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REVIEW: "Eating Iridescent Crow" - Invicta Pro-Diver Ghost Mechanical Bracelet Watch

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  • REVIEW: "Eating Iridescent Crow" - Invicta Pro-Diver Ghost Mechanical Bracelet Watch

    REVIEW: “Eating Iridescent Crow” - Invicta Men's 47mm Pro Diver Ghost Mechanical Skeletonized Iridescent Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch (or simply, “Invicta Pro Diver Mens Mechanical 47mm Iridescent Case Black Dial - Model 26602,” from the Invicta website)

    Quite a mouthful, in either case, no? Well, as much as I am loath to admit a mistake, it’s quite a watch, and it has certainly earned these grand names! But before I describe all of that, I do have to “eat a bit of crow,” as they say.

    In the beginning, I never cared much for what Invicta referred to as its “iridescent” models. Perhaps I hadn’t been around jewelry circles all that much, as I’d never seen this rather odd finish anywhere other than in an industrial application, where the anodizing (from which the colors came) actually served to help prevent corrosion, or so I was told. Whatever its origin or purpose, I just didn’t like the looks of it when applied to a watch. Period. End of story. I took my horological ball and went home, smug in the knowledge that, once again, I was right, and no other opines needed to apply. (Membership at certain ‘other’ sites will do that to you, I’m afraid…But I digress.)

    And then I happened to come across this very self-same watch in one of the local TJMAXX stores, up in Smell-A, where – as much as I hate to admit it – I’m originally from. I did a double-take. And then a long stare. And then I asked to see the doggoned thing. And – behold!! – it was really cool-looking, up close like that! And then came the kicker: a price tag of only $79 Smacks, USD! 79 clams! 79 bones! Boo-YAH!! And then, making that final mistake we’re always so prone to making, I slipped it on. ‘DANG it to Pete’ I thought. ‘That don’t look too bad a’tall!’ (Okay, so sometimes my inner voice takes on a bit of a Canadian lilt; what can I say, ay?) I had my missus pick it up for me while I hid behind the UCLA sweatshirts. (Oh, jeez, the indignity of THAT!)

    I brought it home, sized it up and took some snaps. I then fed it into the WIT ‘Look What I Got’ page. Man, I was really getting into this danged watch! It made its way into the ‘ol regular rotation, and the rest became histoi’, as they say. And before we go on, I suppose now would be a good time to post this fine watch’s particulars…


    Item model number: 26602
    Model Year: 2018
    Watch Country of Origin: China
    Movement Country of Origin: China (Note 1)
    Movement Type: Mechanical (“Bridge” configuration), 20 Jewels, 2-Hand
    Movement Caliber: JQ-R005 (Nickel)
    Case Measurements: 47mm
    Thickness: 14mm
    Case Material: Stainless steel (With “iridescent finish,” see Note 2)
    Bezel: Unidirectional rotating
    Crystal: Mineral (With “Flame Fusion” process, see Note 3)
    Luminescence: Tritnite™ by Invicta (See Note 4)
    Crown: Screw down
    Bracelet: Stainless steel (With “iridescent finish”)
    Bracelet Measurements: 8-1/4" L x 22mm W
    Clasp: Fold-over diver’s with safety clasp
    Water Resistance: 10 ATM - 100 meters - 330 feet
    Reviewer’s Notes:

    Note 1 – There is some disagreement among the major watch-sellers as to exactly which country the JQ-R005 movement is from; about half say China, while the remaining half list it as being from Japan. I ultimately went with China, as it is the country of origin listed on Invicta’s own website.

    Note 2 – Usually referred to as “Rainbow Metal” in both jewelry and manufacturing circles, Invicta’s “iridescent finish” can be accomplished either by applying heat directly to the surface of metal (usually stainless steel), or by immersing it in electrolyte fluid, to which an electrical current is applied. The former is referred to as “heat anodizing,” and is normally accomplished with a high-temp gas torch, with the technique typically being used in larger, more industrial applications. The latter technique is called “electrolytic anodizing,” and is normally used in smaller applications, such as the making of jewelry, to include watch components. “Heat anodizing” produces colors that depend on the overall temperature of the metal, while “electrolytic anodizing” produces specific colors as the result of how much current is applied over a certain timeframe. The “rainbow effect” is achieved by varying the amount of heat or current over the surface of a single piece or component. (Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy!)

    Note 3 – The Invicta “Flame-Fusion” process, whereby mineral glass and sapphire crystal are somehow combined to create an ideal watch crystal that is both scratch and shatter-resistant. Claiming it’s a proprietary process, Invicta will discuss neither the process itself nor any compounds used in its creation.

    Note 4 – Invicta’s compound that provides luminous elements in its watches, usually hour markers and bezel highlights. Like the Flame Fusion process in Note 3 above, Invicta closely guards its ingredients and processes used in the creation of “Tritnite.” Many collectors consider Tritnite to be less effective than other commercial luminescent compounds, such as Superluminova.™


    Now that I’ve owned the watch for a few months, I have to say that I’ve really come to like it a lot. Its 47mm case size is reminiscent in both appearance and feel to my much-loved “Grand Divers,” and I’ve long been a fan of the “bridge” movement configuration. But the greater truth of the matter, at least in my case, is that I really do like its iridescent finish, especially for the way it draws all of the elements – size, appearance and color – together to make a watch that is very attractive, comfortable and functional.

    Granted, this isn’t a timepiece (Oooh, he said that evil WORD!!) that everyone’s going to be able to wear, but it is one of those watches that’s going to have a very loyal following. There may not be tens of thousands of us out there who really like the watch enough to buy and wear it, but there are certainly enough fans to make it profitable for Invicta to keep making them. In many ways, it reminds me of the divided opinion over white watches as a man’s accessory; some really liked it, some didn’t; some will wear it and enjoy it, others won’t give it a second look. It’s all a matter of taste and preference.

    What’s that old bromide? “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” Yeah, it’s old and bromidic, but that doesn’t make it any less true, or even wise. I know a lot of watch aficionados won’t like this offering simply because that “iridescent thingy” is just too, well, unusual, or even weird for their tastes. I get it, and I respect their feelings for all of that. I just hope that that respect will be both honored and reciprocated. Sadly, this isn’t always the case, but one tries to remain optimistic and see that danged iridescent glass as being half full.


    I’m sure that someone will disagree with me when I express the opine that probably no one buys this watch for its cutting-edge engineering and operational accuracy. Sure, it’s fun to look into that [almost] all-glass case and see the unusual movement grinding away; I just don’t think you should be expecting to see a COSC version of this watch anytime soon. (Unless, of course, a spiteful Eyal reads this and says, “Oh YEAH, mister smarty-pants rodent-boy, wheel just haff to see about DAT!”) Still, unusual engineering is cool engineering, so there ARE a lot of us Horological nerds out there who love to look at and enjoy the unique functioning and layout of a mechanical “power plant” like this one. However, I don’t think there will be many – if any! – who will try and interpolate how many seconds fast or slow it runs. It’s just not THAT kind of a watch…

    ‘But what about the lume?’ you ask, with bated breath. Well, if you want lume, then you shall have lume, by gum!


    I hear a lot of my fellow armchair Horologists say that they have a “sweet spot” when it comes to their preferred case size in watches. Go too much above or below that spot, and discomfort increases, until, well, we do the horological equivalent of saying “uncle!” and return that ‘Grande Ginormos-Subaqua ABDA Project NOMA 73mm automatic dress dive watch’ back to where you got it! Sweet spots are a good thing, and I like to use them to help discuss the highly-subjective concepts of Fit, Feel & Comfort. These concepts are SO subjective, in fact, that we often contradict ourselves when describing how each watch fits.

    Ferinstance, Yours Truly has a typical “sweet spot” of 40-42mm. Yet, I can easily – and quite comfortably, I might add – go about my day with a Grand Diver of 47mm strapped on the old wristaroo. I can tolerate 48 and even 49mm, but I wouldn’t describe these sizes as comfortable. Yet, despite this set of informal Family Jingles guidelines, there are certain 50mm watches that I have no trouble with wearing, namely my small contingent of automatic SAN III’s and a SAN I re-release. They’re “Big’uns,” as Larry Megan would say, but they’re very comfortable, else I wouldn’t keep them.

    Soooo, finally coming to the point – hopefully before you haul out those guy-who-has-faceplanted-on-his-laptop-out-of-sheer-boredom gifs – I find this watch to be exceptionally comfortable, even though its 47mm size is a bit high on the old ‘sweet spot chart.’ The standard, 22mm wide oyster-style bracelet is very comfy, does not pinch, and does not pull arm hair. Ditto the fold-over-clasp-with-safety-keeper. It has the standard “micro-adjustment” feature to ensure the bracelet is sized right down to the gnat’s derriere to ensure that you get max Fit, Feel & Comfort.

    This Pro-Diver Iridescent Ghost watch is, in fact, even more comfortable than a standard Grand Diver, almost certainly because its innards are smaller – and hence weigh less – than the innards of a Grand Diver, which is larger and, of course, heavier. (And I apologize if I used too many technical terms in describing the weight delta phenomenon…)


    Bottom line, I have gone from a guy who used to say that the whole “iridescent thing” was the horological equivalent of putting a $15,000 pearlescent paint job on a Yugo and calling it the “next big thing” in the world of automobile development. But, all kidding aside, I slowly began to come around until the day I actually saw this watch in TJMAXX’s glassed-in jewelry counter. I decided – then and there – that I really liked the way the colors looked, from pink areas and small patches of dull gold, to the vast zones where the central color – sort of an aqua-teal – held sway. I thought, “Dang, that’s pretty doggoned cool! I kind of like that!”

    And when I took note of the other cool features – the “bridge” movement and see-through/skeleton case, not to mention the extremely comfortable fit – I found out that this really IS a watch that I want in my rotation. Of course, when you admit to liking an Invicta, you open yourself up to ridicule from those who know from nothing about you or the watch you’ve had on your wrist, giving it a try because you liked the way it looked, and have an open mind to the idea that sometimes even lowly, often-bungling Invicta gets it right. This Pro-Diver Ghost mechanical watch got everything right, and I’m pleased to give it a solid across-the-board excellent review. It’s a fun watch, and I enjoy the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks out of it!! :)

    And, to me, that’s what watch collecting should always be about, rather than belonging to a self-styled and smug little intelligentsia who think that watch collecting should be about crusading against a brand they hate, or castigating a person who thinks outside of their very carefully and meticulously-crafted little box, the existence of which they will deny at all costs, because to admit that it exists is to admit that they are the ones with the closed minds and unbending way at looking at the world.

    I mean, seriously now, does anybody really think that they truly ENJOY their type of watch collecting? Heck, does anybody think that they’re all happy, energetic citizens over in North Korea? Really?

    As always, many thanks for slogging through one of my ‘mousterpieces.’ And many, many thanks for allowing me to come and be a part of this “safe, warm and well-lighted place” in which to truly experience the joys of watch collecting among good friends. You guys rock.

    M. Jingles, Haifa Israel, 1/19/19

    Copyright ©2019, Mortuus Fakeuus Productions, a Division of Mortuus Aviation, LLC. All Rights Preserved with Formalin™ and myrr.
    "Oh, darling, you can't fix yourself by breaking someone else." - Zsa Zsa Gabor

  • #2
    the bridge is cool... as far as iridescent my jury is deliberating with an open mind and a plethora of subconscious bias...

    - awesome review jingles...keep on postin'


    • #3
      Mr. J. Congrats. It looks like you got bit by the iridescent bug.


      • #4
        Great review MJ. Nothing like taking a proverbial walk through horoligy with the mouse and seeing how approaching this fun journey with eyes wide open rather than blinders on can lead us to places we never expected to see and actually enjoy some of the things we otherwise would have missed.
        Enjoyed the review, keep them coming.


        • #5
          Nice write up. That was entertaining to read. I have always been a closet fan of the iridescent treatment. It's a very unique and catches my eye. I even experimented with it on some watch hands I modified. I still need to experiment on case still. Its a fun looking watch. Nice find at a brick and motor of all places.

          Sent from my SM-T378V using Tapatalk


          • #6
            A great review as expected. I’m not sold on the iridescent train as of yet. But if I were to hop on board, you would certainly be the conductor! Thanks for the horological lesson.
            We already have enough youth, how about a fountain of smart?


            • #7
              Originally posted by buzzmartian View Post
              A great review as expected. I’m not sold on the iridescent train as of yet. But if I were to hop on board, you would certainly be the conductor! Thanks for the horological lesson.

              a MURDER OF CROWS ( group )...hanging on a the stink eye...but just may be some day i will make crow stew also ( wear iridescent )


              • #8
                Love the bridge, thanks for the nice review with great pix.
                Hazy....try again...


                • #9
                  I really enjoyed your review and pics!


                  • #10
                    A marvelous review, MJ!A very impressive presentation on the wrist for sure. Thanks for posting it up.


                    • #11
                      cool write up MJ thanks.... I couldn't help but notice that your specs state 50m w/r but the caseback of the watch says 100m. Just thought I'd point it out.

                      For me personally I have one grand diver and it is a great watch. I've had a couple more that I sold and back in my rapid collecting days when almost every purchase was Invicta I'd be happy to jump on any GD. The only thing I've never liked is the bridge movement. Just not my visual cup of tea. But I'm glad you're truly enjoying yours!
                      "It had to start somewhere, It had to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?"


                      • #12
                        Congrats on the new Invicta!


                        • #13
                          As always the mouse is a great storyteller and I enjoyed another reading.:bravo:

                          Congrats on your new abridged "irredelly"

                          "I Live For Watch Deals"


                          • #14
                            I'm with you. The iridescent finish does provide wow factor in person. I have the black pearl faced 3 hand version, and it never fails to generate positive comments on the wrist.

                            On to the comfort factor of this being a larger watch, but still feeling nice to wear... I have a theory, and I'd like your take. Do you think that the caseback being rounded instead of flat is the reason for the level of comfort? It raises the watch up far enough off the surface of the wrist that the crown won't dig in no matter how far I lean my hand back towards it. I've always thought that the Invicta divers were onto something there...
                            Android to Aragon - Wing's the thing.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by robertsr1811 View Post
                              I'm with you. The iridescent finish does provide wow factor in person. I have the black pearl faced 3 hand version, and it never fails to generate positive comments on the wrist.

                              On to the comfort factor of this being a larger watch, but still feeling nice to wear... I have a theory, and I'd like your take. Do you think that the caseback being rounded instead of flat is the reason for the level of comfort? It raises the watch up far enough off the surface of the wrist that the crown won't dig in no matter how far I lean my hand back towards it. I've always thought that the Invicta divers were onto something there...
                              To be honest, I can't say much about the long-term history of divers and their case shapes of old, but I can comment on this (and other larger-sized) divers in my own humble collezioni... :) In looking at all of them, there is indeed a trend toward embracing more curving case designs, specifically geared toward (though not necessarily limited to) the generous set of lugs Invicta has gone with in all of their larger diver models. Interestingly, I also went and had a look at my 40mm Pro-Divers, and each of them, all the way back to their first one -- which was issued sans model number because it was new, and they wanted to get it out on the market ASAP -- feature this same concept of using the lugs to accomplish most of the curvature, thus reaching a higher level of comfort. (Of course, up until about 15+ years or so ago, 40mm was considered a big watch, so your theory has merit with these watches, as well...) In other words, I wholeheartedly agree with you that the curved case does provide both (a) a better fit, and (b) a more comfortable feel.

                              And it's here that I reach the point at which I can't say much more, as I just don't have any experience with any divers older than the above-mentioned early Invicta dive watch. However, I did cull through my selection of contemporary divers, and the vast majority of them do have shortened lugs, thus resulting in far less curvature of the case and, at least IMHO, less overall comfort. These brands included Tudor, Seiko, Deep Blue & Android. Those brands with the longer, curved lugs included Croton, Glycine (pre-IWG buyout) and, of course, Invicta. While this is by no means a random(ish) selection that would meet the rigorous metrics of a double-blind, scientific sampling, it does tend to show that Invicta isn't the only one currently going with this innovation. Further still, it's hard to say who started this practice first, at least based on the limited info from collezione di orologi da polso del mouse. Still, Invicta has seemingly produced many more divers as a whole than other watch companies, and virtually all of them appear to have this feature.

                              Soooo, after all of that palaver -- and aren't you glad you asked Mr. Wordiness this question, Robert? -- my Final Jeopardy answer to your question is that I don't know if it is in fact an Invicta invention or not, but whomever did come up with it certainly has made things a lot better for those of us who love our divers, especially the "big 'uns," as Larry Megan used to like saying, way back when. Still, having said that, Invicta does seem to have the lion's share of these comfy cases, so far as I can tell, so would it surprise me if they were the source of this comfort innovation? No, it wouldn't, because they seem to have really embraced and run full speed with it. Hope this at least helps to answer your question, mon ami… :)

                              (By way of full disclosure, I need to admit up front that I've had my share of problems with Invicta watches in the past, but, unlike so many of the wild-eyed, foaming-at-the-mouth mental patients out there who, like Pavlov's poor abused canine lab assistant, hear the clarion bell and attack the company in a blind rage, I try very hard to keep a semblance of objectiveness in my writings. And I try to give a watch company -- any watch company! -- that has done something right a virtual pat on the back for it. So, for all those fair-weather friends of mine out there who continue to give me a ration of you-know-what for this and other positive reviews I've written about an Invicta product over the years, isn't that what these discussions are all about? Ah well, I'll pick up my pearls and go cast them elsewhere...)
                              "Oh, darling, you can't fix yourself by breaking someone else." - Zsa Zsa Gabor