I picked this watch up on eBay about a month ago direct from Glycine (I think) for $400. I had been lusting over the Tudor Black Bay Bronze since it first came out but didn't want to invest that much, so I had been searching for a lower priced bronze diver that would scratch the itch for me. I agonized over choosing the brown dial (as it was most similar to the Tudor) vs the blue dial (blue is my favorite color and I'm a sucker for a blue watch). I ended up going with the 42 mm blue dial, and the only option at the time was for the version with the brown bezel insert vs the blue. To provide definitive clarification, the lug width on the 42mm watch is 22mm, and the buckle width is 20mm.
Prior to even receiving the watch, I decided to replace the strap. Although I liked the blue color of the original, something about the texture already didn't sit right with me even in the photos. I had in mind either a darker vintage looking leather or a sail cloth type canvas strap. I decided on canvas as I intended the watch to be a daily beater over the coming summer with lots of swimming predicted.
I ordered three different straps to try out- two slightly different brown colors and a navy blue similar to the original. Although they all looked great to my eye, I haven't been able to bring myself to use either of the brown straps because I just love the navy's contrast against the bronze and compliment to the blue dial. As luck would have it, the stock buckle also fit the strap as well so I was able to transfer it to the new strap to retain the stock look.
When the watch first arrived, it was a bright, almost rose gold color. I thought it was beautiful but new it wouldn't last. As predicted, the bronze began to develop noticeable patina after about a week on the wrist. A jump into a swimming pool and hot tub quickly set a very noticeable dark bronze color a few days later as well. I'm not a fan of the green crusty patina that I've seen a lot of people induce, but I will say that I have been very happy with the natural dark bronze/brownish color that the watch has developed since I've had it. I think it pairs especially well with the blue dial and strap.
The watch has a very nice, to me ideal, weight to it. Hefty enough to feel like a solid quality piece of mechanics, but not so heavy to weigh you down. The shallow angle of the bezel insert pairs very nicely with the flat sapphire crystal and the conservative 4.5mm case. Per my quick unprofessional measurements, the watch is approximately 10mm thick from case back to crystal. It fits easily under my dress shirt and jacket sleeves when needed without getting hung up on them when getting dressed or pushing my sleeves up to check the time. The red second hand is a bonus for me; a touch I've always loved in a watch since I first had it on my Rolex Turnograph which I regrettably sold a couple years ago.
I was curious about which parts of the watch were actually bronze. After seeing the patina develop over the few weeks I've had the watch, it is obvious to me that the watch case, crown, and bezel are bronze, but the bezel insert and buckle are not. Additionally, the case back is obviously stainless steel. As the bronze has evolved its patina, the bezel insert markers and buckles have retained their rose gold color since they are apparently not bronze. The bezel markers I don't mind because I think the bright bronze color contrasts nicely with the rest of the watch. The buckle however, I'm not crazy about as the rest of the watch has taken on a more mature and aged look, I think the shiny buckles lends a sort of cheap look that doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the watch's aesthetic. Having said that, it either doesn't bother me enough or I'm just too lazy to replace it anytime soon with something more fitting. I've also seen discussion around the desire to find a strap with a real bronze buckle. Although I haven't seen any, a cursory search on eBay returned a few options for real bronze buckles that were available to buy as stand-alone pieces to add to your strap at reasonable prices.
I am not adventurous enough to open mine, but I remain curious about what the actual movement of the watch is (ETA vs. Sellita). For the price it is inconsequential to me but I would love to satisfy my curiosity at some point. The watch has been very accurate per my casual observance, and seems to run a few seconds fast which begins to make itself noticed after a couple of weeks when I note that the watch seems to be a minute or so ahead of my phone. If I'm feeling picky I'll go ahead and reset it every few weeks when the mood strikes.
Though I have seen some varying opinions on the daylight lume color, I quite like it. It looks to my eye to be a cream color in daylight but the extraordinary green glow doesn't need much prodding to start shining as it begins to make itself shown even in shaded locations or rooms with only natural light. In the dark it really shines, literally! The large hour markers are wells that have been filled to the brim with this lume, as is the 12 o'clock/zero marker on the bezel marker.
I've seen a lot of comments about the crown smoothness. I have noticed myself that it can take a bit of wiggling to get it to seat right when screwing the crown back down after setting. It almost feels as if the aging process of the bronze could have caused some resistance, however I can also state that it felt the same way when the watch was brand new, so unlikely. Additionally, the crown stem is most likely stainless steel so the bronze crown probably is not a factor in this. Having said that, I have had no trouble screwing the crown back down after setting.
I've seen many comments on the dial color gradient; even some wondering if it was defect. As far as I can tell, all variants of this watch have the gradient effect. I've seen some other dive watches with this effect as well and I credit the rising popularity to the Rolex DeepSea with the gradient blue dial which as inspired by the depths of the ocean: As Rolex state themselves say, the dial shows a deep blue to pitch-black gradient that is "reminiscent of the ocean's twilight zone, where the last trickle of light from the surface disappears into the abyss."
As a self-confessed watch addict who is particularly partial to dive watches, I have a several spanning a variety of price ranges, including a Vostok Amphibia, Seiko Solar PADI edition, this Gylcine, an Omega Seamaster 300, and a Rolex Submariner. As someone who sits at a desk all day and has zero diving experience, you can see how it's crucial for me to have a watch that is waterproof up to 200 meters.
As hard as I tried to reign in my watch purchases, I did fall off the wagon after a two year buying hiatus and pulled the proverbial trigger on this when I found it. Thus far I have had no regrets at all, and this Glycine has monopolized all of my wrist time since I've had it. I think it's a beautiful watch that is unique and fun, and I don't think you could go wrong with one. I've included photos of the watch as it looked on my wrist straight out of the package with the stock strap, as well as one of the watch after about 6 weeks of wear along with the aftermarket straps I bought for it.