Invicta-Pro-Diver-1953-31290-26

Invicta Pro Diver 1953 Review

Invicta quietly releases a modestly sized, vintage-inspired dive watch

There are few brands that can spark such a polarizing debate between watch enthusiasts as Invicta can. Their watches range from a classic Rolex Submariner homage to those that are the size of a wall clock. The original Invicta Pro Diver was the brand’s most conservative offering until recently.

Invicta quietly launched the Pro Diver 1953 in early 2020. Almost no one knew about the release until a thread was started on the forum WatchUSeek. It seemed as though Invicta didn’t want to tell anyone about their new release.

The Invicta Pro Diver 1953 piqued the interest of watch enthusiasts for a few reasons: Its case dimensions were nearly perfect, it featured a 200-meter water resistance rating, and it cost about the same as a Seiko 5. Let’s take a closer look at it and see if it lives up the hype.

Invicta-Pro-Diver-1953-31290-13

On the Wrist

The Invicta Pro Diver 1953 looks to be an immediate hit when you put it on the wrist. The 40mm case will feel right at home on almost any wrist and the lug-to-lug (49mm) distance is proportionate. Its case is a little thick at 14mm but it doesn’t feel that thick because of the case’s shape and lug design.

Invicta-Pro-Diver-1953-31290-20

Bearing a strong resemblance to early Rolex Submariners, the Invicta Pro Diver 1953 is packed with vintage aesthetics. The gilt accents and aged lume on the dial help the watch fall into the fauxtina category that is popular with many watch brands. While the gilt and aged lume don’t create as much contrast as silver and white, the Pro Diver is still easily readable.

Invicta-Pro-Diver-1953-31290-25

When I first started posting about this watch, I received a lot of questions about the comfort of the bracelet. For the price of this watch, I was pleasantly surprised with the bracelet.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not amazing but it isn’t uncomfortable either. The links articulate enough to not be too stiff going around the wrist.  The clasp is stamped but it’s thin and unobtrusive.

Invicta-Pro-Diver-1953-31290-21

Invicta Pro Diver 1953 In Motion

Dial Details

Invicta knows their customers. Each watch model is almost specifically crafted to cater to a single demographic. The Invicta Pro Diver 1953 appears to be for the watch enthusiast community. The dial is a dead giveaway. Invicta’s current wing logo has been cut down to just their name, harkening back to the brand’s heyday prior to the quartz crisis. It’s easy to forget just how old Invicta is. They were founded in 1837.

Invicta-Pro-Diver-1953-31290-7

As I mentioned before, the dial is heavily inspired by Rolex and the configuration of the dial will be familiar to those who know those dials. An elongated triangle marker is present at 12 o’clock with rectangles at the other cardinal positions. Circle markers are in every other position on the dial. While the lume isn’t great (and I don’t expect it to be at this price), it also isn’t bad. The initial bloom was decent, and it provided enough illumination to be readable for the duration of a movie.

Invicta-Pro-Diver-1953-31290-5

While the handset isn’t anything remarkable, I was happy that the hands did reach proportionally to the edge of the dial. I came to really enjoy the seconds hand, which is a lollipop style with the lollipop being at the end as opposed to 1/3 of the way in. It almost touched the edge of the dial and was pleasing to watch sweep around the dial.

Invicta-Pro-Diver-1953-31290-1

Case, Bezel & Bracelet

Invicta did a nice job finishing the watch while keeping the price down. The brushing and polished chamfers were all executed well and I couldn’t find any defects. There isn’t anything about the case that jumped out at me as being innovative, but rather it felt familiar and most importantly, was comfortable. The lugs had a slight curve to them and conformed to my wrist well.

Invicta-Pro-Diver-1953-31290-12

Invicta fitted an exhibition caseback on the Pro Diver 1953 and while that is nothing to write home about, they added a custom rotor to the NH35 movement. Invicta is known for yellow so it’s no surprise that the rotor is yellow.  It’s a nice touch on a relatively inexpensive watch.

Invicta-Pro-Diver-1953-31290-19

If you’re familiar with a Seiko 5 bezel you’ll already be familiar with the Invicta Pro Diver 1953’s bezel. Its action was smooth with little backplay in its 120 clicks. Falling even more so into Seiko territory, I’m sorry to say the bezel on my model was misaligned by about half a click. Having talked to a few others who bought this watch, it seems this is a common problem. I’m at a complete loss why certain watch manufacturers can’t seem to get bezel alignment right.

Invicta-Pro-Diver-1953-31290-22

I have worn better bracelets than the one that comes fitted on the Invicta Pro Diver 1953, but I’ve also worn much worse bracelets. I would say it is on par with the Oyster-style bracelet on an SKX. I am happy that Invicta decided to use female endlinks for the bracelet and that the first link articulates fully. This allows the bracelet to drop off the case so it wraps around the wrist comfortably.

Invicta-Pro-Diver-1953-31290-4

Final Thoughts

Seiko has owned the $100 space for years with the Seiko 5 line. However, one thing that line always lacked was a 200-meter water resistance-rated watch with a screw-down crown. The Invicta Pro Diver 1953 fills that gap.

It’s extremely difficult to argue with the value proposition this watch offers. Of course, Invicta being Invicta, it has a ridiculous manufacturer’s suggested retail price of around $700 but this sells for and acts like a $100 watch. A solid movement with some respectable specs makes it a great candidate for a beater, vacation, or everyday watch.

This watch has me curious if Invicta will start to trickle out more watches with these dimensions. I have no doubt that they will still make the clocks to be worn on a wrist that they have been making for years but it doesn’t mean they can’t break into another demographic. I know I would be interested to see what else they come up with and I’m positive the larger watch community would as well.

Check out more dive watch reviews from The Watch Clicker

Check out the Invicta website

Case Width40mmThickness14mm
Lug-to-lug Height49mmLug Width20mm
CrystalMineral CrystalStrapBracelet
Water Resistance200 metersLumeNot Specified
MovementSeiko NH35Price$98 (Street Price)

More Images of the Invicta Pro Diver 1953

Total
5
Shares
Comments 3
  1. What rock have you been living under all those years? Invicta already has a range of 40mm automatic budget divers, the infamous pro diver 8926OB, that is equally loved and hated, is one of their best sold models. They also have a 42mm pro diver range that’s equally comfortable and affordable. Both sizes come in different color options as well as different bezel styles.

  2. You stated that Invicta did not want anyone to know they released the 31290. Then you asked if it lives up to the “hype.” What hype? I do not see Invicta hype at all…..

  3. The only 1953 I’ve been able to find on Amazon is PVD-coated, which is a cool look for a modern watch, but for one meant to have a retro look, it seems historically incorrect. I’d buy and wear an uncoated one if I could find it!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prev
Helson Sharkmaster 300 Review
helson-sharkmaster-8

Helson Sharkmaster 300 Review

An affordable Omega Seamaster 300 homage that is built like a tank

Next
Longines BigEye Chronograph Review
Longines-Avigation-BigEye-Chronograph-6

Longines BigEye Chronograph Review

An affordable automatic chronograph from a storied brand

You May Also Like