The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

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The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

Post by koimaster on Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:08 am

The Zlatoust watch factory has an interesting history. During WWII, the one of the Moscow watch factories was evacuated east to Zlatoust in the Chelyabinsk region to avoid being captured or destroyed by the advancing Nazi army. (many other Russian factories were moved this way as well) There, watch and clock production was quickly brought back online. According to the factory, over 90 percent of the clocks installed in Soviet tanks and aircraft were made at Zlatoust.

After the war, the factory continued to produce all sorts of clocks and watches including stopwatches and this huge diver watch. (As an aside, they don’t just make watches in Zlatoust. This place was also the center of the old Soviet nuclear weapons industry. See: Zlatoust . It is also reputed to be one of the most contaminated places in the world as well.

they are 3 inches in diameter and an inch thick. Each watch comes with a complete repair kit, namely a hard plastic gasket and a small screwdriver for attaching the beautiful faux-rubber band. By unscrewing the outer bezel, you can remove the thick glass crystal and bare the beautiful lumed face to the elements.

Now to make this clear, this is not Invicta bashing here. Stories have changed several times and at this point in time there has never been one of these Officer Watches ever presented. That does not mean they do not exist. I think if these were to be made public, a watch like the one claimed to have been 1 of 100 would be worth a great deal on money to a collector. I would like to see one just for comparison to the standard Russian Diver to see the differences.

There is an interesting "story" about Eyals grandmother being asked to make this watch for the Russian Navy (or something to that effect. Eyal and family didn't get involved with Invicta until the early 90's when they revived (bought) the name.
Maybe someone here knows how the "story" goes.
From the Invicta website;

This time they have tackled a design they made in 1959 which was commissioned for the Russian Naval Fleet. The former Soviet Union commissioned roughly 100 pieces to be made by Invicta in Switzerland for their elite divers in their Navy, and proved to be one of the last Swiss manufactures used by the USSR. Designed to be worn over a diver's suit this is a huge watch with large numerals and hands for better legibility under water, and in the dark. Protecting the crown is a large screwdown "cap" which tightens down for water resistance.

Eyal Lalo (President & CEO of Invicta Watch) was given one of the original Russian Divers by his grandmother and has decided to use that for a basis for this design. Completely replicating this original took a lot of work by creating this one-off oversized case, and unique vintage dial. The original was carefully taken apart so that every part of it could be inspected, measured, and replicated as closely as possible. Invicta has surpassed the original by utilizing a stronger compound of Tritnite luminescent material on the dial, and a completely reworked and skeletonized Swiss Unitas movement. All of the work was performed in their newly built Swiss factory and it exhibits all of the finish and quality of any high end Swiss Made product.

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Re: The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:50 pm

so did invicta make the russian diver or not? what I read has confused me more than ever. 😕
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Re: The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

Post by Guest on Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:30 am

Maybe Mythbusters can help get to the bottom of the story.
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Re: The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:10 pm

time-lord wrote:so did invicta make the russian diver or not? what I read has confused me more than ever. 😕

There is no supporting evidence for Invicta's claims. There is, however, ample evidence to cast serious doubt on any involvement by Invicta with the development of the watch, caliber, or any contact with the Soviet Navy.
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Re: The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

Post by koimaster on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:36 pm

k-2112 wrote:
time-lord wrote:so did invicta make the russian diver or not? what I read has confused me more than ever. 😕

There is no supporting evidence for Invicta's claims. There is, however, ample evidence to cast serious doubt on any involvement by Invicta with the development of the watch, caliber, or any contact with the Soviet Navy.

I agree with you. Aside from the dubious claims about the origins of the company, the story about this alleged watch has changed over time. Just an invoice, a set of designs, even a letter about the watches would put this to rest. My opinion is that it never existed, just an urban legend.

Back in that time, a watch such as that would be prized as a family heirloom and passed down. You would think at least one still existed.

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Re: The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:41 pm

koimaster wrote:
...
Back in that time, a watch such as that would be prized as a family heirloom and passed down. You would think at least one still existed.

Well, apparently one does exist, but going by the picture you posted in another thread, it was "passed down" from a very recent time...
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Re: The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

Post by koimaster on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:46 pm

That screen shot of the owner of Invicta with a Russian Diver is the one he claims is one of the original 50, or 100 or whatever the story has morphed into.

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Re: The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:53 pm

koimaster wrote:That screen shot of the owner of Invicta with a Russian Diver is the one he claims is one of the original 50, or 100 or whatever the story has morphed into.

Nope. That watch is a tourist version of the original, and could have been made at any time from the late 1970's (unlikely) to the day before it was aired.
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Re: The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

Post by koimaster on Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:03 am

k-2112 wrote:
koimaster wrote:That screen shot of the owner of Invicta with a Russian Diver is the one he claims is one of the original 50, or 100 or whatever the story has morphed into.

Nope. That watch is a tourist version of the original, and could have been made at any time from the late 1970's (unlikely) to the day before it was aired.

Mist of us that actually spend time reading and listening to others about our hobby figured it was not the real deal. I think the whole thing was staged again for the benefit of the buyers who are impulse buyers who have not yet grown in the hobby. And it was a knee jerk reaction to some posts made about the ficition of the story at a couple of forums.

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Re: The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

Post by koimaster on Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:09 am

I have to hit the sack. 5:30 comes fast

thanks for the conversation. I enjoyed it and hope to see you here often. have a good evening

Alain

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Re: The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

Post by Guest on Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:33 am

koimaster wrote:
k-2112 wrote:
koimaster wrote:That screen shot of the owner of Invicta with a Russian Diver is the one he claims is one of the original 50, or 100 or whatever the story has morphed into.

Nope. That watch is a tourist version of the original, and could have been made at any time from the late 1970's (unlikely) to the day before it was aired.

Mist of us that actually spend time reading and listening to others about our hobby figured it was not the real deal. I think the whole thing was staged again for the benefit of the buyers who are impulse buyers who have not yet grown in the hobby. And it was a knee jerk reaction to some posts made about the ficition of the story at a couple of forums.

There's probably a lot to that, however, I think it goes much further.

It is my opinion that Invicta is a company propped up by a series of calculated lies in order to push product. I believe that their business plan of premeditated deception is unsustainable, and that the current sales spike has peaked and will trend downward until it reaches it's natural market position for such a cheaply made watch, from a bottom-tier design house, made in out-sourced factories that couldn't find Switzerland on a map unless it was written in Chinese, and sold by TV hucksters a la Sham-Wow.
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Re: The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

Post by koimaster on Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:58 am

k-2112 wrote:
koimaster wrote:

Mist of us that actually spend time reading and listening to others about our hobby figured it was not the real deal. I think the whole thing was staged again for the benefit of the buyers who are impulse buyers who have not yet grown in the hobby. And it was a knee jerk reaction to some posts made about the ficition of the story at a couple of forums.

There's probably a lot to that, however, I think it goes much further.

It is my opinion that Invicta is a company propped up by a series of calculated lies in order to push product. I believe that their business plan of premeditated deception is unsustainable, and that the current sales spike has peaked and will trend downward until it reaches it's natural market position for such a cheaply made watch, from a bottom-tier design house, made in out-sourced factories that couldn't find Switzerland on a map unless it was written in Chinese, and sold by TV hucksters a la Sham-Wow.

I couid not have said it any better then that. At one time IMO, Invicta made some decent watches for the price point. I refer to the Swiss Made ones but I think after 2006 they went downhill. If one does a internet search for Russian Dive Watches, the results are dominated by the Invicta RD. Sad.

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Re: The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

Post by Guest on Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:11 am

koimaster wrote:
k-2112 wrote:
koimaster wrote:

Mist of us that actually spend time reading and listening to others about our hobby figured it was not the real deal. I think the whole thing was staged again for the benefit of the buyers who are impulse buyers who have not yet grown in the hobby. And it was a knee jerk reaction to some posts made about the ficition of the story at a couple of forums.

There's probably a lot to that, however, I think it goes much further.

It is my opinion that Invicta is a company propped up by a series of calculated lies in order to push product. I believe that their business plan of premeditated deception is unsustainable, and that the current sales spike has peaked and will trend downward until it reaches it's natural market position for such a cheaply made watch, from a bottom-tier design house, made in out-sourced factories that couldn't find Switzerland on a map unless it was written in Chinese, and sold by TV hucksters a la Sham-Wow.

I couid not have said it any better then that. At one time IMO, Invicta made some decent watches for the price point. I refer to the Swiss Made ones but I think after 2006 they went downhill. If one does a internet search for Russian Dive Watches, the results are dominated by the Invicta RD. Sad.

The Invicta Russian Diver brand reminds me of John Cleese's explanation for using the name "Monty Python's Flying Circus" for the legendary TV program, "...because there's no one named Monty Python, it doesn't fly, and it's not a circus."
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Re: The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER

Post by Watch Noob on Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:35 am

[quote="k-2112It is my opinion that Invicta is a company propped up by a series of calculated lies in order to push product. I believe that their business plan of premeditated deception is unsustainable, and that the current sales spike has peaked and will trend downward until it reaches it's natural market position for such a cheaply made watch, from a bottom-tier design house, made in out-sourced factories that couldn't find Switzerland on a map unless it was written in Chinese, and sold by TV hucksters a la Sham-Wow.[/quote]

Careful, these types of posts will get you labeled as a Malcontent by some. Great post, spot on!

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