Glycine Airman Review: Modern Classic Watches

Review of the Glycine Airman Watches

Based on our research, the Glycine Airman is a fascinating modern classic watch with a rich history. The brand offers excellent watches with a perfect wearing experience, especially for anyone who loves the vintage design.

 

Compared with other European watch brands, Glycine is not one that will often come up in conversations. Today, even only hardcore watch enthusiasts may remember this brand. But Glycine has been building quality timepieces since Eugene Meylan founded it in 1914. Debuted in 1953, Glycine’s Airman is one of the earliest GMT watches. It may perhaps be the most recognizable watch in the brand’s collection.

From the beginning, the mindset was to make the Glycine Airman specifically for professional airline pilots to have both GMT and local time while they fly. After the many improvement and re-issuing of the Airman, Glycine has populated the market with lots of successful pilot watches. We can’t be surprised how Airman functions as a choice for sport, fashion, and military use.

Pros – Glycine Airman

  • Excellent wearability
  • Special features
  • Easy to read dial
  • Great value for money
  • Reliable functions

Cons – Glycine Airman

  • Small Date window
  • Poor water resistivity
  • No extra watch feature

Benefits/Drawbacks – Glycine Airman

With the continuous reissuing and population in the market today, the Airman collection encompasses models that express both early and later designs. But we will keep our focus on the design iteration that the Airman series is best known by.

Excellent Wearability

 

Characterized by a thick case, large-diameter, long steel lug, and large dials, the Airman sub-series are certainly appealing to the masculine. Each sub-series come in a variety of styles and sizes for different writs. Focusing on this, they have some funky colorways that make lasting impressions.

If you take a good view of them, the dial colors are either white or black. The original Airman has a stainless steel case sizing of 36mmm. Moreover, the ones made after have their stainless case size ranges from 42mm to 46mm. The acrylic crystal glass keeps the timepiece durable to support the standing protection of the case. Its build quality secures the glass from shattering even when dropped.

The dial may seem bulky, but in comparison to other contemporary aviators, it’s relatively small. These days, a size like this as well as the authentic vintage look and feel is hard to come by. The Airman comes with long lugs and wide 20mm strap, which is perfect for keeping the watch on both small and medium-sized wrists. In case this sounds too minuscule, there are other similar Airman Watch sizes to suit larger wrist sizes.

Options of the GMT-hand variations and purist version which opts for a 24-hour dial are available. Glycine describes the purist watches as vintage pieces that stay true to its essence. Also, there are options with and without a GMT, of both 12-hour and 24-hour versions.

Easy to read dial

 

Like we have mentioned, the Airman sub-series come with either white or black colored dials. For ease of use, the original Airman has large numerals of a 24-hours clock on oversized dials. Some sub-models have large numerals for minute and seconds index laid across the rail track design instead.

The vintage Airman is best known for two outer rings marked with Arabic numerals, with inner minute rings, a tipped and tailed arrow 24 hour hand. The syringe style hand tells the time in local minutes, while a small lollipop indicates the second time zone tipped hand. For every five minutes, it has differentiated circles and rectangles, separated by Arabic numerals. The watch has a simple white date window on the 3 o’clock position, but for easy reading even while in flight the date is displayed in red color.

Special features

 

The revolution of Aviation watches can attest to the importance of the Glycine Airman. It’s managed to thread a path where only a selected few dares to venture. Between the vintage Airman and the modern re-editions, most of the designs and features are the same.

Beyond these contemporary details of the looks and features, it comes with a 24-hour dial, and 24-hour GMT function, with two distinct crowns. One is on the 3 o’clock and the other on the 4 o’clock position to adjust both local and GMT times.

All Glycine Airman Watches have a date window on the 3 o’clock position. The new models have the Cyclops window to display the scripted date in red, as different from the vintage in black. It also features two outer rings engraved on a rotating bezel, thick lumed hands, and 24-hour markings to ease readability in certain situations.

The water resistivity of the Airman watches is quite low – only 10m. Anyway, the timepieces already describe themselves as one to stay above the ground. If you want a dive watch from this brand, go for the Glycine combat sub. You might find all these features as basic since you can attribute them to other high-end watches. But for a modern classic piece like this one, it’s unique.

Value for money

 

Today, the Rolex GMT-Master II is arguably the most recognizable GMT watch, but it’s frequently inaccessible to the mass market because of the price tag. On the contrary, the Glycine Airman Vintage is way more accessible when you consider both price and features.

This doesn’t mean the Airman is better by any extent, but from the standpoint of price and quality, Glycine airman has pretty good value – no matter the sub-model you like. In fact, It has distinguishing features from the Rolex and much easier to add to a growing collection.

The price tag on each one genuinely proves the fantastic value of the watch. It’s probably what kept the series in the market for so long, regardless of the decades of market and technological competitions.

Reliable Movements

 

In its first few years, the brand developed with market demands as the series transitioned further from automatic into quartz driven movements. Although most contemporary Airman Watches still utilizes the base Sellita SW330-1 Swiss movement, otherwise known as the Glycine’s GL293.

It’s an automatic movement based on a reliable ETA 2893-2, operating at 28,800 vibrations per hour and capable of 42-hour power reserve. This power is good enough to keep the watch accurate for over a week, whether it’s on the wrist or off.

Outstanding functions

 

As a pure necessity for pilots, Glycine worked on the Airman to appeal both professionals and amateur aviators. This Glycine hosts some iconic feature; you wouldn’t find on most watches from that time. Like the 24-hour dial, 24-hour rotating and lockable bezels, and the double crowns. The Vintage Airman was known for a hacking mechanism, but it’s no longer available for the newer movements.

Glycine produces remarkable pieces to stand the test of time where all interiors are hidden and protected with a stainless steel or mineral glass back and a domed plexiglass crystal on the front, which is more charming than the sapphire crystal.

The new Glycine Airman Watches are hackable – as in, the ability to stop the second’s hand by pulling out the crown. The vintage ones had an old fashion solution that’s similar to the locking bezel where the pull pops up a small pin through a hole in the dial and stops the second’s hand at 12:00.

Reputable Brand

 

The Glycine Airman Watch series encompasses one of the most unappreciated and overlooked aspects of the pilot watch history. With the tasteful reissues and well-designed versions that Glycine continue to releasing, it’s obvious that they are eager to keep their story alive for their fans and watch collectors out there.

Glycine Airman Watches are pure classic pieces — each one with some sense of sentimental attribute – hence the popularity. For instance, the Glycine named the DC-4 after a propeller-driven plane from 1942.  The aircraft was reliable for military use in World War II and still useful today to private airlines and operators. As pertaining to this ability, despite not having any distinct features of the DC-4 plane in its design, you can expect the same reliability from this watch as well as the other Glycine Airman watches.

Should you get the Glycine Airman watches?

Unlike most modern watches you find on the market today, every aspect of the Airman stands for quality. The case is of polished steel, with sleek and slender lugs which is typical for a 1950s vintage style. If you are not in league with the original’s 36mm case, you can try out the ones with 42mm – seems like a more appropriate and modern size.

The build quality of the recent Glycine stays faithful to the original with beautiful plexiglass crystal that won’t shatter when smashed into or dropped. What’s more, the small lume pips at every five-minute mark illuminates the dials at night with luminescence rather than the Superluminovas on new model watches.

Even though the Airman subseries have designs that looks so similar to each other, there are specific changes within them. Of the differences, you can find few new sub-series without the brand’s logo on the dial, as well as the PM/AM indicators on the 3 and 9 o’clock positions of some. Whereas the original shows no extra.

The cases are of stainless steel with the back screwed on. Again, some sub-models have a see-through mineral glass on the back. All these qualities are why you shouldn’t pass on the Airman.

Conclusion

If you have interests in historical relics, Glycine alongside a small list of alternatives is a reasonable choice. The sub-series have managed to release a diverse collection of Airman Watches in various sizes, styles, colors, and prices. Each one competing for the modern market. You just have to love these. Check out more reviews on the Glycine watches.

Glycine Combat Sub Review: Top-Rated Dive watches

Review of the Glycine Combat Sub

After serving in the market as one of the most sturdy and captivating watches, the Glycine Combat Sub has qualities made for extracting conditions of wear and use.

Far back in 1914 during World War I, the brand was developed by Eugene Meylan creating extremely precise, small movements for ladies at its factory in Bienne, Switzerland.

In 1953, the brand developed some sort of underground reputation with the Airman watch, which is being part of the Glycine range ever since. But from a humble foundation in the early 20th century, Glycine has built up a watch brand capable of doing things differently to keep their fans proud. The company was however recently acquired by Invicta, which questioned the brand’s future in terms of quality and design.

Regardless, the all-round brand continues to find ways to make forward-thinking and distinctive designs. One of which is the Combat Sub. Even after all these glory years, the Combat Sub is arguably Glycine’s most popular watch. Making up a line of excellent world time watches established through solid aviation links.

 

Glycine Combat Sub Review

Pros

  • Outstanding build quality
  • Perfect dimensions to suit both large and small wrists
  • High accuracy
  • Classic and timeless good looks
  • Excellent value for money

Cons

  • Small Date window
  • No drilled lugs
  • Large crown

Benefits/Drawbacks

In a world full of Rolex Submariner homages and a lot of copycats, you might be asking if we still need another one. Well, in spite of the name, the Combat Sub may not make the first choice for an exact submariner. It’s entirely a different spec with its unique trademarks for sure. Continue reading to see some of its features.

Outstanding Build Quality

 

Over the years, the Combat Sub has created a stand for enduring strength and reliability so much that they have become popular among military and sports circles. Equipped with both automatic and chronograph movement housed in rugged construction high-grade steel case, this line of watches should be boasted about.

The Combat Sub doesn’t feel heavy or out of balance. Still, it’s exceptionally built to give an impression as a tough, robust and professional type of watch. The stainless steel case and sapphire crystal ensure the watch’s durability.

It’s very much the same kind of bezel you expect to see on a stylish diver. But the green bezel on GL0091, red on GL0092, brown on GL0093 and GL0094’s blue seem to be a step up from the regular black and silver bezels we see around other dive watches in the market place.

The bezels are positively grippy. Instead of 120 clicks like you find in more expensive watches, this one has only 60 for added confidence and at the same time saving a little on the inners. Better than the usual screw tube, the screw-down crown is large, easy to grip and able to screw in and out without any roughness in the screw thread.

Depending on what you are wearing, you can have the two-tone steel, golden GL0082, black carbon fiber strapped GL0244 and lots more that look the part. But one sure thing is that any of these watches will have a refined look ideal to dress up many outfits. There’s undoubtedly one fashionable enough for your watch collection.

General Style Dial

 

The dials on the Combat Subs tend to show similar features to the homage – well, except for some slight differences. For starters, the hour markers are a lot smaller with very prominent minute makers in between them. The Arabic numbers included on the dial, including the 24-hour indication, gives an entirely new look to the Combat Sub. Especially if work on a 24 hour time or travel to places where it’s standard.

In terms of simplicity, the dial has a lot going on, but considering the function of each addition – it’s convenient. The hands partially have a Mercedes style, as you will find on the Rolex. However, to be different, it seems a little small, without the three-armed symbols in the middle of the hour hand, and a large rectangle on the end of the seconds’ hand. At least, it’s unique and decent, I suppose!

There are only a few variations within the dials on sub-models of the Combat Subs. Obviously, the design team was having too much fun. The dials come in different colors, but the majority of them have finished matte black, white, and blue colors.

Depending on the hand, some use blocks for indexes and Arabic numbers, others use dots. The date feature on the three o’clock of the dial is small enough and well placed. One good thing is the triple-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal covering the dial, that’s tough enough to withstand knocks and scratch-resistant. Also, the coasting on the underside adds clarity under different lighting conditions.

Water-resistant

 

Backed by more than enough years of expertise, the glycine combat sub is water-resistant to 200 meters. Most Glycine Combat Subs have the rotating bezel to help keep track of elapsed time when underwater. The build-up of the solid case back and sapphire glass reinforces the watch’s ability to withstand high pressure underwater.

The 200 meters dive freedom feels like a good bargain. But unfortunately, that’s if you plan to spend only a few minutes down there. It won’t be useful after 15 minutes. Well, unless you’re wearing it only for decoration or as a lucky charm.

The markers provided by Glycine are quite standard with numbers every 5 minutes and 10 minutes markers. These markers are more relevant to avoid running out of air during a dive.

Great Lume Brightness

 

The Combat Subs uses Superluminova on the hands, and marker – which is as good as it gets. Even the frame around the date window that replaces the three o’clock pointer is no different.

The generously applied lume effectively glows like a torch in the dark. After only a very short exposure to sunlight, you can expect the Glycine Combat Sub to emit a bright glow that lasts long. Good looks are nothing without performance, so on the brighter side, this may just be the best lume watch on the market.

The finishing on the dials is in such a way that the hands, markers, and date wheel will be either darker or brighter to blend appropriately – in the right color combination and can be easily read.

Perfect Dimensions

 

The diameter of the combat subs measures around 42mm or 44mm, which is the daily camp wear watch requirement of most people. It ranges are 10.6mm thick and 49mm lug to lug, and micro-adjustable flip-lock push-button clasps to be appropriate for many wrist sizes. The slimness, or if you prefer the lack of thickness of the range of watches from Combat Sub, make it comfortably wearable under a shirt cuff.

The Glycine Combat Sub offers several models to choose from. Some are very subtle, while others are dressier. Some come with stainless steel bracelets, leather or rubber straps, and a selection of color combos, straps, styles, and finishes.

High Accuracy

 

Nothing too spectacular! These days, most Swiss watchmakers do not produce their movement; Glycine is not any different. The robust divers designed Combat Sub features the ETA 2824, also known to the brand as Glycine’s GL224 Swiss-made automatic movement. Combat Sub offers a 38-hour power reserve and a sweeping seconds hand vibrating at 28,800 beats per hour.

As expected, it’s a reliable workhorse, with bidirectional winding, quickest date change, 25 jewels, and hack features. Put together, it’s not overhyped with anything too special, but it’s quite impressive at this price range.

Classic and Timeless Good Looks

 

Though the glycine watches are absolute stunners, the Combat Sub is a little bit more special. With new versions released seemingly every year, each model comes with some variation, including the barely readable contrast of the recent stealth models. But you can easily spot any of them having a solid stainless steel case, excellent legible dial and sapphire crystal.

As expected from a Glycine product, the finishing is of high-quality, brushed on top and polished to the sides to a very high standard. There’s the leather, rubber, or stainless steel bracelets. It’s all based on your choice. For the casing, there are no extremely distinguishing characteristics. Just the regular well-finished stainless steel that you’ve seen several times.

With the busy design and color schemes, a lot is happening on each Combat Sub. The “modern classic” model with the signature Glycine logo (looking like Aston Martin’s) on the case back can’t be ignored.

After a look at any one of these watch brand, the seductive line of beauty will instantly take any watch enthusiast or diver. It works out as an astonishing diver piece.

Excellent Value for Money

 

The Glycine is a decent timepiece suitable for anyone requiring quality with excellent value for money. Plus, it’s easily affordable. You might not need to refer to this line as ultra-affordable, but for the price, it offers a lot.

With the Combat Sub, which they seem to re-invent now and again, they have offered various high-quality timepieces into the market. This perception of value already explains why the watch is so popular amidst most categories.

Best to include this beauty to your watch collection as it doesn’t stop as a dive watch. It’s also suitable for other non-related uses.

Conclusion

The entire Combat Subs passes with flying colors. There are variations on each sub-model. However, they look so closely related. Showing quality on every piece.

The look, the ruggedness, reliability, accuracy, perfect dimensions meets up to the expected standards. It feels comfortable and works with all outfits from shorts to T-shirts to cooperate suit and tie. If you need a mid-range diver’s watch that fits your budget, the Combat Sub is your best option for now. Check out the glycine watches review for more on the brand.

Glycine Watches Review

Glycine Watches Review

We’ve spent countless hours researching the various watches available from the Glycine brand and reviewed each collection carefully. For our verdict, we’ve concluded with our Glycine watches review that they are definitely worth the investment for those who mainly rely on their watches as they travel. One of our top picks is the KMU GL0133 as part of the KMU48 collection.

Glycine watches are crafted to be sturdy, accurate and easy to read at just a glance. These incorporated elements make it ideal for those who travel for a living. Whether you’re a businessman, pilot, or in the military, you’ll enjoy the ease and style of the Glycine watches.

However, the brand itself isn’t cheap, which means you should be receiving a sturdy watch. Most of their collections range from mid-tier pricing all the way to luxury. Although, it depends on which collection you’re looking at. For example, the Airman and Combat are high end and features multiple clocks, measurements, and more. On the other hand, the  KMU 48 and Incursore are more affordable and features a simplistic but sturdy design.

Overall, the Glycine brand has our approval as they have created a number of watches that has satisfied pilots since 1914. As for which watch we’d recommend is the KMU GL0131.

A Glimpse into the History of Glycine Watches

Glycine was founded by Eugene Meylan in Bienne, Switzerland in 1914. Eugene was an outstanding craftsman who specialized in watch engineering and wanted to change the game with his new designs. He believed in striving for perfection and set out to craft watches that were more accurate and technologically advanced for the era.

Over 100 years later, the brand continued to thrive through Eugene’s base designs. Their goal was to craft distinctive watches that had a classic design that is unique to the time. Each watch is meant to be timeless but also hold true to the modern era without latching onto mainstream ideas.

Today, the brand continues to incorporate Swiss aspects and are crafted for pilots, travelers, and pioneers in aviation. Besides these, travelers alike flock to the Glycine brand because they craft accurate and reliable watches designed to be read at just a glance. This makes them one of the top picks for military personnel and travelers.

KMU GL0131

The KMU GL0131 is renowned for its big size and large watch face, perfect for those who want to tell time at just a quick glance. It’s a remake of the classic Glycine collection that came out in 1999. However, this version is adapted with enhanced engineering and refined style – perfect for military personnel.

All watches in this collection feature precise automatic movements which help keep accurate time while traveling. Plus, the extra large casing is made from durable materials such as high-grade stainless steel and a non-scratch surface. Lastly, it uses a PVD coating, making it both stylish, sleek, and durable.

Elegant & Modern Design

Do you want a watch that feels more sleek and modern? Well, the KMU 48 collection features watches that have an updated look compared to others. The surrounding metal is painted with a matte black PVD coating to help give it a more sophisticated look. Plus, the PVD prevents the paint from flaking off or scratching over time.

On top of that, this version comes with a light brown leather strap that’s waterproof and durable. There’s a belt buckle is adjustable to your wrist size. Luckily, if you don’t enjoy the light brown color, you can swap the band out for another or purchase a matte black leather strap from them.

 Luminous Watchface

The colors on the watch face are each painted on, using bright orange and white. Why is this useful? If you’re traveling, you may not have the best lighting conditions to read your watch. Using this type of paint enables the person to be able to read the watch in dim lit conditions. Plus, each number is big and noticeable, making it easier to read at just a glance.

Durable Structure

The casing features high-grade stainless steel which is approximately 48 mm in diameter. For extra protection, there’s a waterproof coating which can protect up to 10 atm, enabling it to last through a bit of rain or a quick dunk.

From there, the back is secured through multiple screws and includes durable mineral glass. The glass that’s on top of the watch face is crafted from flat sapphire and includes three different anti-reflection layers. Overall, this provides enhanced sturdiness and durability – perfect for those on the go.

What do we think?

So, what’s our Glycine watches review verdict for the KMU 48? We’d say that this watch tends to provide excellent visibility and protection – which is good for travel. Although, it does lack on other features a mid-tier priced watch may have such as digital screens or additional timezones.

If you’re looking for a classic watch that’s easy to read and features a simplistic yet rustic design, and then it’s well worth it. However, if you’re expecting more features, then you may be disappointed. The battery only lasts around 38 hours, and the watch face only counts hours, minutes, seconds, and the date.

Incursore GL0044

The Incursore GL0044 is another oversized watch that’s designed to be simplistic and sturdy. It’s a newer collection that’s been crafted for the modern era. We’d say that it’s the perfect fit for military personnel or civilian use due to its durable and simplistic design.

Giant Crowns & Dials

Visibility is a growing issue with newer watch faces, as the dials tend to over-congest the screen.  If you look closely, the face includes giant numbering and big dials to help make telling the time easier. It’s great for those in need of a watch for glancing at the time throughout their day. This includes the three different dials which are different lengths and widths.

Military & Civil Use

Design wise, and the Incursore is one of the best for rustic and classic looks. Because it was initially designed for military personnel, it features a simplistic design. The lack of extra coloring and details make it blend well with most attire.  If you’re looking for an all-around daily watch, then you’ll be satisfied with the design of this one.

Sturdy Exterior

The Incursore’s outer casing is made from high-grade stainless steel, which adds to its durability. Besides this, it includes see-through mineral glass that is crack and scratch resistant. Lastly, the flat sapphire glass has three different layers of anti-reflective coating which make it easier to read throughout the day.

What do we think?

For our Glycine watches review, we believe that the Incursore is only worth the price if you’re expecting a durable and simplistic readable watch. Other than that, it doesn’t include any other elements and lacks extra features. It’s a good everyday watch to blend with uniforms or other casual attire. The time is accurate, which is good for those traveling, but besides that, it doesn’t have much going for it.

Airman 42 GL0069

The Airman 42 Collection is another fan favorite, but it includes high-tier watches. It’s known as being the ultimate travel watch because of its precision and unique ability to have multiple timezones displayed on the watch. These qualities combined with its stunning craftsmanship and smaller details make it one of the best in their line – but also the highest priced.

Multiple Functions

If you’re looking for a watch where you can pull it out and have all the information literally on your wrist, then you can’t go wrong with the Airman. It lists hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT, and even a third-time zone. Essentially, you’ll have every bit of information needed with just one glance.

Stunning Watch Face

As for the watch face, you’ll see that there’s a domed sapphire crystal which features three layers of anti-reflective coating. This includes on the underside as well. Besides this, there’s a polished yellow-green Super-LumiNova that helps you see in dark lighting. As a nice bonus, each number is hand painted onto the watch face, which makes it a bit unique compared to other models.

Durable Exterior

The last feature we have to discuss is the exterior. It is similarly designed as the previously reviewed watches and includes high-grade stainless steel. The Airman 42 includes a black PVD coating, satin polishing, and smoked glass. Other than that, it comes with a durable black pilot strap.

What do we think?

So, for our Glycine watches review, we believe the Airman 42 is one of the more expensive watches in their collection. Besides the fact that it comes with useful information, we’d have to say the drawback comes with the fact that you’re not getting better quality materials.

The watch uses similar materials in their low and mid-tier collections, which ultimately is not worth the extra money. Other brands tend to give you more information as well. So, is it really worth the investment? Luckily, their Airman Collection features a wide range of watches at different price points.

Would We Recommend Glycine Watches?

Overall we’ve concluded for our Glycine watches review that if you’re looking for a classic design and reliable reading on time, then you’ll be happy with their brand. Their low and mid-tier collections feature numerous choices – all in different styles. It’s honestly hard to go wrong with choosing a watch from their selection.

However, their high-tier luxury watches just don’t make the cut. They don’t really include much information, even if you get ones that list more than the date and time. Pair this with the fact that the watch face tends to get congested, which makes it harder to read.

As for our conclusion, it’s really up to you whether you find this brand worth it or not. Their watches are okay, but other brands like Bulova and U Boat tend to create better modern watches. If you’re looking for casual, rustic, day to day watches that will withstand everyday use – then they’ll work. But if you’re looking for a luxury or high-end watch we’d say look elsewhere.