It’s a hunt most of us find ourselves on at some point – a classic, 40mm watch with a Submariner case that doesn’t break the bank. As a result many of us find ourselves on the doorstep of the Invicta Pro Diver 8926OB. But when you’re talking about Invicta it no longer becomes a normal watch hunting endeavor. Brand stigma and perceptions of what a watch should be pollute the process and remove the elements most important and valuable to you and your watch hunt: the watch itself and your happiness.
40mm x 48mm x 14mm
Black, Two-tone black dial, Two-tone blue dial
200M (but not suitable for diving)
Diver/Sport, but can pull off dressy
$60-$80 on Amazon*
Nothing in your watch collecting journey should influence your perceptions other than your own personal tastes and goals as an enthusiast. So if you’re considering buying this Invicta Pro Diver 8926OB to scratch your 40mm sub case itch than this review is for you. Prejudices and other horology hive-mind bullshit notions are checked at the door in order to bring you an Invicta review that’s only focused on the watch itself as a collection of its parts and a result of its construction in order to answer one question: “is the Invicta Pro Diver any good?”
The Invicta Pro Diver’s case is a tug-of-war of extremes for me. There are aspects I find incredible about it but there is also one thing that makes my blood boil.
The best part of the watch is probably the main reason you’re considering it – the 40mm Sub case. Finding a watch that executes the traditional Rolex Submariner case to a high degree is a journey that most watch enthusiasts will find themselves on at some point. Plenty of microbrands offers sub cases and a whole mess of microbrands do as well.
What I can say is that the Sub case on the Invicta Pro Diver 8926OB is executed really well. The machining is solid and the finishing is done well (much better than some other brands charging 6X). The approach that Invicta takes here is one that I’ve honestly come to appreciate wholeheartedly: if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it. Over the years I’ve seen so many different takes on the Sub case that it jaded me to the hunt for a long time. There are some where the dimensions are larger than normal – some have crazy colors going on – some mix Seamaster hands in a Rolex case – and some horological war crimes exists that I don’t want to even bring up.
At 40mm in diameter, approx. 48mm lug to lug, and approx. 14mm thick, the Invicta Pro Diver totally gets it. The reason you’re looking for a Sub case is because you want a Sub case – not a brand’s interpretative spin on one. These classic dimensions coupled with this totally timeless case shape sit very well on the wrist. When I first sized the watch and put it on I had one of those moments where everything just feels like it falls into place. There was no fussing or adjusting or acclamation I had to put my wrist though. I put the Invicta Pro Diver on my wrist and all was well with the world.
The crown diameter is a healthy 7mm, so if you’re like me and enjoy manually winding your watches, you won’t be fumbling with a tiny crown. The sides of the Invicta Pro Diver 8926OB case are polished while the tops of the lugs are brushed to bring out that textured contrast. The back of the case and the case back are polished. The case back features an exhibition window into the movement.
Surprisingly enough the Invicta Pro Diver’s aluminum bezel is quite solid as well. In this price range one would expect the bezel to feel flimsy or cheap, but in this case I’ve found the bezel action to be on point for the price. There can be a bit of wiggle-play between clicks, but honestly for approximately $70 I’m not expecting this thing to be the best bezel ever. But I will say it’s quality was certainly a surprise. I easily use it to time my coffee or my daylight breaks during work.
But I have to confess something here, everyone. I can’t stand the Invicta logo blasted across the side of the Pro Diver case. Why is it there? It doesn’t need to be there and its inclusion actually hurts the Invicta Pro Diver in the eyes of many watch enthusiasts. In moments where I’m enjoying the watch on my wrist I’ll catch a glimpse of the branding on the case side and shudder. Many of you have written in to me on how to remove this logo though with easy steps. So I think I’ll give that a go down the road – stay tuned for details on that.
Again, visually we’re dealing with a dial that’s nearly 1:1 with a Sub. However inspecting the quality of craftsmanship is something worth exploring if you’re looking to buy the Invicta Pro Diver 8926OB. I was surprised to learn that the markers were applied – as are the Invicta Logo and the “INVICTA” brand name beneath. The markers, hands, logo, and brand name are finished quite well with a high polished details. When these Invicta Pro Diver dial elements catch the light it’s very visually pleasing.
The compass rose markers (12, 3, 9) seem to be slightly better polished than the other applied markers on the Invicta Pro Diver. I’m basing this on their ability to catch light better – I believe it’s because of their greater surface area in comparison. The round applied markers may seem a bit too small at times since they don’t have the visual presence they should.
However for me it’s not a deal breaker because I understand why the markers are small – smaller markers means less lume. And using less lume means saving money, which it turn also inform’s the watch’s affordability. Admittedly, the lume isn’t really that great. The application is inconsistent between the markers and also the hands so they appear to be slightly different colors. You’ll most likely find that the hands will emit a glow more often than the markers ever will. Also, the crystal here is mineral and the cyclops/date magnifier gets the job done.
Lug width on the Invicta Pro Diver bracelet is 20mm and it tapers down to approx 18mm at the clasp, which I find to be incredibly well balanced and very comfortable. I actually don’t mind the polished center links as much as I thought I would – I think the polished center links really complement the other polished features of the watch while also bringing balance to the brushed surfaces.
The end-links are hollow, which isn’t a surprise given the Invicta’s price. The rest of the links actually have a decently solid feel to them – more so than I was expecting. It doesn’t have that “hollow” or tinny feeling that some super cheap bracelets will have. I’d classify the feel of quality here to be on-par with the bracelets on the newer Orient Mako II models.
Similar to the case, the quality of finishing is admirable here. The finishing on the brushed surfaces of the bracelet are clean and very visually pleasing. Plus the edges of the bracelet don’t have that sharp/unrefined feel that I’ve noticed on other brands out there (especially microbrands). The links also move really smoothly and don’t get friction-stuck to each other.
The clasp here is pretty standard – double locking with the main clasp action being the friction fit and the folding lock clicking on top of that. There are also micro-adjustments here on the clasp, which I found very helpful as I was sizing the Invicta Pro Diver’s bracelet. The main issue I’m having though is that the flip lock is really stiff once it clicks in. In order to open it I really have to force it and I can see little scrape marks on the clasp from where the flip lock is rubbing against it. I could try and use some pliers to bend the sides of the flip lock out slightly (so they don’t scrape as much), but I’d prefer not to mess with it too much.
The Invicta Pro Diver (8926OB) features the automatic NH35A (a non-branded 4R35 from Seiko). This right here is one of the most remarkable things about the watch. The quality and finishing of the watch thus far actually did surprise me. But what I knew wouldn’t surprise me is this movement. The NH35 has proven itself for many years to be reliable and dependable enough to be used in way too many watches for me to recall right now.
But what makes the NH35 unique here in the Invicta Pro Diver is that no other watch (that I can think of) has this movement in the Invicta’s price range. It’s an incredible value to get an automatic movement so reliable in a watch that hovers between $60 – $80 USD (I’ve also seen it as low as $40!). Usually microbrands will feature the NH35A and cost anywhere between $300-$500. I know much more goes into that pricing than movements, but honestly we’re not looking at microbrands here. We’re looking to scratch that classic black dial sub case itch while trying not to break the bank.
Invicta personalizes the automatic rotor with its trademark yellow as well as some branding text. As of yet I haven’t noticed any huge regulation/time keeping issues with the Pro Diver. But if I flag anything I’ll be sure to update this piece. Here are some high level specs on the NH35A movement:
- 41 Hour Power Reserve
- -20/ +40 seconds per day
- Manual winding and automatic
So… Can I Dive With The Invicta Pro Diver
This is a contested issue. Being blunt, if you want to dive with a watch (like actually dive), I’d suggest getting something else that’s actually tested and rated for robust dive conditions. That said, if you’re worried about getting the watch wet or slightly submerged that won’t be an issue. The case back screws down, the crown screws in, and everything seems solid in terms of fit and finish. So for swimming or splish-splashing shenanigans you’ll be fine (as long as you actually remember to screw the crown back down).
In fact, I got caught in a mockingly serendipitous Florida thunderstorm the other day and got drenched to the bone while trying to keep my laptop dry. I also happened to be wearing the Invicta Pro Diver 8926OB and the watch was totally fine. Still ticking away.
I know Invicta says it’s rated for 200M, but honestly at this price point it’s one of those “you get what you pay for” situations. I have no doubt that some Invicta Pro Divers can hit 200M without issue. But at under $100 it’s a difficult guarantee to cover all the pieces for dive conditions. That said, the whole water resistance thing shouldn’t be a deal breaker. If I want water resistance I’ll wear one of my proper dive watches. I’m looking at the Invicta Pro Diver 8926OB because I want a watch that embodies that super classic Sub case – nothing more.
Final Thoughts: Is The Invicta Pro Diver Any Good?
When someone is thinking about buying the watch, I think the question is more related to how those with informed horology opinions feel about it. I see threads on forums all the time asking if this watch is any good and the comments are usually all over the place and honestly unhelpful. The worst comment of all is someone telling the poster that for the same money they could get a Seiko SNK or something such. That’s the worst response ever – this isn’t a decision based on value first. The hunt for a 40mm Sub case is a personal decision based on looks – you’re interested in the Invicta Pro Diver because of how it looks.
I think people are really asking “will I regret buying this watch?” and I honestly can’t answer that for you. No one can except you. What I will say is that the potential regret from purchasing this watch may stem from it’s good looks not matching the quality. However, from my time with the watch I’ve found the quality for value to be surprisingly high.
The watch is also exactly what you’d expect it to look like in person – a very classic black dial Sub-style watch. I don’t regret buying this watch – the only regret I have is letting other people’s opinions prevent me from choosing to be happy with my watch choices.
My journey for a 40mm Sub style watch is over because the Invicta Pro Diver delivers exactly what I was looking for. If anything, I hope you’ve found this review helpful in answering some basic questions about the watch. Please take further assurance in that brand offers a 3 year warranty for any new Invicta that gets registered with the site. It covers manufacturer issues related to the hands, dial, and movement.
The Invicta Pro Diver 8926OB usually hovers between $60-$80 on Amazon.*
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments below!
Kaz has been collecting watches since 2015, but he’s been fascinated by product design, the Collector’s psychology, and brand marketing his whole life. While sharing the same strong fondness for all things horologically-affordable as Mike (his TBWS partner in crime), Kaz’s collection niche is also focused on vintage Soviet watches as well as watches that feature a unique, but well-designed quirk or visual hook.