07 April 2015

Invicta 19258- The Poor man's Observer Watch


Actually, Invicta calls it the Men's 19258 I-Force Analog Display Japanese Quartz Black Watch.  My love of watches started about 20 years ago I guess, at times I have had as many as a dozen or so. Right now in my stable is about six.  Before this Invicta, they were all Seikos and Citizens.  Recently, I got the itch for something new.

Since I am a little bigger than the average bear, I like bigger watches, usually over 44MM.  With the exception of my Citizen Nighthawk, my watches were all divers.  My favorite thing about the Nighthawk was that it was big and flat.  The only thing I don't like is how busy the dial is, hard on my old eyes.  I wanted something that was big, flat, simple, easy to read, with good lume.  That is not too much to ask, is it?  Usually the more you want, the more you will pay.  Not in this case.

After doing some research, I realized that what I had in my mind's eye was the same thing they issued to pilots & observers during WWII.  Commonly called observer watches, they had a big, simple, easy to read faces.  They also had lume so as to be easily read in low light conditions.  If you want a real one, you will spend thousands.  Even an authentic reproduction is going to run you $400-$500 and then go up from there.  Below you will find some of the quality reproductions that are out there.  You can see where Invicta got their inspiration for this homage (a watch that inspired by another watch, usually a very expensive classic).
Observer by Laco

Observer by Zenno

Invicta Observer

The Invicta 19258 is available on Amazon for around $80.  For some reason, you will always see the list price for all Invicta watches at about 3-4 times what they actually cost, and I am not sure why. At any rate, many watch purists will thumb their noses at Invictas.  For this reason, I hesitated to purchase one.  But at the end of the day, it is the only way I was going to get an Observer watch, and I am so happy I did.

The 19258 is 45MM wide, but in my opinion, looks bigger on the wrist because of the simplicity of the dial.  At this price point the lume is very impressive, at least on the minute and hour hands, which is really all you need.  After exposed to very bright light, you can make out the lume on the minute numbers but it does not last long.  Spending a lot of time riding a motorcycle, it is important to me to be able to read the time fast and the hands on the 19258 make this fast and easy day or night.

Something else that is very cool that you seldom see on inexpensive watches is that it is "hackable" meaning that when the crown is pulled all the way out to set the time the second hand stops allowing you precise time setting using this site.  I have been wearing this watch for two weeks and it has not lost a second.  The Japanese quartz movement sees to that.

The band is 22MM which I have found to be the most common size.  The black band with white contrast stitching featuring a silver buckle was of good quality.  My only issue, and it is a personal one, was that it was of a tapered design and I prefer otherwise.  Currently, I am wearing it on a black leather Zulu type band but plan on ordering a brown leather one to further pay homage to the original Observer watches.

The 19258 is water resistant to 330 which should be more than enough since this is not a dive watch. Another attractive feature is the date observer where you can not only see the current date but also the day before and day after.

Of course the most striking thing about the watch is the dial.  The minutes are in the prominent position usually reserved for the hours.  Inside them in red is the 12 hour clock, and inside of them is the 24 hour clock.

Overall the watch is very attractive and I have to admit I cannot stop looking at it.  This is the first watch I have ever reviewed so some may wonder why I am doing so now.  A quality watch has always been part of my EDC since high school.  Add that to the fact that we like to review gear that anyone can afford and you can probably see why now.  If you are on the market for a new watch, and like the look of the Observer type, don't hesitate to pick up this one from Invicta.


9 comments:

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