For reasons unknown to me, I have always reflexively brushed off Invicta Pro Diver as a cheap replica of the Submariner. I guess I was blindly forced into hating the brand. Conforming to the masses, they call it. It wasn’t until I actually got my hands on one of the models that I began to appreciate just how much quality Invicta manages to tuck into the 9094 Pro Diver, for under $100.
This watch truly shocked me in every aspect. Very little negatives can be said about the design and functionality of the Pro Diver. Everything from its build quality down to the solid automatic movement screams value for money. Love it or hate it, you’ve got to admit one thing – when it comes to an affordable Submariner homage, very little can beat Invicta.
9094 Case Design
With 40mm in diameter, the Pro Diver 9094 will sit on your wrist nicely, regardless if you’re thin or thick-wristed. It’s also 13mm slim, just enough to fit under the cuff. The embossed screw-in crown along with the caseback allows for a water resistance of up to 200m, which will suffice if you plan on taking the watch for a swim or some shallow diving.
The amount of detailing on the watch is astounding. By far the most overt of all is the ‘Invicta’ inscription, engraved deeply along the side of the case. At the price point, you would expect some low-level laser etching, but even under the magnifying glass, the accuracy remains impressive.
There is a variety of finishes, top of the lugs are brushed (albeit not excellently) while the rest of the case is polished in a nice, reflecting manner. You’ll find that mineral crystal is protecting both the dial and the exhibition case; understandable as the price point doesn’t really allow for a better alternative.
All in all, a very well-executed case. The shortcomings are scarce; apart from the slightly cheapish sound of the rotating bezel and the crown’s hesitance to slot back in at times, there aren’t many to name. The excellent machining resulted in a very attractive, detailed case.
The dial of the 9094 model we’re reviewing today comes finished in a deep, almost metallic blue. The reason behind this impression is the polished surface of the dial, along with the sunburst effect. The color looks very rich and neat from all angles.
Included are your typical Submariner elements – the Mercedes hands, the large magnifying glass above the day complication, the round and baton hour markers, and the triangle at 12 o’clock. However, though Invicta may have been a little unimaginative with their design, all components have been machined and applied with a high-standard accuracy.
There is even a unique twist with the seconds hand, wherein it features the company’s winged logo at its root. Really, really neat. Also, near its tip is a lume-filled disc and the overall usage of lume on the Pro Diver is ample. I didn’t expect it to be as strong and consistent across the whole dial.
The printing and logo application is top-notch, too. Don’t expect a shoddy job when it comes to precision as Invicta truly approached the task with great delicacy. The Pro Diver’s dial is, especially considering the watch’s price, just flawless.
The stainless-steel bracelet is chunky-looking and has a nice, balanced heft to it, featuring a fold-over clasp with the safety catch. Again, the attention to detail is evident. Not only is there the company’s logo etched on the clasp, the word ‘Invicta’ is engraved on the back of every link, too.
Perhaps not the most accurate, but still a solid workhorse movement, Seiko NH35A SII is one of the most popular automatic movements on the market. It’s a 24-jewel, hand-winding, hackable upgrade from the Seiko NH25 caliber, providing an accuracy of -20 to +40 seconds per day. A reliable trooper which is also easily serviced if things go south on an off chance.
Invicta even surprised us with a custom-made rotor and an inscription on the exhibition glass. Very nice details at the price point.
Without beating around the bush I’ll come clear – The Pro Diver 9094 offers outstanding value for money. I mean, a superbly executed automatic diver for under a $100? That’s a steal in my book. Why people hate Invicta? I guess it most likely has to do with the ‘’I’m not buying a clone’’ attitude.
Instead of thinking about it as a Rolex Submariner imitation, think about the Pro Diver as an affordable automatic diver which pays respect to the Swiss giant, proving that quality doesn’t have to come with an eye-popping price tag. If you can let go of the vanity and perceive the facts as they are, you’ll go ahead and buy one. It’s well worth the money.