124 of 131 people found the following review helpful
I have been wanting a Sub-mariner watch for some time, sure the Rolex is the CROWN (king of the hill) - but to meet my rule ($500) - it would seem that Rolex is not going to make the cut. There are many Sub-mariner look-alikes.
Now comes the value - it's not just about looks, it's about substance. Sure - the Invicta 8926 or other similar watches have the looks, but what about the substance.
Think about this - Rolex is more than just looks, the name equates to quality and substance. From the movement, crystal, to workmanship.
My goal was to find a Sub-mariner - that HAD the Rolex QUALITY! Finding the looks was easy, finding the quality - well that was the hard thing to do.
After doing tons of research - Invicta 9937 not only had the looks - but the quality for the price is very surprising.
Let's break it down.
1. Movement (9937 - Swiss Movement) - many people don't even think about movements, they are just interested in the looks - there is nothing wrong with that, but there is a difference. Many Sub-mariner look-a-likes run on Quartz (battery operated) - there are some excellent quartz movements out there, but this review is about findings a watch that meets the standards of the Sub-mariner (of which Rolex has set the stage).
First, the watch is an automatic (traditionally watches come in 3 varieties - hand wind, automatic, and quartz) - the Sub-mariner is a traditional automatic (or self-winding watch). The movement in the 9937 is a 26 jewel ETA 2824, a popular Swiss movement in many high-end Swiss made watches. For the 9937 to have such a movement at the cost is a darn good deal. The second hand moves in a quick-ticking fashion. If you have ever seen a Japanese automatic movement, while very nice - they seem to make a more jerky beat - this is because they have fewer beats per second, not that it is bad - but it is noticeable. The Invicta 8926 uses the Japanese movement - if you look at them side-by-side you notice the difference, which is seen by the movement of the second hand.
2. Crystal - the 9937 uses a Sapphire crystal, rather than hardened mineral crystal. This is another big treat which you would only find on the high-end Sub-mariner watches by Tag, Rolex, or Omega. The use of a sapphire crystal is almost scratch resistance compared to hardened mineral. Additionally the raised Cyclops magnifier is no small affair - it stands prominent at the 3 o'clock marker over the date.
3. FACE /BEZEL - if you are looking for the Rolex Sub-mariner - this is as close as it gets. The hour markers are raised has silver surrounds around the luminescent markers - this separates the 9937 from many other imitators that just paint in the luminescent and shows an extra thought in the production. Of course the Invicta wing logo appears and the second hand has the Invicta logo at one end. Invicta - while making their own version of the sub-mariner has no problem showing off their product with pride. So that does reflect a difference - but a positive one in my book. Additionally - Swiss Movement is written along the bottom to indicate that it's ticking with real Swiss precision - not just any movement. The bezel insert only has the minute hash marks for the first 10 minutes - something also more distinctive with the sub-mariner line. The numbers are done in the traditional block fashion. The serrations on the bezel are not as sharp as the Rolex version - but are found in this model. Note - many imitators use a scalloped edge instead of serration. Again - the 9937 pays homage to the sub-mariner.
4. CASE - the case on this watch is thick and heavy - it's solid, with a combination of brushed and polish. But what really stands out - more so than even the Rolex, is the clear back on the watch - you can see the movement and engraved INVICTA in the weight that moves (to automatically wind the watch). The back is a class act affair. It is stamped "Pro-Diver 200 Meters", "Sapphire Crystal", "Stainless Steel 316L", " Swiss Movement", "Invicta", "Model 9937" - inside the clear case it is stamped 26 jewel Swiss made. There is no doubt the pride they took in making a solid watch front to back.
5. Bracelet - Here is where the Invicta actually surpasses the Rolex it pay homage too. The bracelet seems more solid and heavier than the Rolex. Granted I don't own a Rolex, but have tried them on and compared them - so this is just an observation. You FEEL this bracelet and it's solid. The clasp is SOLID stainless steel - not a pressed-stamped out clasp. It's very nice.
So what do you get?
For just over $300 you get a very solid watch, sapphire crystal, Swiss movement, solid stainless steel construction and bracelet. The Invicta 8926 is nice (for $100) it has the looks - but not the quality. You know you are wearing this watch.
Rolex ($5000 plus) - Their own movement, Sapphire Crystal, Stainless Steel.
Invicta 9937 ($300) - Swiss ETA movement, Sapphire Crystal, Stainless Steel, Clear Back, Solid Bracelet.
Invicta 8926 ($100) - Japanese movement, Mineral Crystal, Stainless - stamped bracelet.
I took it to our local jeweler - who caries Tag, Rolex, Omega, etc. for resizing of the bracelet. He gave it back to me and asked what I paid for it. I said it was a gift - but it was a little over $300. He said that it was easily a $1500 watch and would give his Tag, Rolex, or Omega a solid run for the money. He winked and said - don't tell anyone about it - because it will hurt my business. If that doesn't tell you this is a steal for the price - I don't know what does.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 16, 2009 7:00:11 AM PDT
Gerard M. Palomo says:
It sounds as though this is a fine watch - and I'm sure it is. Please note that, if the description is accurate, then this watch DOES NOT have an ETA 2824 movement. The ETA 2824 is a 25-jewel movement. Most likely, if the movement is really "Swiss", then it is a Sellita SW200, which has 26 jewels. The Sellita is essentially a copy of the ETA 2824, made by a Swiss-based company which at one time actually manufactured sub-assemblies for ETA. As far as I can tell from online sources, these two movements are nearly identical because the SW200 is based upon the same design specifications as the ETA 2824, and the machines used to manufacture the SW200 are the same ones that were used to make parts for the ETA 2824. Allegedly, parts are fully interchangeable between the ETA 2824 and the SW200. There is some debate, however, as to just how "Swiss" the Sellita movement really is. It seems that there are no clear legal standards to define what qualifies as "Swiss" for advertising purposes. Thus, there may be a minimal required content of components actually made in Switzerland, but by no means does this guarantee that your watch's innards were meticulously assembled by old-world craftsmen wearing lederhosen in beautiful downtown Geneva ( think: PRC ).
Posted on Aug 26, 2012 11:35:32 AM PDT
C. Scalfani says:
Thanks for the most definitive review. It sealed my decision.
Posted on Jan 17, 2013 11:32:50 PM PST
One of the best written reviews that I have read. I bought this watch summer of 2012 and it is impressive to hold and wear. Looks and feels like a very expensive watch. The newer version has a flame fusion crystal, which is very durable. Great watch for the money at double the price.
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