Invicta vs Seiko: What’s the Best Brand For You?

by   |  in Accessories

Many of you may already think there’s a clear winner when pitting Seiko against Invicta. Since seasoned and new watch enthusiasts alike can have vastly different priorities, let us help you see another side! Let’s take a look at these brands head to head, Seiko vs Invicta.

Everyone knows Seiko from its stellar reputation as a high-quality brand with range. Invicta is known mainly for affordability, but there’s much more there. 

So let’s start by asking:

flatlay of two watches both mixed with steel and gold

Is Seiko Better Than Invicta?

Overall, Seiko offers more first-rate timepieces than Invicta. Their Seiko 5 line is also renowned for their affordable mechanicals.

Regardless, you won’t find a mechanical watch cheaper than an Invicta. They’re one of the top affordable watch brands out there, and a safe space for experimentation.

Let’s go more in depth with each.

Invicta: Examining the Affordability

Invicta was founded in Switzerland in 1837. However, they went bankrupt in the 80s, then were acquired my American investors. They relaunched in the US in 1991 with headquarters in Hollywood, Florida.

While today they’re effectively an American company, a lot of Invicta’s production happens in China and Malaysia.

They build quartz and mechanical watches and source from Japan, China, and sometimes Switzerland. Their premium collection, Invicta Reserve, offers a few Swiss-made models. 

Still, Invicta is overall an affordable consumer watch thanks to their heavy outsourcing and mass manufacturing. This low barrier to entry is the main reason they’re so popular. 

The second reason is because they offer a wide range of designs, offering far more unconventional options than Seiko. They’re known for their fashion-focused use of gold tinting and skeletonized movements

Invicta has over 40 different collections. The Bolt collection features watches with franco chain style bezels, even with a variation in a full metallic rainbow construction.

The Objet d’Art collection boasts complex artistic case styles and even pocket watches. If you’re looking for something massive, flashy, or truly unique, Invicta has a model for each occasion.  

On top of that, they have great collaborations including those with the NFL, DC Comics, and the US Navy and Army, just to name a few.

The downside to Invicta’s heavy use of third party manufacturers is that sometimes quality control can be inconsistent.

Starting at around $40 though, they’ll always be the cheapest when compared to similarly-equipped timepieces, even in relation to ever-affordable Seiko.

Seiko: A Comparison

Seiko is a highly-esteemed Japanese heritage brand founded in 1881. When it comes to competing with Swiss hard-hitters, Seiko is the only potentially viable contender outside of Europe.

One central difference between Seiko and Invicta is that Seiko makes its components in house. They also supply mechanical and quartz calibers to watch brands that don’t build their own movements. In fact, Invicta’s Pro Diver runs on Seiko’s NH35A caliber.

Seiko is hailed for many achievements, horologically and as a business.

Innovations such as the first quartz watch in 1969 and the ground-breaking spring drive movement in 1977 were industry game-changers, while their ingenuity as a company ensured they mastered every technique in watchmaking. 

They’re known for their focused sublines, such as Seiko 5 which democratized mechanical watch offerings and Grand Seiko which are upscale hand-made pieces of art and engineering.

This crossover appeal is likely why Seiko is the 6th largest brand in the world, when it comes to sales.

Comparing Invicta and Seiko Watches

Let’s compare some Seiko and Invicta models in the categories of budget, sport, dress, and luxury watches:

Budget Watches: Invicta Specialty 31309 vs Seiko SUR150P1

Invicta Specialty 31309

A truly unique timepiece, 42mm is big even for modern dress watches. However, this allows you to get a good glimpse of the Chinese-built automatic movement on the front face, skeletonized so that the inner workings are easier to see.

Invicta Specialty 31309
$54.25

A truly unique timepiece, 42mm is big even for modern dress watches. However, this allows you to get a good glimpse of the Chinese-built automatic movement on the front face, skeletonized so that the inner workings are easier to see.

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09/08/2021 05:41 pm GMT

Round it out with a gold-colored case and a leather croco-embossed strap, and you’ve got a fascinating and eye-catching watch on your wrist.

Seiko Dress Watch SUR150P1

Also featuring a gold-colored case and embossed leather strap, this Seiko is overall more traditional with its slightly smaller stature and more tapered silhouette.

Only the 12 and 6 markers are in Arabic and its date window is delicately sized for a more refined and understated elegance. It runs on a basic Japanese quartz movement.

Seiko Dress Watch SUR150P1
$89.98

Featuring a gold-colored case and embossed leather strap, this Seiko is overall more traditional with its slightly smaller stature and more tapered silhouette.

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09/08/2021 05:37 pm GMT

If you’re looking for a more classic dress watch, Seiko plays by the rules. However, when it comes to its bang-for-buck quality (the most important quality for a budget watch), Invicta takes home the gold.

It’s an unconventional watch, but in this price range, there’s nothing wrong with having some fun.

Sport Watches: Invicta Pro Diver 40 vs Seiko 5 SRPB94

Invicta Pro Diver 40 

The Invicta Pro Diver is the consumer buyer’s go-to budget dive because it checks all the functionality boxes. It’s 200m water-resistant, it has a unidirectional coin-edged bezel, a screw-down crown, and lume.

Invicta Pro Diver 40
$85.98

The Invicta Pro Diver is the consumer buyer’s go-to budget dive because it checks all the functionality boxes. It’s 200m water-resistant, it has a unidirectional coin-edged bezel, a screw-down crown, and lume. This black and gold timepiece runs on Seiko’s NH35A automatic caliber, which has hacking and 41 hours of power.

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09/08/2021 05:34 pm GMT

This black and gold timepiece runs on Seiko’s NH35A automatic caliber, which has hacking and 41 hours of power.

Seiko 5 SRPB94

Though they have a similar color scheme, the Seiko 5 SRPB94 has a more minimalist bezel and a smaller date for a smoother look. Also, there are gold-colored accents surrounding the bracelet’s middle links, as opposed to the Invicta’s fully-colored middle links.

It boasts an excellent lume that makes this watch legible even in the darkest situations. 

Before we get to the verdict, here’s a quick trade secret! The 4R36 movement in the Seiko 5 SRPB94 is virtually the same as the NH35A in the Invicta.

Seiko 5 SRPB94

The Seiko 5 SRPB94 has a minimalist bezel and a smaller date for a smoother look. This watch also boasts gold-colored accents surrounding the bracelet’s middle links.

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When this movement is sold to another brand, Seiko uses the NH35A code, and when they use it in-house, they use the 4R36 code. This might mean that there’s better quality control over the 4R36, but they’re the same design template. 

Invicta gets extra points for offering visually similar Pro Divers in quartz form, and if this were the budget category, it could have won this comparison. Seiko, however, is just more collectible and a safer choice for a quality mechanical.

It also has a much better lume. While the Pro Diver is a fine choice for a budget watch, it’s difficult to get around the fact its lume is actually not very good at all.

Dress Watches: Invicta Specialty 18116 vs Seiko Presage SRPB43

Invicta Specialty 18116

The Invicta Specialty is a beautiful dress watch featuring genteel and polished details like the gold outline around its date window, concurrent lines in the background, and stately Roman numerals for 12, 3, 6, and 9.

Invicta Specialty 18116
$215.69

The Invicta Specialty is a beautiful dress watch featuring genteel and polished details like the gold outline around its date window, concurrent lines in the background, and stately Roman numerals for 12, 3, 6, and 9.

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09/09/2021 06:57 am GMT

The textured dial has a silver hue, while the case is gold-colored for a lavish aesthetic.

Seiko Presage SRPB43

The Seiko Cocktail Time combines a harmonious Japanese aesthetic sense with horological craftsmanship.

The dial’s combination of a sunburst background and delicate textured lines is sophisticated and iconic. Movement-wise, it runs on Seiko’s in-house 23-jewel 4R35B automatic caliber, which has hacking and hand-winding capabilities. 

Seiko Presage SRPB43
$318.75

The Seiko Cocktail Time combines a harmonious Japanese aesthetic sense with horological craftsmanship. The dial’s combination of a sunburst background and delicate textured lines is sophisticated and iconic.

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09/08/2021 05:49 pm GMT

The Presage is one of the most beloved dress watch lines in its price range. Even if its automatic movement isn’t important to you, its sleek and artistic design wins the aesthetic round.

At the end of the day though, a dress watch should reflect your visual tastes more than anything.

Luxury Watches: Invicta Russian Diver 17330 vs Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ211

Invicta Russian Diver 17330

The Russian Diver 17330 proves that Invicta doesn’t care about following rules, and some collectors genuinely love that.

Invicta Russian Diver 17330
$399.90

The Russian Diver 17330 proves that Invicta doesn’t care about following rules, and some collectors genuinely love that. From the caged face, the Frankenstein-stitched croco-embossed leather strap, and the chained crown, this 53mm monster will surely get you noticed

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09/08/2021 05:46 pm GMT

From the caged face, the Frankenstein-stitched croco-embossed leather strap, and the chained crown, this 53mm monster will surely get you noticed.

This is actually just a taste of how left-field and experimental their designs get! 

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ211

Built with high-intensity titanium, this uniquely durable watch also has a luxurious white sheen that regular titanium doesn’t have. It runs on Caliber 9S86 which is accurate at -5/+3 daily, and serves up a GMT function on top of that!

Lightweight and artistically designed, this exquisite piece will last you forever and is timeless enough to get passed on to your son, then to his.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ211
$7,400.00

Built with high-intensity titanium, this uniquely durable watch also has a luxurious white sheen that regular titanium doesn’t have. It runs on Caliber 9S86 which is accurate at -5/+3 daily, and serves up a GMT function on top of that!

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09/08/2021 05:43 pm GMT

The Grand Seiko is an objectively higher quality watch when it comes to construction and horological offerings.

As far as classic markers of superiority, Seiko wins hands down. Since both watches are so different, as are the two brands, it’s again a matter of taste.

If those classic markers don’t matter to you, and you want a wild timepiece that will turn heads, the Invicta Russian Diver is undeniably powerful aesthetically.

Invicta vs Seiko Verdict

If you’re looking for a classic high-quality timepiece at every price point, go for Seiko. They’re overall the more premium watch brand. And for just a few more dollars than Invicta, they’ve got plenty of bang-for-buck options too.

There are good reasons to choose Invicta though.

Perhaps you’re saving up for your grail, but you want a cheap mechanical in the meantime to play with. In this case, the difference between a $50 Pro Diver and a $100 Seiko 5 can be meaningful.

Maybe you just want a decent consumer watch for as cheap as you can get it. Finally, you could just be looking for that out-of-this-world design that Seiko simply doesn’t offer.

We hope this was helpful! What are some of your favorite Invicta and Seiko watches? Let us know by hitting us up on Facebook and on Instagram.