ShopNBC Hires Bill McGrath: A Response to Invicta Quality?

January 12, 2010

IN an interesting move, ShopNBC has tapped Bill McGrath as VP of Quality Assurance, a 20 year veteran who most recently served as Vice President Global Sourcing Operations and Finance at QVC. In the first paragraph of the press release, they mention their Anywhere initiative, which includes ShopNBC”s presence on social media sites as well as their iPhone app and website. Upon first reading, it sounds as if Mr. McGrath is going to lead this project. But if you read it closely, you’ll see that this is not the case. When you read through the press release, Mike Murray, ShopNBC Senior Vice President of Operations detail Mr. McGrath’s various duties while at QVC:

“Bill brings a wealth of product quality experience and supply chain expertise — from vendor manufacturing through custom consumer packaging — that spans all our product categories and beyond. His commitment to excellence and building strong partnerships will benefit our vendors, product offerings, and customers. We look forward to his impact on our efforts to continue lowering transactional costs while improving the customer experience.”

This seems like a bait and switch; McGrath’s expertise is the supply chain continuum and the quality of products down to the packaging. A quick Google search of “Invicta QC issue” yields 156,000 returns and if you read some of the comments here as well as around the various watch messageboards, poor quality control seems to be inseparable from the ShopNBC / Invicta experience. I’ve also read quite a few complaints of Renato quality issues.

This move comes on the heels of ShopNBC’s dismissal of two popular hosts, Charla Rines and Mike Davidson.

UPDATE 01/19/2009: Something interesting is occuring over at – dissent! The vocal complaints from customers center around the Subaqua Noma III Ocean Quest and a design flaw involving screws that easily crossthread and break and while Jim Skelton (In Cognito) himself has weighed in with a rather terse and forcefull response, the debate rages on. It is comical to read him defend what is a bad design while the watch has been crossthreaded live on the air more than once. It’s really telling to see senior posters atempt ro intimidate and silence this debate as Mr. Skelton partially owns the watchgeeks forum along with Technical Brabd Manager Michael Davis. This is the coming of the perfect storm I alluded to in my blog, Jim Skelton Out at ShopNBC. The blurred lines between Invicta, Skelton and ShopNBC are on display for anyone to see if they create an account on the now password only site. One wonders what Mr. McGrath’s response would be to Mr. Skelton’s less than humble reply?


25 Responses to “ShopNBC Hires Bill McGrath: A Response to Invicta Quality?”

  1. darksider Says:

    From July 2008:

    QVC promoted Bill McGrath to vice president of operations and finance for the design and development/global sourcing (DDGS) team. In his new role, McGrath will work with the DDGS team on global sourcing strategies, operating procedures and controls.

    Less than 18 months on the job in that position leads me to believe he was not up to the task. Right now Shopnbc appears to have made a choice to sell junk as quality goods. A lot of the stuff seen there is from China. The majority of the watches are made in China which is fine if you like a cheap fashion watch.

    Invicta seems to have taken over the channel as the watch purveyer there.Almost all of the watch shows are Invicta with a smattering of Sturling (china made) Andriod (china made) and SWI (mostly china made).

    Add to mix the Invicta controlled outlet known as which just went private membership only and you have a Hitler type control on viewers. I suspect Mr. McGrath will be spending a lot of time in Asia picking out new items to sell to unspecting americans as top quality items.

    Last evening the shopnbc hostess commented on air that Michael Davis ( a failed card shark and Telecom expert)was the “Invicta technical Brand manager”. Can anyone explain what that crap means? Davis is as expert in watches as he was playing Poker for a living…. His claim to fame is his brown nosing with Jim Skelton aka corona gorda aka Ummpa Loopa at Watchuseek several years ago.

  2. jr Says:

    I’m hoping they make a lot of changes but I expect they’ll still give way too much airtime to Invicta, “Brilliante” and DLP televisions.

  3. Jacky Rotten Says:

    Invicta QC is teh sux0r.

    Before going dark, WG was flooded with complaints about quality issues.

    Chief amongst these issues were simply shoddy workmanship that caused hands to fall off, crowns and stems to fall out, DOA watches, misspelled case engravings and in at least one instance, an upside-down chronograph sub dial accumulator register.

    Also before the blackout, there was a palpable backlash growing within the rank-and-file geeks concerning unoriginal designs and outright design theft. These “free-thinking-geeks” were of course, hammer into submission by the resident Invicta leather queens/meatheads.

    But apart from all the QC issues, Invicta is still its own worst enemy. They rely on ghastly Eyal-inspired designs geared towards the penis-challenged end of the male spectrum, stuffed with disposable quartz movements lurking beneath luridly fluorescent dials.

    I’m actually glad WG’s went dark. Now if only Invicta would follow suit, it might just improve ShopNBC’s declining reputation.

  4. betterskills Says:

    I’d love to think that my initial blogs on the subject helped to motivate people. The ‘tuff guy’ fans like Tranny Dave, Sean CM, TV Dinner and Power bottom Chef seem like they were the ones that were the foot soldiers/storm troopers for the lame ass Invicta 3rd Column. I know that I must really be a rub to those ass clowns because I’m not an Invicta collector and I’m not one of the known dissenters.

    I still find it amazing that there are apparently a few thousand people out there that believe that buying every version of a model of watch is collecting. Dummies.

  5. FuzzyWabbit Says:

    Interesting news and is it just a coincidence with WG going Dark at the same time? How ironic is it that the place you developed to pimp Invicta was also the vortex for Invicta complaints lending to the embarrassment that ultimately led to the decision to keep the dirty laundry hidden. I don’t know of the members at that site, but it sure appears that some must be compensated in some form, paid shills for a lack of better terminology. Maybe the new QC dude will do some good, but I won’t hold my breath. Many have been burned too many times and have boarded the hypetrain to another destination.

  6. nick sword Says:

    I was one of those that simply stated the facts and actually helped a few people to find solutions to various watch queries. Suffice to say, you are allowed to say nothing on that homer site contrary to Invicta. Never joined anything like that site and never will in this or any other lifetime. Bunch of Invicta homers sitting around in a circle jerk. Have a few of their watches with no complaints,but, if I were Invicta, would distance myself from any site like that.

  7. WatchGeeks going dark and becoming a password only site is only the beginning of the end for the the site, Invicta and ShopNBC.

    Now that it is password only and basically owned and controlled by Lalo and ShopNBC I would suspect that the “membership” will be started to be used as more of a market focus group or gone the other way and left as ranting lunatics fortunate enough for Invicta and ShopNBC that the world cannot easily see the ravings of such a lunatical society they have.

    It is only a matter of time before Invicta pulls the funding of the place and ShopNBC tells Skelton he needs to disassociate himself with the place if he wants to continue being a host. It is all just a matter of time.

  8. Krane11367 Says: guys are just nailing it. Invicta watches are tasteless, garish, butt-ugly, poor quality oversized monstrosities that only TV suckers actually believe are “poor man’s Rolexes.” I am a member of WG, and when I once laid into Invicta in a post, I was TOSed – from a watch site. There’s one goober on WG that brags of only buying 50mm watches and up. What a douchebag; even the guy’s photo icon proves he has the fashion sense of a refrigerator magnet.

    I just want to see Invicta get its just due for ripping off its best customers and for taking good money for knowingly bad products. As for Jim Skelton, he’s openly just a shill, and therefore has no real importance.

  9. betterskills Says:

    I like the Bolt – when it’s real stripped down and minimal. I own a 40 mm Abyss with the OM ripped off face; I bought it because I loved the OM but hated the hands. I’m wearing it right now as it is my knock around watch and it’s been trouble free save for the soggy bezel.

    But all those dummies that believe the retail and think that a $300 dollar watch is going to be the same quality as a Rolex or a Sinn are sadly delussional.

    Regardless how Lalo tries to spin it, Invicta started as a Shop brand and nothing is going to change that fact. Invicta did not produce watches for the Soviet navy no matter how many times they try to say they have. Just make watches and sell them.

  10. Krane11367 Says:

    OMFG – what a bunch of no-life, still living in their mother’s basements dweebs on watchgeeks. Today, they changed the rotations of the watch shows, taking a couple off and moving around others. So the dweebs in their holey underwear that make up the site are, at this very moment, throwing up conspiracy theories as to why these horrible programs shifts are happening, and it’s hilarious. “Croton had issues,” wrote one neanderthal, suggesting the brand hadn’t sold enough watches, and a few others chimed in that SNBC threw Croton (way, WAY better quality than Invicta, btw) off the air for not selling enough earlier in the day. I’ve wanted to quit the site for a long time now just to let my blood pressure normalize, but it’s too much fun to listen to these Cro-Magons spew. One was crying that his SAN III was cut out of Skelton’s show that was cut down to just one hour; I hope the schmuck cries himself to sleep. It’s unreal what goes on watchgeeks. Eyal must be so proud.

  11. betterskills Says:

    Krane11367: I’d lovey to see the responses to those bits of conjecture. Wonder if they’re as big a bunch of assholes as I am?

  12. […] you burn through money? The elephant in the room is the hiring of Bill McGrath and ShopNBC’s Anywhere Initiative. their aim is to leverage social media sites like Twitter and Facebook as well as iPhone apps and […]

  13. Timothy Says:

    So, I am one of the thousands who have bought into the Invicta brand. I have owned several Rolexes and they tended to keep poor time. They resold well and I made some money. They are however like Harley-Davidson bikes….over rated and over priced. With the stress of this economic depression, taking care of kids, grandkids, I still get a kick out of looking at many watch brands and styles per day. Product placement creates a large pool of interested buyers. I first saw a Russian Diver at Sams Club and I looked at the price ($275) and the markdown, and the styling, the yellow big box and I wanted one…but not at that price. I watched with some dedication the QVC and ShopNBC etc. The prices and the sales folks seemed over the top…but I still wanted to order an Invicta. I am not a shill for them. I am a retired military officer and I understood that the watches were stylistic knock-offs considering the prices. I took a gamble and made some wise choices. I have bought over 30 watches and when one is a quality watch, I give it away as a gift. I saw the NOMA IV Subaqua sale on TV for hundreds and in Chicago in a nice jewelry store for 600$ and I ended up buying one for 200$ on WOW. The box is lovely, the extra three bands are moveablel with an enclosed tool. I have acquired some watch sizing skills, some tools and have taken several courses, am going to construct a Timezone
    Swiss assembly course and of course I favor Swiss and German etc “real” watches. Prob is that I am of average means and cannot tolerate the prices of Rolexes and above. I still enjoy reading Watch Time magazine and order the Basel Watch show DVD each year and I love horology…am just not a snob about the inexpensive importants. I would love to know, however, how much Mr and Mrs Lalo make per year…I am certain they are multimillionaires. Deserved?…it is the land of Plenty with a place in the sun for all.

  14. betterskills Says:

    The difference between Rolex and Harley are the production numbers; that’s what keeps the price artificially inflated. That being said, investing near $1K on an Invicta Imperious is not money well spent when you could buy a host of other quality timepieces, like a Hamilton, Rado or Mido.

    Personally, my problem is not with Invicta making money. But I do have a problem with consumers being ripped off and lied to: like selling Chinese watches as Swiss; the questionable origin of the DD Speedway and Natural “man made” sandstone dials. I also have a huge problem with the way Jim “In cognito” Skelton, Michael “Fuckin” Davis and the Mods and assorted Invictards at watchgeeks ridicule and belittle anyone who has a legitimate complaint or points out a design flaw – like the screws on the SAN III Ocean Quest kits. Now you may take the position that those people I’m defending are choosing to be on that site and that they continue to stay there; and 99% of the time, I’d agree with that, but those dildos came to this blog and started in on me. I’m not about to take shot from a bunch of socially retarded misanthropes. So now, for me, its open season.

  15. Big P Says:

    As long as the world spins in orbit, Incrapta will be losing customers and gaining naive new ones.

    Slopnbc’s tactics along with their repetitive sales gimmicks are as old and stale as Skelton’s toe fungus.

    Television watches aside, if consumers really know their watches and still get reeled in like a large mouth bass, then they deserve the scar the hook in mouth gives em.

    Incrapta’s “field tested” coalition forces marketing strategy should be the icing on the cake, especially for our brave military folks, people should avoid this brand like the plague.

    When Lalo speaks into the camera you can see his well rehearsed lips moving, but only the “educated” can read through his lying guise, and Lalo’s aura is an ugly one.


  16. Richard Says:

    Why dont yo all get a life?

  17. betterskills Says:

    So DICK – would that be sitting on WatchGeeks and pretending that dildos like Jim Skelton and Invicta employees are our friends while we buy Chinese watches marked Swiss? Do tell Ass wipe, do tell…

  18. […] ShopNBC Hires Bill McGrath: A Response to Invicta
    Quality? January 201017 comments 4 […]

  19. Anonymous Says:

    I would like to fuck Jill

  20. Kimbershine Says:

    Ok so everyone is saying that it’s not good to buy and INVICTA! Are they that horrible? I purchased one and so far I love it but I didn’t know they were made in China. I’m a single mom and don’t have the luxury of buying a rolex or cartier. I was told by the men in the watchclub at my job that Invicta was the way to go. Any suggestions?

  21. betterskills Says:

    They just have a higher than normal failure rate and IWG has lied about origin for a long time. I say, if you like it, buy it and wear it. Just know what you’re in for. If you do have an issue with you’re watch you’ve got a 50/50 chance of it actually being serviced and you’ll have to wait months to find out. If you don’t have a lot of money to work with – how does this stack up for you.

    Pre-2006 Invictas seem to be the way to go. A lot few issues reported. But I’d suggest going on eBay and checking out Zodiac, Citizen and Seiko. Swatch makes a nice watch – even making automatic chrons for the past couple of years. You’ll also have a lot less risk with a Fossil. And don’t let the watch clubbers front on you if you do buy a Fossil. Invicta is not even involved in their manufacturing and are at best a fashion brand. They have a few watches that could be considered functional but most are ridiculous – dive watches with no lume (combat) or lume on the bezel to time a dive; just a couple of examples. And if you consider the prices – $450 for a quartz chrono – the valuepays are as big a scam in terms of quality product, as Fingerhut.

  22. timetravler Says:

    I am a current memebr of Watchgeeks, and honestly dont give a damn if the site ever comes up. You have some people over their telling the truth about the quality of Invictas, and as soon as its posted the moderators shut it down. Are we not supposed to tell the truth about something? Some of the jerks 50&up, soberass, strutn, and a few others are just ass holes. They post what the hell they want and others cant. Alot of the jerks as mentioned post their watch over and over, and yet complain about others tyrying to make a simple point about sending a piece of shit back. while wg’s is down i have checked out other forms, and see the same members on other fourms,and at the same time suck up and claim theres no place like watchgeeeks. I own several Invictas and honestly considering selling them. Im tired of that fat ass Michael Davis thinking he is god, and telling 30,000 members what they can post and what they cant. So Ive said my peace, and tired of the koll aid drinking jerks on WG’S.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Bought one Invicta. Ran fine, still does, BUT if fell out of my hands as I was removing it from my wrist and landed on my carpet. The Invicta logo and some of the numbers fell off of the face and are sitting at the bottom of the dial. Fortunately, it was an inexpensive watch. Buy the standards: Seiko, Citizen, Hamilton, Tissot. You really can’t go wrong there, and they are price competitive with Invicta.

  24. Marc Says:

    Great own several..never a single problem. Prices are crazy low for this quality watch. Buy with confidence.

  25. Olivia Says:

    Hola! I’ve been following your blog for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Humble Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent work!

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