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Old 08-23-2017, 06:27 PM
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Default Mort's Mea Culpa: Bye-Bye Invicta Watch Group

This bit of editorializing first came to life as a single post "on another site" in a debate that came about when one of the site's new members came across a review I'd done on a then-newly released S. Coifman dress watch. The ensuing discussion grew to something like a dozen members, then got really heated, and I began to see once again those things that made me shun the Invicta brand and move on to [far] better things a few years back. Added to that was my recent troubles with Invicta OEM rubber straps that hadn't had anything more stressful thrown at them than being stored in a padded box and worn every six months or so. And then there were other things, too, myriad things that the vast majority of users of Invicta products know about, but a very stubborn micro-minority continue to ignore as they cheerily buy up more and more Invicta watches.

I won't say I had an epiphany -- I'd already had that eight or so years before, when the lies, cheats and inferior product had finally taken their toll on my 'fanboydom' for the brand. Nope, it was more of a case of getting that first pair of glasses, only to find that I needed a new prescription to see clearly once again, after enough time had elapsed. Bottom line: I gave Invicta Watch Group a second chance to win my loyalty, and after a two- or three-year experiment, they failed me yet again. Badly. It was disappointing, but no great surprise, as I'd seen it all before, so I ended up posting the following semi-rant:


"Unfortunately, and despite making a decent product every now and then, like selected S. Coifman watches, there is still that taint that comes with being an Invicta Watch Group (IWG) product; the lack of good QA & CS, the lies about their products and even their people, etc., all contribute to this 'taint.' Unfortunately, as good as a single watch might be, it is still going to be tainted by being an IWG-produced item, and will carry all the horological baggage that comes with that designation.

Although these S. Coifman watches turned out okay, there is the fact that they both had their clasps fail at the same time [eight months after purchase] to consider. And that's just the tip 'o the iceberg when it comes to the whole IWG 'family' of watches, and the 'taint' that inexorably follows them.

The bottom line is, they do make some good watches, here and there, but the corporate "ethic" that "guides" IWG is based on out-and-out lies, chicanery and, quite frankly, a brand of arrogance that mixes all-too-well with the ignorance of the vast majority of prospective watch buyers. You even have people out there who, despite knowing that the company is full of hyperbole and outright mendacity (and, at some level, anyone who's ever bought an Invicta that fell apart or simply experienced the loss of a clasp, here or there, knows this), still go out and buy their products, and by the hundreds every year, in some severe cases.

Instead of simply acknowledging the fact that IWG is 'tainted,' they keep doubling, tripling and even googling down by buying still more of these products, while lying to themselves or justifying these purchases by saying something like, "Oh, well, I'd rather have 20 (or fifty, or a thousand) inexpensive {read: mediocre} watches than a mere one or two fancy, expensive pieces" or "who needs a Rolex when an Invicta is just as good?" or even "I like Invicta because they're an everyman's brand, one that everyday people can relate to."

Yep, there really ARE people like that. Hell, I'm a member 'at another site' where one of the members has something like 500 Invicta watches, and he buys more of them every month, usually in batches of three to five, or even more, depending on the "good deals" he gets from evine and Invicta. And if you dare write anything even remotely negative about Invicta, its owner or the shills who sell them on evine or elsewhere, he goes on the attack, with snarky posts, accusing you of God-knows-what for slighting his beloved Invicta. And if you respond in-kind, he goes crying to the owner of the site, and demands that you never post anything in his threads, address him in any way or even send him a PM. And then he refuses to hit the "like" button on anything you post (even if it's a watch he happens to own).

It's pathetic to the point of being hilarious, and this choad has had more written about him on WL than just about anyone else, which is probably why he constantly lurks [there], hoping one of us who hold a membership on "his" site will say something that he can get us banned for. Why? Because he's an arrogant, ignorant goob who, in the finest tradition of Goebbels and Molotov, blindly stands by a loser of an ethic and an even bigger loser of a corporate entity, despite the crushing amount of evidence that it's a permanently tainted organization. (A favorite quote about him goes something like this: "Are you gonna let a 61 year-old man in a [Spiderman] comics t-shirt and wearing a 65mm watch tell you what to do?" )

But there IS one type of buyer who is almost certainly worse still than the pogue described above, and that's the guy who buys a few IWG products, here and there, and loudly proclaims that, "Hey! Invicta makes a really good this or that, and as such, we should stop judging the company and their past lies and piss-poor performance, simply because they managed to build one or two models without the usual s---bird results." And you need look no further than Yours Truly to find that particular type of 'moke, right here in River City. Yup. Olde Mortense. I bought a few pro-divers and some Grand Divers, and declared the company free of all evil, and the source of well-made watches. I tempered this with a healthy disdain for some of their sillier designs -- the Bolt Zeus, Subaqua Specialty, the "X-Wing," and several other cornea-searing examples of idiocy -- all the while insisting that all was right with the world of Invicta watches. Well, not really, but why temporize it here, when I'm being so brutally honest? The end-result's the same: I ignored the 'taint,' and told others that they should, too.

And while Invicta has somewhat stepped up their efforts to make a better product, that doesn't necessarily indicate a better QC department; it might mean that they're engaging better factories to build some of their models -- because, you see, Invicta itself doesn't build anything -- or maybe it's just been a matter of luck, but they are still the same group of thugs who were building s--- watches and lying about them to boost sales.

Here are some examples:

- 'Mother of pearl' (MOP) dials that came from oysters living in a 'peaceful lake in China,' that were later proven to be fake MOP stickers, affixed to the dials of several 'MOP-dial' models. After they got caught, there were no mea culpa's, and certainly no apologies.

- 'Diamond chips' on the bezels of several different models that were proven to be glass chips. Again, no mea culpa's, and no apologies.

- "Swiss gold layering," supposedly a method of bonding 14K gold to steel "at the molecular level." To date, there has been no proof offered that this "technique" actually exists [or, if it does exist, how the process works].

- "Flame Fusion Crystals." Supposedly the "best" way to combine the strength of mineral crystals with the scratch-resistance of sapphire. Again, everyone's waiting for some kind of proof that this "technique" actually exists, but IWG hides behind the "Proprietary Information" meme.

- "Sandstone dials." The owner of [Watchlords], koimaster, sent a so-called "sandstone dial" from an Invicta watch to a lab for testing to see if it was genuine sandstone. The result: dyed sand and gold flecks mixed into a resin disk that was passed off as sandstone. (No word on whether or not the gold flecks were Swiss-layered gold flecks, but I'd bet on the negative, were I a betting man...oh, and there were no mea culpa's and no apologies. I'm sensing a trend here; are you?)

- "Russian Diver" design, first promulgated by the grandmother of Eyal Lalo, "current owner of Invicta, and a 'third-generation watchmaker'." The story is that the navy of the former Soviet Union came looking for a design for a Swiss-built dive watch to hand out to 100 of their senior dive officers, back in 1959. The result: the Invicta Russian Diver. Only problem: Invicta was not owned by the Lalo family, back in '59. (They neither owned nor had anything to do with Invicta until sometime after 1991...) Again, no mea culpa's, no apologies. In fact, the Invicta 'representatives' on evine-live still tell that same bunch-o-baloney story to their TV audiences every chance they get.

- As a retired military officer, this one hits very close to home for me, and I think it really shows the kind of man we're dealing with when it comes to Invicta's owner, Eyal Lalo. Back in May of 2012, Mr. Lalo donated 45 Invicta "Reserve level" watches to be sent over to the 'Gulf and given to our troops. 45 watches that Eyal claimed were worth a total of $70,000. USD, or ~$1555. USD per watch. Really? So he donates 45 watches to be distributed among close to half a million troops, and if Eyal were to claim the $70,000 as a deduction on his corporate tax submission, there's every reason to believe that whomever received these 'gifts' was on the hook for a $1555. increase to their personal income for that year. Hopefully the watch didn't fall apart until after that bit of news got passed to the recipient of this 'gift.' So Eyal Lalo and Invicta got all kinds of virtually free positive publicity for whatever the cost of those 45 watches was -- and I find it hard to believe the total value really was $70K -- and came out looking like heroes, while 45 men and women -- genuine heroes all -- got this "gift," plus a nice, big addition to their taxable income. Way to GO, 'Patriot Eyal!'

And there are still more [things about Invicta and its CEO/owner] that I've either forgotten or not heard of yet, but you get the idea; IWG tells whopper after whopper, after which they usually get caught, but do little more than hunker down and wait for the storm to pass while they say nothing. And people keep buying and buying. Sure, a lot of them are new to this watch-collecting thing, and they can be forgiven for not knowing about the "Invicta taint." However, those people with experience - such as myself -- who claimed that IWG was doing better, or was 'fixed,' or was making some good watches these days, proved to be the most ignorant (and destructive) of all, because we lost sight of the ball, so to speak. For myself, I got all wrapped up in the pro-diver and Grand Diver lines, confusing the new ones with the older (and genuinely higher quality) examples, made before Invicta got too big for their britches, and then I got all caught up in the fact that IWG had talked Disney, Peanuts and others into allowing Invicta to make Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Snoopy and even Popeye watches, all for those discerning Invicta customers, "those who know better." I lost sight of the ball and the 'taint'...

So, even though IWG and Invicta made no mea culpa's and zero apologies, it's well past time that Olde Morte does; so, to all my friends on all of the sites to which I belong, please accept my sincerest apologies for forgetting that IWG really IS the s--- stain in the toilet bowl of watchmaking, and for stupidly arguing with you about how many pro-divers can dance on the head of a 'taint.' (And you all know who you are...)


Mea culpa! --=-- Mea Culpa! --=-- Mea Culpa!!


Short Answer to [the new WL member]: trust us when we say that every brand under the IWG umbrella is fraught with horological fraud, non-existant QC, and horrible Customer Service (CS), and if you manage to get a good watch that works well, count your lucky stars and hope your luck holds. Oh, and don't, even for a second, take your eye off the ball. Or the taint.

PS - Pray for Glycine, and avoid purchasing the following brands: Activa, Brizo, Cacciato & Joss, Imperious, Invicta, Pastorelli, Poseidon, Potger-Pietri, S. Coifman, Technica, and TechnoMarine. Don't let your collection be tainted...

Sorry for the overlong post, [all].


So that was it, and while neither short nor simple, it does explain why I've come to this juncture in my watch collecting for a second time in my life as a collector, reviewer and now commentator on this odd, compelling little obsession we all share. I'm absolutely certain that this will not be well-received in some quarters, and that's fine by me; people love shooting the messenger, especially one with whom they've tangled before, and that's okay. As an old Squadron CO used to say to us junior officers under his command, "if you're feelin' froggy, then leap, and see how far it gets you."

One last thing: My purpose here was not to tell you what you can or can't buy; if you want to spend your money on Invicta or any of its brands, then that's your prerogative. Don't let me or anyone else stop you. However, don't expect any sympathy from me, or others like me, when the you-know-what hits the fan with your Invicta product, as it inevitably will. Because you won't deserve it any more than I did, after having learned my lesson once and then given the same tainted company an undeserved second chance at my hard-earned dollar.
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:07 AM
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Yup.
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:38 AM
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The original name of this site - many broken watches ago was 'Invictatalk' or some such relation to the brand. Jim Skelton of ShopNBC fame hunkered down here while weathering a cigar forum money scandal and for a while hung out here as an 'inside source' for getting new Invicta watches repaired - rather than lost in their vaunted index card in the shoebox filing system.

Apparently - ole Jimmy stayed with us only to stab us in the back when Lalo paid him for his own Invicta sponsored website.

Water over the dam and under the bridge.

Invicta uses contract assembly - most often in China and at best does spot checking coming off the factory floor - if even that. Their Quality Control is most often done by the customer who purchases their product.

$1550 MSRP is a joke - actually any Invicta list price is a joke as their product is purchased in volume by 'middlemen' who sell to smaller retailers - as well as mass purchases by mass merchandisers - who do no QC of their own - simply 'drop shipping' to the customer directly from their warehouses ...

If anyone personalizes this criticism - I ask them simply to go to any Invicta product sold on Amazon - and read the reviews - including some of my own going back to 2005 to see initial satisfaction - then rapidly accelerating junk status by 2007 and outright collapse of their CS by 2008.

Even today - many models average a 25% dissatisfaction rate - some as high as 40 %. This is Amazon - not my opinion.

My last Invicta purchase was in 2009 and all the little darlings purchased still work - minus the clasp broken on my 3077 Scoobie ...

My opinion - as stated here since 2010 (+ or -)

Invicta = CRAPSHOOT
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:20 AM
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Default Nice to see some life in the Invicta Forum

Mort - I have read a lot of articles about Invicta but I don't think I've ever read one like yours. You are to be commended for letting it all hang out. I try to focus on whether I am happy with a watch purchase, whether it be Invicta or any other brand. I'm not really concerned with the brand image. I continue to watch the Evine shows. I will give Invicta credit for continuing to come out with new designs and models. I don't know how they do it. I have had my ups and downs with Invicta. Here's my latest post on this forum. Since unloading all my Invictas, I have purchased one SAN. I judge the watch for what it is. I don't really think about Lalo, Skelton, fake diamonds or sandstone or the inflated MSRP. Did I get a good deal for what I'm getting?.

"I noticed that there hasn't been a post about Invicta since 7/2/15. I have decided to write something a little unusual. I started watch collecting around Jan 2006. I got started watching Shop NBC and have always had several Invictas in my collection. As of yesterday I sold my last Invicta on eBay. It was one of the first watches I bought...a two tone Pro Diver 8928OB with the Miyota 8215, still keeping good time +20 sec per day.

I have bought and sold 70 Invictas in the 11 years I have been collecting. It cost me about $12,700 for the 70 watches. Holy crap, I could have bought a Rolex Daytona for that kind of money. Would I have been happy wearing one watch for 11 years? I'm sure I enjoyed the 70 Invictas more than having only one prestigious watch although I could have got my money back on the Daytona.

So why did I decide to unload the Invictas? There are 2 reasons, but first of all I don't want to offend anyone who likes and owns Invictas. I realize they are not Haute Horology, but more towards design rather than if they had an "in house" movement. There are many models that look great and are a good value, especially in the Reserve line, if obtained at a good price. I might even add another Invicta to my collection someday.

But for now here are the 2 reasons:

1) My tastes have changed, maybe because I'm older (73) and the big eye-catching watches look out of place even though my wrist is 7 3/4" They are also heavy and by the end of the day feel uncomfortable. I still watch Evine and the majority of Invictas are 50mm plus. I feel better for looks and comfort with a 41-45 mm.

2) Resale. Of the 70 Invictas I bought and sold I only got back 56% net of my money. Not good. I have bought and sold 402 watches since 2006 and got back 70% net of my money. If I took out the 70 Invictas it would be even more than 70% back."

Here's a good you tube about invicta that doesn't carry to much baggage and judges the watch.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjDF2LGCf5M
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Old 08-25-2017, 05:57 AM
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George - you've always been a 'voice of reason' here when it comes to talking about Invicta.

While every business is there to make money for stockholder/owners - many go about it differently than IWG. Indeed - 'everyman's watch' is a noble and poignant goal and ideal. Unfortunately - folks like Lalo seem to conjurer (apologies) up the worst leftist portrait of capitalism (well maybe not the good old days of strike breakers) when it comes to customer service. He's a tough guy to like once you really know him ..

Methinks he's NOT unaware of his reputation - and flaunts his business plan in spite of it. Like you George - I've had no real qualms or regrets of my Invicta purchases - but heeded the experience of others on this early version of the forum who cried in vain for better QC at the assembly point and better than the index card in the shoebox CS filing system. We'll not even talk about those who paid the freight and got back a watch in worse shape than it was originally sent to them ...

I still have my 8928 gold/ss - from 2004 - never serviced and still works when I wear it on occasion, same for my CF/LE, 9937, SAII, 7076 (scoobie) (with the flapping clasp) and SAIII 7750 Reserve LE - my last Invicta purchase.

Many were gifted to my grandchildren over the years and they still speak to me . My prize is an original 40mm SA meteorite dial 7750. Such a dial on a Rolex cost as much as a Harley - maybe ? It originally rusted and the 'A' fell of the Invicta on the dial when owned by another member here - a good repair and still in my collection ...

Skelton targeted this forum and its membership to launch Lalo's site - under false circumstances and what they did to the forum owner at the time is/was unforgivable. Such is life - and I've not dwelt on this as an originator. Please believe me - that I am capable of forgiveness - but will never forget ...

Indeed - our own experiences are our immediate judgment on what we have choices with. My credo is simply not to support an entity that treats its customers like what comes out of the southern part of a northbound horse ...
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:56 PM
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Some fine thoughts are expressed in this thread!

I've owned, I think, about three Invicta watches; Mrs. C still has a few, mainly the quartz mini-Prodivers. I sold two and gave one (a Miyota Prodiver) to my brother-in-law, and it died not long after that. Recently, one of Mrs. C's Prodivers batteries gave out, so I cranked off the caseback to change it--and found that there was no gasket between the case and caseback, even though the watch was "rated" to 200 meters.

I think there were some good Invictas made, but it seemed like the brand crashed and burned around 2008 or so--right around the time of the Financial Crash. Since then, Eyal has been making fashion watches--not that there's anything wrong with that, there are plenty of fashion brands around. Of course, most fashion brands actually honor their warranties, and will fix/replace a defective watch without a court order or act of Congress, and Invicta won't.

In the end, if people want to buy an Invicta, I don't care. It's their money. Most people, I suppose, don't place much value on watches, they're seen as disposable costume jewelry. Any search of the internet will show Invicta's appalling CS and QC to anybody who wants to put in the effort.
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Old 08-28-2017, 12:11 AM
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Default Archie Luxury on INVICTA

If you haven't seen it a foul mouthed, but funny video. What I got out of it was does ego play a role in our watch buying decisions?

PS: I'm not sure I can even post this type of link...it could be offensive to some.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOPaNqgtnIo
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:33 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOPaNqgtnIo

Priceless

What might be offensive to some is when he called Invicta the "Bernie Sanders" of watches
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