Since its founding in Europe in the 1930s, the Invicta Watch Group has continuously created new brands and watches to suit the times. However, the manufacturing and sales philosophy of its founder has remained unchanged. That philosophy is to price Invicta Swiss watches, made with top-quality components, within the reach of average buyers, and not only the affluent. Invicta's annual sales of over $50 million reflect the company's successful production and pricing formula.
A Swiss watchmaker named Raphael Picard created the first Invicta mechanical winding watch in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in 1937. Picard had resolved to produce men's and ladies' watches of impeccable quality in a selection of automatic and winding styles.
Picard made a considered choice in La Chaux-de-Fonds as his base of operations, as it is well located for trade, being close to the Swiss border with France, and known for its watchmaking and lace industries and expertise. La Chaux-de-Fonds is also home to a number of other famous watch brands, including Movado, Omega, TAG Heuer and Gallet. The International Watchmaking Museum (Musee International d’Horlogerie) is also in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
Picard made a deliberate name selection in “Invicta,” which means “invincible” in Latin. The name proved to be prophetic, as Invicta watches apparently achieved instant sales success. Buyers lauded the quality of the Invicta watches, which were considered to be on a par with various name-brand watches, but cost substantially less. Picard thereby achieved the goal he had set out to meet when he established his watchmaking business.
During the 1970s, Invicta watches faced stiff competition from the rise of quartz watches. Although Invicta watches were priced reasonably for buyers in search of a top-quality product, quartz watches were something new, and far cheaper by comparison. Reportedly there was a point when Invicta came close to ceasing production.
With the invincibility that was the company’s trademark philosophy, Invicta found a way to turn its fortunes around by creating watches made with rare materials as well as its customary high standard of craftsmanship. One example is the Limited Edition Subaqua NOMA, which features a meteorite stone dial. The Invicta brand acquired a following among collectors too. For men there is the Invicta Signature Limited Edition Pave Diamond Pro Diver, and for women, the Invicta Women’s II Collection Limited Edition Diamond Two-Tone Watch, among others.
The Picard family retained ownership of the company until 1991, when Invicta was bought by American-based investment interests. The company’s head office and the Invicta service center were moved from Switzerland to Hollywood, Florida.