does Toyota’s recent travails spring to mind? Certainly there’s a big difference between dangerous, faulty auto pedals and the cheap jack stuff the watch company constantly pulls off, but it’s getting to the point that it seems businesses can get away with virtually anything.
Attorneys General? Departments of Consumer Affairs? BBB? FTC? Where the f*** is everybody???
jr Says:
June 15, 2010 at 12:38 am Eyal was buying movements out of the back of a van. The culture of nepotism at ShopNBC needs to be stopped. Eyal constantly gets defended by Skelton, Davis and all of the hosts. He’s a carny. I don’t know why I expect a higher quality from the channel when they sell Suzanne Somers kitsch. They have 168 hours a week to fill and I don’t see them getting rid of Invicta. They’ve pimped it too much the last 8 years to admit they were wrong. The only hope is that if the Comcast merger gets approved that they shut the network down.
June 15, 2010 at 1:05 am February and March were the SAIII and Venom kits with the screw problems, April was the Plasticase knock-off lawsuit, May was Swiss does not = Swiss Made as they told everyone for years, now June is this Speedway disaster.
Can’t wait for July!
BTW, love this line “horological world’s branch of Scientology known as watchgoobers.net.” BWHAHAHAHAHA!
As for the Invicta-Davidians, the train will keep on merrily along. Sure the movements are genuine, and honestly I am happy they are for the poor saps who bought them. Some should know better to be sure, but I am sure many fell for the lies bloviated on air by Jim and Eyal.
Speaking of lies, interesting how the point of the discussion initially which was the flat out bold faced lies by Eyal, Jim, and Michael are all forgotten about as “miscommunication” and so long as the movements are genuine, hey the Invicta-Davidians go back to dunking their head back in the sands of lamedom.
I honestly feel bad for Dubois-Depraz most of all. They were totally the innocent party here (at least till the end). It was Jim, Michael, and Eyal who tried to lay the blame of this Edsel at their doorstep and DD did not even know Invicta had possession of their movements! Now they will enter into a business relationship with Invicta despite all this, for that I am a little disappointed in DD. But I guess the bottom line will always be the bottom dollar in business so I can’t fault them too much.
DD, if you read this I want you to be aware that Invicta sporting your movements may make you some short terms sales, but Invicta’s with DD movements will in no way enhance your sterling reputation or prestige of your movements. In fact just the opposite. There is a reason no one drops a Porsche engine in a Dodge Dart.
Invicta may indeed take a stinging ding short term for these debacles, but they will just lower the floor on prices again to bring in a new batch of suckers.
My question is, at what point does Shop NBC finally say enough is enough in spite of sales. Invicta and Jim Skelton give your network a black eye time and time again. You will never break #3 with them on board, I promise you that.


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With the lilt of Irish laughter

Every day and in every way

Now forever and ever after."
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