The Questionable History of Invicta’s Russian Diver

January 3, 2010

UPDATE 08/05/2010 SO Jim Skelton jumped in the fray when someone opened a thread with the links I provided on WG. He again dances around the statements to rewrite the story, only problem is that there are hundreds of people who had knowledge of the actual Soviet divers and saw the first presentations of the Invicta Russian diver and remember Eyal Laylo stating that the Russian Diver was an original Invicta design commisioned by the Russian (which anyone with historical knowledge knows was Soviet) Navy. I’m not the only one who heard it dickhead; as I stated, messageboards were blowing up. You wrote your limited edition for officers bullshit review and Eyal went off the script – just like he did with those Swiss marked watches being Swiss Made; and those genuine diamonds; and working closely with D-D. Jimblo, you don’t have a leg to stand on here you bloodclot.

NOW the famous screenshot of the ‘original’ RD that Eyal claims his MeMaw gave him; but that’s been debunked as well and you know it:

Which is probably why you’re now telling WGs that you don’t recall if that was it and you never saw the two that he has side by side – and that’s the part that seems so strange. Being the scary smart guy you are, the horological giant, that you wouldn’t want to examine these in detail.

THE truth is Invicta didn’t produce anything for the Soviet MOD or any sub divisions. They didn’t design the original and they never made a giant watch that would have got caught on stuff in the tight confines of a submarine. You know it, all of the old head WIS know it and now WGs in mass know it.

UPDATE 08/03/2010 NOW the Zlatoust factory has spoken and confirmed what we’ve known – Invicta’s Russian Diver has nothing to do with the former Soviet factory.

An interview by WUS member Silversen: Exclusively for WUS Russian Watches Forum from the management of ZChZ “Agat”

A translation by WUS Silversen member of an article that originally appeared in the Russian publication The Cheliabinsk Worker: Real History Behind Famous Zlatoust Diver Watches or Enough of Your Lie, Mr Invicta

So Jimblo, Eyal Laylo and the rest of the Invictards attempted to deny this fact. But now if you didn’t want to believe it, you have the word directly from the horses mouth.

Just another lie in the continuing Invicta saga exposed. I’d count this as August’s Invicta debacle but it’s a truth that real WIS have known from the beginning.

(Thanks to Diogenes Smith for the heads up)


AS promised, this is the follow up to the blog Gov. Schwarzenegger and the Invicta Russian Diver: Come Clean.

I’LL never forget when I first saw the Invicta “Russian” Diver presented on ShopNBC some time in the mid Oughts. I was pretty stunned that Invicta would do an homage piece to the Zlatoust Soviet era dive watches that had been cropping up on eBay since the late 90’s. Most of those auctions originated from the Ukraine. They went for anywhere between $99 USD and $299 USD at that time. I always wanted one but I don’t buy from Eastern European sellers – too shady.

These were typically matched with a strap that looked like it was made from vulcanized rubber and a certificate would be included detailing the date of manufacture. They usually included a grill guard similar to the ‘trench’ style guards on World War I watches. These things seemed unwearable in an era where the standard Mens size was anywhere from 38 to 40mm. It looked like something that Flavor Flav would have worn around his neck ten years earlier.

AHH, ten years earlier. “1989 a number, another summer” and the Pop Swatch had recently been released and was crazy big at 39 mm when the average mens size was around 36 mm.

I’ll always remember in the fall of that year when Joe showed up at my house to show off his new Soviet wristwatch. This particularly burned my ass for two reasons. The first was that these things were impossible to find yet somehow, he managed to get his hands on one. The second was that Joe was the type of cat who could give two shits about something like a wristwatch. This would undoubtedly be lost or broken within 6 months. It’s fate to end up on the wrist of the boyfriend of a chick that he would hook up with a few times; forgetting it in her car. He would have some rationale for lossing possesion. Maybe it would end up smashed in a fit of rage.

I had to have it after seeing it in person. The band was thick leather and the design was overall utilitarian and slightly industrial. It was huge like a Pop Swatch, but way cooler to a young mind that romanticized the socialist picture idealized in Billy Bragg songs. I tried buying it; even I including other watches in the deal. He’d just grin and refuse precisely because I wanted it so badly. He could finally “get me” for all of the times I busted his balls, laughed at his self-caused misfortune and made him feel dumb. It came with a lapel pin of a crossed American and USSR flag that he said, “You can have this pin for free if you want it…” Cock.

It came to pass that he “loaned” it to a girl a few months later and never saw it again.

It wouldn’t be until the late 90’s and the establishment of eBay that I would search for the Gruen Soviet watch. I finally managed to add it to my collection in the winter of 2003. At 40mm in diameter and about 45mm when one included the screw down crown cap, it was no longer large; it was average. When the battery required changing, I opened it up to find a Poljot Quartz movement making another first in my collection: the bit of research that I had done lead me to conclude that even with a undobtbly Hong Kong case and final assembly, this thing was actually a Soviet product based on the rules of the day. Maybe that’s why I wanted one of the Zlatoust divers. Because it was clear that the Gruen Soviet that I was smitten with in 1989 was itself an homage to a design that I hadn’t any knowledge of.

INVICTA’S homage some half a century later was more of a replica, from the dive helmet logo to the “C.C.C.P.” in a sans serf font. As more variations of the so-called “Russian Diver” came into being, the ‘history’ started to get mentioned in sales presentations. Initially I don’t recall any Soviet connection. I do remember quite a few messageboards discussions on Watchuseek and pmwf discussing the strange resemblance between the Invicta Russian Diver and the real Zlatoust Divers. Maybe it was because of that noise that Lalo started to elude that Invicta had designed the original Russian diver; a claim that immediately was questioned on the boards. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Then the story changed – what Laylo meant was that Invicta was contacted in 1959 by the Soviet Navy to create a limited edition of 100 pieces for officers yet at the same time the Invicta webpage was pushing the story that Invicta had designed the Russian diver.

But to the limited edition story that Invicta seems to be pushing yet again; why would an officer wear a nearly 60mm timepiece in an era when 35mm was large? Not to mention none of these 100 pieces has ever surfaced on the market and Laylo has only shown a single example of the supposed 1959 piece on TV once. A piece that, to my knowledge, has never been examined or authenticated by any independent sources. Wouldn’t a detailed article on this one piece be worthy of inclusion in WatchTime?

Furthermore, wouldn’t you expect some record; some log to exist detailing the transaction?

I’m not buying it. I refuse to believe much from Invicta. Just today Michael Davis said that the Invicta Men’s Pro Diver Swiss Quartz GMT Black Bezel Mesh Bracelet Watch is Swiss Made, yet if you follow the link and zoom in on the watch face, you can clearly see the absence of the “Swiss Made” mark. He also stated that the mesh bracelet was manufactured by an Italian company which would violate the conditions for a Swiss Made designation.

It’s easy enough to connect the dots here, but I guess if you equate collecting with tv viewing, then you wouldn’t know any better.

32 Responses to “The Questionable History of Invicta’s Russian Diver”

  1. jr Says:

    Failed “professional” poker player turned nepotism hire Michael Davis said a few weeks ago during a show that he owns 9 “Russian” divers. That should deter anyone from buying their first one.

  2. darksider Says:

    If Invicta would provide just one of these watches to the reviewers at Timezone or watchuseek, then we would know the truth. Show the production logs, order logs or shipping logs.

    Until someone complains to the FTC about the claims, nothing will be done. Many are still looking for the Swiss Factories Invicta has claimed they own.

  3. Jacky Rotten Says:

    A while ago I was searching for a “real” Russian diver, and found this article (, which also questions the veracity of the claims made by JS/EL.


  4. darksider Says:

    “Jacky Rotten Says:

    January 7, 2010 at 11:13 am
    A while ago I was searching for a “real” Russian diver, and found this article (, which also questions the veracity of the claims made by JS/EL.”

    That same issue has been brought up at Watch Geeks and the skelton of commented on it defending his buddy.

    You can also find it at

    The reality seems to be that Invicta has made a lot of smoke with it’s claims and blows off anyone trying to dispute it.

  5. Jacky Rotten Says:

    I’ve been reading watchgeeks recently – never heard of Invicta or WG before a few months ago. I find the site, and the company disturbing. It’s an entire ecosystem based on shopnbc/watchgeeks building a committed following to foist their shoddily made cheap quartz watches on an unsophisticated captive audience.

    The fact that their is little horological expertise amongst the geeks is painfully evident by reading the posts at that site. The typical geek has no frame of reference as to what a quality, well -made watch should be. So, they keep buying Invicta, no matter how many times they’ve been burned.

    It seems that Invicta as a company is based on the former glory of the original company, of which the modern incarnation bears no resemblance to or has any relationship with, so they have to invent a prestigious history (Russian Diver) in order to affect their pump and dump sales strategy.

    Remarkable and appalling.

    Eyal Lalo and Jim Skelton should be in prison for fraud.

  6. darksider Says:

    Now watchgeeks is dark. You must register to be able to see the site. A way to boost membership numbers and hide what is being posted from those who are not sheeplings.

    So much for a forum dedicated to watch lovers. It is a forum for sales, plain and simple.

  7. Jacky Rotten Says:

    Well, I had only started reading the posts there, so I won’t miss it.

  8. darksider Says:

    “Jacky Rotten Says:

    January 12, 2010 at 6:59 pm
    Well, I had only started reading the posts there, so I won’t miss it.”

    Just register using a gmail account or other on line email account.

  9. LIES ALL LIES! Says:

    Indeed, it’s all lies. The one time Eyal Lalo brought in one of those “original Swiss RD’s Invicta was commissioned to build for the Russian Naval officers” it was an empty case only, not marked in any way shape or form. I found that disturbing to say the least. No Invicta logo anywhere on the case or dial, It was as plain and spartan as could be, oddly enough just like the original Zlatoust ones. Hell it did not even say “Swiss Made”! Me thinks it was simply a gutted Zlatoust RD he showed off.

    Being this entire story centers around the Russian naval officers wanting a Swiss Made piece, wouldn’t they want it to be designated with the “Swiss Made” indication on the dial? Why only an empty case? Why not show off the prize of your story? Eyal claims his grandmother had one in her attic of the original 100 pieces, she gave it to him when he took over the company and loved the design so much he decided to modernize it and hence forth came the Invicta RD we know today.

    The whole myth is so full of holes, just like so many other Invicta promises and claims.

  10. LIES ALL LIES! Says:

    …. and something else to ponder. What company in their right mind, even in 1959, bids out for a contract to tool up, design, and bring in materials to produce only 100 watches? They would spend more on tooling to build these watches then the order was worth!

  11. Jacky Rotten Says:

    Perhaps they subcontracted all the work out to the factory in the small town of China, Switzerland like they do now?

    Without a doubt, the story is a lie. Just like everything else with Invicta, the Swiss (Chinese) watch factory.

  12. Invicta is a glorified drugstore brand. If one looks at it this way, one will not be surprised by the quality of the product.

  13. […] Big markers, distinct hands and a rotating bezel. Variety comes in the form of Invicta’s appropriated Soviet divers. I’m over all of it. I’ve embraced 44mm watches but i refuse to wear a […]

  14. They had the real Russian watches on the Shop tonight – I wish someone woulda called in and asked about the limited edition invicta Russian divers from 1959. Wot a joke!

  15. Chief86 Says:

    MAGGOTS! Chief86 here,power mod.

    You are all a bunch of limp wristed homosexuals,and beleive me,I no everything there is to no about that!How dare you question Eyal and Jim in there story about the origina of the Russian Diver!

    I beleive them not you.I believe them when they say Invicta invented the Rd,and I bleeive them when they say they made 100 for the Royal Russian Navy.I used to beleive them when they said there was a party in my mouth and there both coming,but I was sadly disappointed.

    You guys need to stop the bashing,I see another thread over at watchgeeks is going on about this subject and mentioned this treacherous blog.I look forward to disappearing that thread and banning everyone that participates!

    As you were maggots.

  16. krane11367 Says:


    After enjoying this blog for so long, allow me to tell you – this is your best moment yet. Well done, as always. Keep up the amazing work.

  17. Big P Says:

    The real story is Eyal’s grandmother dated a Russian diver, his name was Borus, he lived in the United States, and he was a diver, just not a Russian diver, only a Russian born in America who liked diving.

    Also, Borus loved to muff dive, he would take his hedge clippers to granny’s barnacle bush and clip away the piss soaked pubes, then Borus would begin his muff dive into granny’s clam chowder.

  18. Big P Says:

    All kidding and joking aside, the real Russian diver issues were amazing, look at the hole in the crystal for the key, look at the construction, look at the strap, look at the accessories it came with, and finally look how Eyal is thought of as a liar among the real manufacturer of the Russian diver.

    Let’s see, fake diamond accents, plastic box, Swinese movements, no Swiss factories, bullshit Russian diver stories, Hong Kong connections, Swiss parts movement, and many many more.

  19. krane11367 Says:

    The 8/5 update is awesome. Thanks again, and I’m sure I speak for all of us.

  20. krane11367 Says:

    Hey, better – did you see Skel and Davis on the “Jubilee” today? S. Fingers really went off on his Russian diver story, saying it “hasn’t changed in five years.” I’ll transcribe this latest lie and post it on WL.

    It’s unreal how he thinks anyone believes him – about anything.

  21. LIES ALL LIES! Says:

    Did he bring up what “Swiss” means on the dial? If there was ever a watch to boast about integrity and honesty on it probably should not have been one with a Chinese movement labeled “Swiss” on the dial. Hahahaha!

  22. Big P Says:

    Swiss means spaghetti, Swiss made means, is it really Swiss made?”

    Not to bring up repetitive wounds, but, isn’t it outstandingly hilarious watching the watchgeeks “get together” on youtube, hahahahHAHAHAHAhahahaha, all the Invictards flashing their witty bitty wist watches…braaaahahaahhhahaa, never gets old.

    Watchgeeks love their bucktoothed buckaroo, Jim Skelton, that’s you pal, you remind me of some zesty shit the toxic avenger crapped out in a Chinatown alleyway.

    Your back peddling “russian diver clarification speaches” only fake out the weak and frail minded of squires, ones who have no home for a brain.

    Invicta, your TV presence is like a mouth full of sand, your gimmicky genre of watch design is as pathetically perceived as your CEO’s graphite soul.

    In order to succeed at slopnbc, you need to possess the utmost upper echelon of bullshit skills, to become the ultimate deceiver of truth.

    Jim says a lot of things, and for a number of years now, he mixes in truth with his versions of the truth, and then like the wind, changes his tune, he can sell a Maurice Lacroix without sounding too much like an asshole, a rarity, but he acts like the point of entry for the Invicta sausage train.

    Slopnbc loves their slick stripe shirted vanguard of venom, let’s face it, Jimmy boy loves himself that much more….PUKE!!!!!!!!

  23. krane11367 Says:

    I know there are some out there who read this blog and others like it and think, “Why do these people dislike Invicta and ShopNBC’s hosts so much?”

    It’s because these are not good people – not in any way, shape or form. On the WatchLords forum, owner koimaster recently re-posted comments that Skelton, Davis, and the other “mods” posted on WG awhile back about koi and his beautiful late wife; they were upset because he was posting photographs of her on WG. The things they said there are unforgivable, and their actions against koi in subsequent months are borderline criminal, if not far over that line. I won’t get into detail here except to say they used their “power” as watch forum owners to really hound the poor guy.

    In American business, these type of people are the worst of the worst. Producing terrible products that aren’t backed up with any sort of CS at all, they lie and scheme and dupe consumers. They pretend to befriend their customers with a forum that constantly ridicules its very members behind their backs. Only those without any sort of life keep coming back.

    Like I said before: To spit on Jim Skelton would only clean him up. After what was posted on WL this week, I’m still stick to my stomach.

    Friends – join this blog, join WatchLords, join any real watch forum and avoid WatchGeeks like it has malware. It’s not a place for respectful people to hang out. And what – you wanna be like Flyback and 50mm&Up? Some role models.

  24. Big P Says:

    Krane, you are correct, WatchLords was a good suggestion.

  25. krane11367 Says:

    I watched a portion of last week’s never-ending IWG rotation, and it was amazing to see how much S. Fingers was bringing up “Far East Assembly” and harping on about how IWG uses the words “Swiss Parts Movement” on the case backs sometimes – as if they had invented it. Then he blathered on to say how transparent Invicta was for doing so, hype hype, shill shill, boast boast, another laugh with Mongo Davis…

    Good lord.

    These ridiculous statements aren’t being made to convince potential ShopNBC customers about the quality of IWG products. They’re being made to intentionally dig under the skin of those who have already been ripped off to the max and have had the nerve to actually complain about it. Instead of, on air, fessing up to any and all problems these shysters have caused their customers – and making good on all the bad watches, faux diamonds, non-working movements, and on and on and on and on – Jim Skelton’s best way to combat the rising tide of WG and consumer resentment is to spread his cheeks and take a giant, healthy dump on the very people who help him earn his living: Invicta customers.

    The shell game that Skelton, Lalo, and Davis play, in conjunction with ShopNBC, is transparent, abhorrent, and really fucking twisted. Instead of doing the right thing for their customers – the thing business does when it wants to develop customers for life – IWG and their TV con artists simply take good money from people, laugh about it when they’re ripped off by horrible watches, and then actually make comments that on-air they know are blatant horse manure – such as Skelton harping on and on, once again, about the entire Russian Diver fairy tale, which was convincingly proven an utter falsehood just two weeks before.

    These people are obviously are working under the assumption of “oh, it’s just watches – it’s no big thing.”

    Just you wait, Skelton and company. Tiny words are leaking out, slowly but authoritatively, that the shit’s about to just really gum up the fan, and big time. We wish ill for no one here; but to those who con us, we wish only the maximum penalties. It’s a sad thing; skating on the very outskirts of the law, con artists like this just ever-so-slightly manage to get away with it, moving on their next ruse, possibly in another field. Just look at Kevin Trudeau and it’s a good comparison.

    Oh, and the owner of revealed factually last week that the upcoming “Imperious” brand, brought on at the WG site by Skelton as some mysterious new brand, is just another IWG crap idea. But that’s Skelton for you. Why simply put out quality products at fair prices when you can build up mystery around another gray-market cob job?

  26. Big P Says:

    Invicta and slopnbc and hosts, give educated consumers many reasons to hate them with every ounce of fiber.

    I haven’t heard this much “far east” talk since “big trouble in little china” was on TV 25 years ago.

    The “russian diver clarification back peddle” speeches are utter double talk, my lord, these cocksuckers change their story all the time.


    We will see the fallout continue to multiply like larva, I hope Skelton’s jaw falls off during a live presentation of IWG TTV, and Davis scurrying to try to crazy glue his jaw back on, as slopnbc gets hit by a tsunami of kangaroo shit!!!

  27. […] The Questionable History of Invicta’s
    Russian Diver January 201026 comments 5 […]

  28. don Says:

    the racist statement that you “don’t buy from eastern european sellers because they are too shady” made me throw up a bit. westerners have perfected sleaze and shadiness, invicta is a perfect example. please spare the easterners from your drivel.

  29. betterskills Says:

    Blah, blah, blah.

  30. koimaster Says:

    time for a bump on for this topic

  31. Anonymous Says:

    Fuckas speak English!!!!!!!

  32. Lies All Lies!!! Says:

    Yo dawg, honky’s story about grans is busted.

    Is that better?

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