A package arrived on my doorstep a few days ago. My wife asked me what was inside. “The dumbest $100 I’ve ever spent . . .”
With baseball season coming to a disappointing close I needed something to take my mind off the fact that once again the Phillies made it to the World Series and my beloved Mets folded like a lawn chair at the last minute. Preferably something to go with my Mets Hawaiian print shirt. And that’s how this Invicta MLB Pro Diver came to grace my watch collection.
First things first. Let’s address the elephant in the room: the fact that the Invicta MLB Pro Diver is an Invicta.
Invicta began life as a Swiss watch manufacturer in 1837, which tallies with their marketing and branding. Yes but – the name is the only connection between the Invicta of old and the Invicta of today. When the esteemed Swiss watchmaker went bankrupt, an American outfit bought the name.
These Americans call themselves a “case manufacturer,” acknowledging the fact that the movements are sourced from overseas. Invicta 2.0 focuses on aesthetics rather than mechanical concerns.
There are two ways to look at that. You can see Invicta as an opportunistic business exploiting a historical name with cheaply sourced movements slotted into knock-off Rolex cases advertised with fake MSRP discounts. And you’d be right.
Or you can ignore the MSRP shell game and take the watches at face value, appreciating Invicta as a cheeky self-aware company making purposefully gaudy watches for reasonable retail. Yeah, about that price . . .
I bought this watch for just under $100. Such a deal! The $895 price tag in the box – the same MSRP listed on Invicta’s website – revealed that I’d saved $795! No doubt the case maker included it to appeal to the QVC crowd. Is that kind of bait-but-not-exactly-switch even legal?
I’ve seen other Pro Divers that come with a yellow faux leather case (furthering the “diver” notion). The MLB Pro Diver arrived in a remarkably cheap blue cardboard box to match the Major League Baseball branding. Invincible maybe. Discardable definitely.
The watch’s overall construction is par for the course for Invicta, a company known for watches large enough to bludgeon someone to death. To say this is a large watch is like saying the sinking of the Titanic was a minor incident. Hold on, I got a few more . . .
Airline regulations require Invicta New York Mets MLB Pro Diver owners to purchase a second seat. If this watch were any bigger Captain America would trade his shield and fling it at bad guys. The only thing that outweighs the MLB Pro Diver is Jacob DeGrom‘s Cy Young Award collection.
Now that I’ve got that out of my system . . .
The stainless steel case measures a whopping 50mm across the face, 60mm from lug to lug. It comes with a 26mm bracelet on spring bars. The Invicta New York Mets MLB Pro Diver’s face barely fits my medium-sized wrist (~7 inch, no bragging).
Speaking of the face, that’s probably the biggest reason someone would buy this watch. Heck, it’s the reason I bought this watch.
Invicta produced this watch series for every major league baseball team in the United States, each with a team logo on the front, incorporating the team’s colors into the design. For a $100 novelty watch, that’s pretty cool.
A quartz VD5F movement powers the watch, manufactured by Seiko, marketed as their “basic chronograph” movement. Read: cheap but effective. The case is water resistant to 100 meters – oddly low for a “diver” style watch. Take it as “splash proof.”
Mechanically speaking, it’s not great. The Invicta New York Mets MLB Pro Diver’s hands rarely line up with the dial’s indicators The hands are obviously mass produced, with machining marks and rough edges that any respectable watch maker would have smoothed out long ago.
The Invicta’s buttons all look and feel mushy, as if they’re made out of putty. It’s all too rounded and evenly polished, like a rock at the seashore. The Invicta ticks, keeps time and works as advertised, but it doesn’t say “quality” in any way, shape or form.
There are some good design choices. An indicator shaped like home plate marks the 12 o’clock position and the outer rim. The admittedly gaudy Mets colors are incorporated into the design; most “cheap” watch companies would have just stamped the logo in the center of the face and called it good.
A chronograph normally uses the central second hand for the stopwatch function. The Invicta MLB uses the tiny baseball indicator at the 6 o’clock. It makes no sense. What’s more (or less), the indicator is hard to read, poorly designed and pretty much unusable. The chronograph minutes are indicated with a baseball bat complication at 9 o’clock, which is similarly difficult to read.
I’d have purchased this watch without the chronograph function. It’s more of a head scratcher than a head turner. It covers up part of the team logo, isn’t useful and costs more to manufacture. Also puzzling: the outer dial looks like it should spin but doesn’t.
Generally speaking I’m not a fan of metal bracelet bands. The Invicta MLB Diver’s stamped steel is surprisingly . . . okay. It wears comfortably enough, evenly distributing the weight of this massive beast on my wrist.
Even so, considering the Pro Diver’s gorilla-size, I’m starting to think Dwayne Johnson is the only person who could rock this watch. It only started to feel comfortable when I removed a full six links.
Luckily, the Invicta Pro Diver offers built-in slots for size adjustments smaller than an entire link.
The pins holding the links are easily drifted out of place, with the proper drifting direction indicated on the links themselves. The Invicta MLB Pro Diver’s bracelet also has a good solid clasp.
In the end, whether you like the Invicta MLB New York Mets Pro Diver depends on whether you think the Mets are worth your support, and how you view the Invicta brand.
If you despise the Invicta MLB Diver for trying to replicate a Rolex Submariner, then yeah, this is terrible. The colors and designs are gaudy, the chronograph function makes no sense, and it’s big enough to send you to the bottom of the river for good.
Yes, the Pro Diver’s a ridiculous watch. In no way should it be taken seriously. It’s little more than cheap and cheerful horological fun. If you lost it to a mugger while waiting for the 7 train after a game, it would be no big deal. Not like supporting a scrappy baseball team that broke your heart for the 34th year in a row.
Case diameter: 50mm
Case thickness: 15mm
Lug to lug: 60mm
Lug width: 26mm
Case metal: Stainless steel
Bracelet: Stainless steel folded link
Crystal: Glass Fiber
Lume: hour and minute hand, pips behind indices
Movement: TMI VD5F Quartz Chronograph
Water Resistance: 100m
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
RATINGS (out of five stars):
Design * * *
If you’re expecting Scandinavian minimalism and simplicity you’ll be sorely disappointed. If you’re looking for a bruiser of a watch it’s good for the money.
It takes some effort to read the time. Best to sit back, enjoy the game, and skedaddle if the Mets are still losing at the top of the 8th.
Comfort * * *
Surprisingly not terrible. The bracelet feels good and the watch doesn’t have any sharp edges, but it will give your left arm a workout.
Overall * * * *
This is not the classy and elegant $900 timekeeper you’re looking for. As a shamelssly ridiculous watch for less than the price of a couple of bleacher seats, it’s a home run. Actually, it a double. Someone should.
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