The Invicta Watch Company was founded in 1837. Switzerland had been the unofficial capital of horology for centuries. Watchmakers came from far and wide to ply their trade in the growing city of Geneva. Competition was so fierce that many watchmakers moved or relocated to a small town in the Jura Mountains called La Chaux-de-Fonds.

In time, the town became a city and watches were its’ number one export. One of the young horologists who moved there went by the name of Raphael Picard. Though La Chaux-de-Fonds was not quite as competitive as Geneva, there was a watch shop on nearly every corner.

Picard knew he had to find a way to distinguish his little workshop from the pack. He had always dreamed of creating quality timepieces, the hoi polo could afford, but that was much easier said than done. Despite their growing popularity, pocket watches were most assuredly a luxury item. They were designed and http://phasionistasa.co.za/mediawiki/index.php/User:TamHowes673801 (take a look at the site here) sold almost exclusively to the upper class. Gentlemen in Paris, London, and New York City lined up to purchase genuine Swiss watches.

Was it possible to produce an affordable watch? The labor and material costs alone made it unlikely. Horology was a highly respected trade in 19-century Switzerland and watchmakers were generally well paid. Somehow, the company managed to produce affordable timepieces that were sold all over the world.

Because their profit margins were understandably slim, Invicta, which means “invincible” in Latin, never made much money. But due to rising sales volumes, they were able to keep their doors open for over one hundred and forty years. They were well known and well respected in Europe, though they did not achieve much success in America.

Like most old-world watchmakers, Invicta was profoundly impacted by the quartz revolution of the 1970s. Machine-made watches that relied on quartz or digital technology were much cheaper than the handmade timepieces Invicta produced. Companies like Casio and Timex steamrolled watchmakers who have been in business for centuries.

Invicta pressed on in spite of the obstacles. No longer able to ship their watches internationally, they focused on their home country. Invicta limped on for over a decade until demand dried up. But that is not the end of our story. Fortunately, there is a second act.

About a decade after the company shipped its last timepiece, descendants of the founder, Raphael Picard, were contacted by an investment company from Florida. In 1991, the family agreed to sell the name with the understanding that the new owners would abide by the founding principles. First and most importantly, the new management team agreed to employ real Swiss watchmakers, rather than machines.

Why did they agree? Because quartz watches had worn out their welcome. Sure, they were still popular. But research had shown that working professionals were willing to pay far more for authentic Swiss originals, and there were few brands that were more Swiss or authentic than Invicta.

The one notable change was the revised company’s marketing strategy. Because they are now headquarters in the United States, the company spokesmen and even the CEO, Eyal Lalo, take advantage of all the marketing avenues that are open to them. Invicta is a featured brand on popular home shopping programs like ShopNBC. Let us take a moment to review a few of their most requested models.

Men’s 8926 Pro Diver Collection Automatic Watch

The Pro Diver Collection is the company’s bestselling series of watches. Not only are they big and bold, but they are also darn good diving watches. Most are made of solid stainless steel and are water resistance up to 200 meters. The 8926 is also an automatic watch, which means that it does not run on batteries. Automatic watches have been around for centuries and they generally have well over one hundred moving parts. Their gears and cogs work together with the natural movement of your hand and wrist, i.e., there is no need to wind an automatic watch. They are self-winding, mechanical timepieces that offer several advantages over cheap digital (quartz) watches.

For one thing, automatic watches last much longer than digital models, on average. Quartz-powered timepieces are often made by machines using inferior materials. If they last more than a few years, count yourself lucky. But mechanical watches can last for decades. Parents often pass them onto their children due to their superior durability.

The 8926 is a distinctive-looking timepiece with its black face and luminous hour hands. It features a unidirectional black bezel with white hour markers and Arabic numerals. There is even a date window next to the three o’clock hour marker.

Men’s 6621 II Collection Chronograph

Chronograph watches have an awful lot going on. And that is because these watches offer both timekeeping and stopwatch functions. The 6621 is a complicated, durable timepiece with a stainless steel case and a handsome silver-tone band. The subdials on the cobalt blue watch dial offer stopwatch functions for 60-second and 30-minute timekeeping. The bold tachymeter borders the watch case with bright white minute markers, while the dial displays hour indices in Arabic numerals. Luminous hour hands keep the time and there is even a date window beside the 4 o’clock marker. The 6621 is water resistance up to 330 feet (100 meters).

There are many elegant options in timekeeping devices, sure to impress anyone on your gift giving list.

Hans Hansen is a freelance writer who writes about jewelry, watches and specific brands such as .