Thursday, January 8, 2015

Invicta Automatic 8926A Pro Diver Wrist Watch

The Invicta Pro Diver 8926 is an automatic (mechanical self-winding) waterproof watch. It has a Japanese mechanism. I bought mine over 8.5 years ago for less than $100 to use for swimming or car-washing, but soon discovered that it has many positive qualities that make me wear it most of the time. In the beginning however, I did not expect too much from the Invicta Pro Diver 8926A .

I have also owned a Japanese Orient 3-star automatic watch, which I have been very happy with for over 13 years. This gives me a point of reference.

Whereas the original Invicta Pro Diver 8926 had coin edge bezel design and was a look-alike of the Rolex Submariner, Invicta changed the bezel design later (there are rumors that it was due to a lawsuit) to look less like Rolex. The new model became Invicta Pro Diver 8926A.

Now, there are several submodels of the Invicta Pro Diver 8926 with letters at the end of the model number indicating the bezel design. The new 8926C has the coin edge bezel, similar to the Rolex Submariner.

What is Invicta 8926

The Invicta Pro Diver 8926 is an automatic wristwatch and is one of the many Rolex Submariner look-alike watches. The 8926 has a Japanese 21-jewel mechanical automatic movement (self-wound by the movement of your hand). The movement is Myota and is made by Citizen. It is not one of the prettiest movements to look at, but it works pretty well.

The case of the watch is made of stainless steel and it has a see-through window on the back. You cans see the movement through it. It is interesting to watch.

The 8926 is a diver-style watch with 200m (600ft) water resistance. The watch has three hands: hour, minute and second. It also displays the date (the day of the month, but not the day of the week) with a magnifier (what Rolex calls "Cyclops").

Having gotten used to my Orient, I wish this Invicta also had the day of the week display. And in fact, it could, since the movement itself supports the day of the week display. But the makers choose not to include this functionality, probably to stay with the Rolex look, and simplicity.

The watch's bezel rotates in one direction. The bracelet is heavy-duty stainless-steel design with solid links, polished middle section (the rest is brushed stainless steel) and diver buckle with a safety clasp.

Mechanical vs. Quartz

After wearing automatic (mechanical) watches for the last 13 years, I doubt I will ever want to wear a quartz watch. There are people who think that mechanical watches are the way of the past. I read someone who stated that mechanical watches are going the way of manual transmissions in cars. This is true. Most people prefer automatic transmissions (at least in the US). But I love to drive a manual, even though it is a hassle in heavy. And I love mechanical watches because they do not consist of the quartz crystal and a bunch of transistors. I love mechanical watches because they need good design and craftsmanship to be accurate and reliable.

There will always be positive and negative aspects of anything. Quartz watches, aside from the vast minority that is charged by the movement of your hand, need replacement batteries. Automatic mechanical watches do not, but they need to be services once in a while. How often? I have not serviced my Orient in 13 years and not going to until it stops ticking.

Yes, mechanical watches stop if you don't wear or wind them, and quartz watches do not. I wear a watch every day, so this is not an issue for me.


The watch arrived in a bright-yellow Invicta box. The box contained the manual and is very nice by itself. The watch itself was a complete surprise however. The watch is heavy. It and its bracelet are very solid. It is difficult to imagine that it sells for less than $100.

The bracelet is very heavy-duty. Fitting to my wrist required removing two links. The bracelet has polished center links and brushed outer links, which gives it an upscale appearance, but also makes it more susceptible to scratches being visible in the middle (polished) section.

The watch has been pretty accurate so far (for a mechanical watch, that is). It gains approximately 3 minutes per month. Whereas anybody can make an accurate quartz watch, an accurate mechanical watche requires much higher precision. The Myota movement by Citizen is known to be reliable and accurate.

This Invicta utilizes a screw-in crown to make the watch water-resistant up to 200m. This allows you dive while wearing it. In addition to winding the watch by wearing it, you can also wind the watch manually - a feature not frequently found on automatic watches. The crown operation is solid and precise, but the screw-in/out action requires a lot of force.

The watch's movement is non-hacking, which means the second hand does not stop when the crown is pulled. This means you cannot synchronize the watch (e.g. to the atomic clock) precisely, but it does not matter much since the watch's level of accuracy is not very high. What is the use of synchronizing to a second, when you know the watch will be ahead by 20 or so seconds in a day.

The watch's automatic winding is unidirectional, which is less effective than Seiko or Orient designs. For instance, Seiko Magic Wheel design winds the watch in both directions. But the Myota's unideirectional winding works well enough and the watch seems to keep the energy for more than 30 hours.

I find the watch's unidirectional bezel a bit stiff and requiring a little too much force to rotate, but it gives it a more solid feel.

The watch's both front and back have mineral crystal glass. I dislike the front magnification window for the date. Although most watches of the Rolex Submariner style use it, I find it to be unnecessary and making the styling of the watch less clean.

The Trinite coating on the hands and the hour markings as well as on the bezel is much brighter than my Orient's, but slightly dimmer than Seikos or expensive Swiss brands. It is very bright for about 2 hours, but there is still some residual glow at up to 8-9 hours.

I actually have never used the watch while swimming. But I discovered that not only this is my preferred watch for car washing and other water-related activities, but I like to wear this watch to work and pretty much every day. I am still wearing my Orient periodically, if only to keep it running (it has no manual winding), but my standards for a watch are now higher.


I have had this watch for 7.5 years and it works flawlessly so far.

Pros: Good automatic movement, low price, solid and good-looking, 200m water resistance, bright Trinite coating
Cons: Not the most accurate, no day of week display, not a well-known name

Bottom Line

The Invicta Pro Diver 8926 is an excellent buy if you want a diver auto-winding mechanical watch. This is a real nice-looking diver watch with tank-like stainless steel construction, solid bracelet links and good performance for less than $100. I highly recommend it.

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