The Invicta Reserve, Dubois-Depraz, Speedway Automatic Chronograph, is by far my most memorable watch purchase of all-time, mainly due to the controversy and conversation that surrounded, and continued to follow this timepiece upon, and after its release.
The watch itself remains a gem within my collection, and was highly collectable at its release, and remains so, due to the Dubois-Depraz chronograph module that was used in this timepiece; a module and chronograph set-up you don't see everyday.
The controversy around this timepiece began shortly after it's release, as orders for the timepiece began to arrive at the doorsteps of the prospective buyers. Upon initial inspection, the watch wound properly at the crown, and the chronograph start and stop functions seemed to work without fail. But what is this?! Upon resetting the chronograph, the chronograph hands would not align perfectly to zero. Continuing the initial inspection, the hour and minute hands appeared to be misaligned also; oh the horror!
It didn't take long, with the age of the internet and the many watch forums on the web, for the collective group of owners of this new timepiece to realize that something was terribly wrong. The misaligned hands weren't just an isolated defect, but rather it appeared that a large batch of these timepieces were defective. While many folks decided to use this opportunity as a soap box to complain and further besmirtch the Invicta name, with numerous "I told you so's" regarding Invicta quality and service, I took the easy way out and quietly returned the piece for a full refund. But the controversy regarding this timepiece was only beginning.
Obviously, the fall-out from the watch collector sect and the watch industry was vast, wide, and deep. Invicta, with their reputation on the line eluded that the problem with the watches may have been due to the quality of the Dubois-Depraz module used within the timepieces. Dubois-Depraz then issued a statement that they had no working relationship with Invicta on the production of the watch, and stated Invicta may have sourced the Dubois-Depraz chronograph modules from a secondary source, and they (Dubois-Depraz) could not authenticate or be responsible for any warranty issues arising from the chronograph module. For Invicta's part, the responsibility of final inspection of the timepiece rests squarely on their shoulders period, in my humble opinion.
The Invicta Reserve, Dubois-Depraz, Speedway will certainly live-on in infamy, and I will never forget my initial purchase of this timepiece. As luck and opportunity would have it, and it usually does in the watch collecting game, I was fortunate enought to acquire this timepiece, in brand new, unworn condition, through Ebay some years later, and all hands align perfectly. So, if you miss the boat on a fantastic opportunity buy the first time around, you might just get a second chance in the Wrist-Game!