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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I thought those WIS who prefer smaller men’s watches may be interested in my recent experience with Glycine’s 36mm Combat 6. I've been hanging around here for several years, and have a few other posts on WUS but have lost my passwords and even forgotten my old user name and registration email. This is my first Glycine post though, and I am completely new to Glycine.
I will draw a few comparisons with the Hamilton Viewmatic which I also own, as I think this highlights how good the admittedly different looking Combat 6 really is. This isn't about picking a winner though. Both watches sport similar ETA 2824-2 movements and cost well under £1,000. Visually, a better comparison would perhaps be between Hamilton’s similarly priced rugged 38mm Khaki Field auto and the Combat 6 36mm, but I do not have a Khaki Field and moreover think Hamilton’s utilitarian field watch looks decidedly unattractive compared to the small Combat 6 series which has several dial and strap variations far “dressier” than the model I chose or Hamilton's Field watch. The comparison is really just something to hang this review upon. But first, how I came to chose a humble Combat 6 over an awesome Omega Aqua Terra, which goes some way to showing how high my expectations were...



From Hamilton, to Omega, to Glycine
For the last 2 ½ years-ish I’ve been wearing a 40 mm Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic, presently on a Hirsch strap with after-market deployant. I’ve no complaints about the Viewmatic, quite the contrary, just fancied a change plus as Summer approaches my mind always turns to the question of whether or not a metal bracelet would make more sense in the sweaty weeks ahead. I was pretty much set to take the plunge and buy an Omega Aqua-Terra mid-size, then the anti-magnetic model was released with talk of all co-axials eventually being fitted with “anti-magnetic” parts. Well, I didn’t like the size or “bumble bee” appearance of the 15,000 Gauss Omega, and I’d kick myself if I bought a better looking mid-size Omega watch just before such a great upgrade to their whole range, so I started asking around at dealers and of Omega itself to get an idea when the upgrade will happen. I was less than impressed with the responses – no one knew anything about the possibility of all co-axial eventually having “anti-magnetic” properties, some denied it was on the cards, and several of the replies I received were curt to say the least, simply directing me to Omega’s website or catalogue. This put me off Omega and I started looking around for a nice, mid-size bracelet watch with a good automatic movement, which in my mind meant an ETA-based or in-house movement and nothing less. (I know, Omega-ETA=Swatch....). I started eyeing various small divers style watches, including Glycine Subs, but again was a bit put off by their typically largish size. The Aqua Terra has a lot going for it, but I couldn’t justify the expense just before what could be a neat movement upgrade across their co-axial range. Then I saw the Combat 6 36mm range. It was love at first sight.

The Combat 6 range appealed to me because they come a tad smaller than many cartoon-sized watches that fill shop windows, which I struggle to wear well on my skinny wrists. My Viewmatic is about as large as I can comfortably wear without the lugs overhanging both sides of my wrists. Also, Combat 6s seem to combine a retro and modern look which looks vaguely military / Flieger-like, while also having numerous dial and strap executions which cater for both casual and formal looks. I was most drawn to the dark faced, Arabic numeralled models, and somewhere along the line decided they looked better on a leather strap than steel bracelet. A real draw of this range for me is that the watches come in 36mm size, with an ETA movement, with a sapphire glass option, display back and reasonable (50mm) water resistance. Perhaps not as different from my Viewmatic as a bracelet watch would have been, but I decided to shelve my plans for a steel bracelet watch and pull the trigger on a Combat 6 36mm with a leather strap instead.

Here’s the one I chose:

boxed.jpg

The box is solid, and housed the watch, guarantee documents, some instructions, and a cleaning cloth - nice touch.


Case and glass

The Glycine’s case is about as small, thin and curved as it can be for a 36mm watch fitted with an ETA 2824-2. It appears finely engineered, polished on all surfaces but the top of the lugs which are brushed (the brushed effect tapers around and underneath the bezel). The screw back has a mineral crystal, though the front glass is uncoated sapphire. (Some versions of this watch come with mineral fronts, I gather). The watch is rated at 5 atmospheres (50m) water resistance. The crown does not screw, and in my view this is a good thing as there is no fear of damaging the threads when winding (should you ever want to do that) or adjusting the time (which I tend to check every Sunday). The crown is largish for the size of the case and bears Glycine’s emblem. It is protected by crown guards which do not interfere with winding or comfort.
The sapphire front does catch some reflections but not so badly that it requires anti-reflective treatment. I’d rather not have anti-reflective coating on a watch anyway, particularly not on the outside of the glass where it tends to wear off and annoy the owner.
A small point, which might bother some folk: The watch’s serial number (for guarantee purposes) is etched between the lugs at 6 o’clock. It’s fairly visible when the watch is being worn. It reminds me that the watch is unique, a bit like a limited edition but of course it isn’t limited and the number on mine is rather large. Another plus about this is that it is a way to ID the watch if ever it is stolen.


Size
Measured without callipers, the Combat 6 is spot on 36mm from 10 to 4, though 40mm from 9 to crown. Lug width is 20mm, and lug to lug it is roughly 42mm. It looks a tad less than 10mm thick, including glass. I’ve posted a picture of the36mm Combat alongside my (perhaps better known) and overall larger 40mm Viewmatic for comparison.


hamilton and Glycine.jpg


Strap
The 20mm black leather strap with contrast stitching is Glycine-branded, and about 4.5mm thick near the spring bars. It appears to have the slightest of tapers. The strap thins at the buckle, which is also branded. My wrist seems to fall between two of the punch holes, though I prefer to wear straps loose so this isn’t a problem. The feel of the strap is both soft and rugged, and I expect it will last a while. I don’t think a metal bracelet would look so good on this watch, just as I don’t like the Viewmatic bracelet.

strap.jpg


Fit
The watch is very easy to wear. It is light, especially compared to my Viewmatic, and feels slightly thinner (though it is a close thing). A shirt cuff slides over it easily, something I did not find when I wore my old 38mm Viewmatic, though oddly my 40mm Viewmatic also allows cuffs to glide over it. Here’s a wrist shot of the Glycine followed by my 40mm Viewmatic. I wouldn't say either is more comfortable, but the Combat is definitely lighter.

Wrist Glycine.jpg

Wrist Hamilton.jpg



Dial
The black dial I chose is exceptionally easy to read, and the lumed figures glow legibly for at least an hour after lights out. The date is at 3 o’clock and is nicely done in white digits against a black background. IMHO, a white date wheel would have looked wrong.
Glycine’s emblem is a fine piece of work, raised above the jet black dial and engrained with faultless white enamelling.
The digits and hour markers are all lumed more than sufficiently, though the amount of lume on the hour and minute hands is rather minimal. Still, in daylight, this allows light to catch the steel hands making it very easy to tell the time.
Although quite simple, the dial is extremely well designed and crafted. Its appeal is quite different to that of sparsely lumed but intricately “guilloched” Viewmatic, and both watches look beautiful upon close inspection.


Movement
Glycine have recently re-branded their implementations of ETA’s 2824-2 movement as Calibre GL 224. They no longer offer Nickel-plated rotors with Côtes de Genève decoration, but instead the rotor is ruthenium plated and etched with the calibre reference and Glycine’s name, twice over. The movement itself appears to be an undecorated standard grade 2824-2, though “elaborated” up by Incabloc shock protection. As such, the watch has expected accuracy of within +/- 30s per day.
I am a great fan of the ETA 2824-2, which across its grades is renowned as a “workhorse” movement and found in many guises in dress, casual, sports and diving watches of numerous brands. The landscape is however changing, as most WIS know. Still, obtaining parts or replacements for this movement should not be a problem, and at worst if in years to come parts or ETA movements are unobtainable, other movements will probably serve as drop-in replacements.
At first I did not like the look of Glycine’s new ruthenium plate, but it has slowly grown on me and now I even like it better than Glycine’s older, nickel-plated rotors. It is a talking point, and no doubt a well-considered one on Glycine’s part. (I much prefer it to the garish red with which Oris decorate their rotors, or bronzed rotors).
I am still a bit puzzled about why Glycine chose to repeat their name on the rotor - I think "GLYCINE Est. 1914" or similar would be cooler and would be suitable for years to come (hope someone from Glycine reads this). Glycine is a long-established brand and I think it would help the company to make that apparent on its watches.

movement.jpg



Time-keeping and date change
I’ve only been checking this accurately for the last day or so. So far, it is running about +7s a day, which is within what would be expected of an elaboré or top grade movement, though as I have said the movement appears to be standard. In my experience, without adjustment ETA movements seldom improve or worsen much compared to how they run from new and I’ll be perfectly happy if the watch continues to keep this accuracy. As you might be able to see from the picture, my movement has already been adjusted by Glycine or the factory, and as with any 2824-2 there is more scope for even greater accuracy when it is time for a service.
From my brief observations so far, the date change on my watch begins around 11:45 pm and completes with a satisfying “click” a few minutes before midnight. For me, the date change, like a sweep second hand, is one of the pleasures of a mechanical watch. In my experience the precise time at which an ETA 2824-2 changes date varies slightly throughout the month (10 mins or so each way, or thereabouts), probably depending on things like what the wearer is doing at the time and how much reserve is in the mechanism. The change is always semi-instant. The time of the date change can be adjusted by a watchmaker (by repositioning the hands) , and where it falls annoyingly before or after midnight it tends to mean the watch was put together without proper care. In contrast, the Glycine is put together very well indeed.
Date-change is no small thing to me, as I’m often up till the wee small hours. I’m not sure how I’d end up feeling about the excruciatingly slow date change on Omega’s co-axial movement, and I think when an ETA 2824-2 which changes date well off midnight it’s a sure sign of careless construction or quality control. Again though, the Glycine is perfect here.

Overall quality
OK, it isn't an Aqua Terra and I'm still in the market for a nice bracelet watch if only I could pick one. That was just how I got here. Point is, in my opinion, the overall quality of the Combat 6 is very similar, if not better than, my Viewmatic and I'm as happy with it as I'd have been had I spent several times more. In fact, I'm probably more happy since I've only spent about the same as my Viewmatic cost me several years ago. Certainly the time-keeping out of the box is better than my Hamilton was. Aesthetically, I’d say the Hamilton has more “presence” and dressiness while the Glycine is both more relaxed and functional looking. But then, my Hamilton is larger and Glycine do larger versions of the Combat 6 (though I think they’d be too big for me). The Glycine also feels considerably lighter on the wrist, in fact I hardly know I’m wearing it. I’m not making comparisons with the Viewmatic to try to pick a winner here, as the watches are so different in style, though this said I think the only significant point where the Combat definitely loses to the Viewmatic is that the Viewmatic has a sapphire back, whereas the Combat’s display back is mineral glass. Apparently the use of mineral glass allows the Glycine to be slightly slimmer than if sapphire were used, though I do not understand why that should be. In any event, even this may not be a bad thing over the life of my watch as mineral glass has the advantage of being less likely to shatter than sapphire, and I have known watch backs shatter in the past.


Buying experience
Lastly, I should add a few words about my buying experience. I bought my Glycine from Iguanna Sell of Spain, through their ebay site. They are an authorised Glycine dealer so the watch carries a 2 year manufacturer warranty. It is the first reasonably expensive watch I have bought online, though I was not too worried because of their presence and positive feedback on WUS. I must say, the sale went extremely smoothly. The watch arrived at my door just a day after it was dispatched from Madrid (!!) I had a few questions about the watch, mainly about the re-branded movement, and Iguanna Sell answered my queries either immediately or within a day or so, after checking directly with Glycine. Although I did not have a problem with my watch, I got the impression that if I had, they would have found a way to resolve it. I recommend them without reservation and if I wish to buy another Glycine, I will surely buy from them. (My quest for the ideal bracelet watch continues, and I already feel myself drawn to Glycine’s subs....)

Above all, I hope my review provokes more interest in Glycine’s brand, and encourages Glycine to continue its production of smaller sized men’s watches. It is only a matter of time before there is a more general resurgence of interest in smaller watches, and to an extent that already seems to be happening. I also hope the company gives a little thought to my suggestion about putting its date of origin as well as its name on its rotors (or even elsewhere on its watches).
 

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wrote a nice long reply and sincere appreciation for your review but elc voltage blink closed the PC.I reserve this place to continue from office and not to struggle on phone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the nice comments guys. No problem Emre - I like your own posts on the history of Glycine. And yes, more than 50m water resistance would be welcome though to be sure you are really getting such resistance I think means regular checks and a screw crown. The Viewmatic is also 50m, which is more an indication of how good that watch is for a dressier watch, than any sign of lacking on the Combat's part. I do not expect any water problems between services since I will not be swimming or showering in the watch, and I have never had any problems with watches rated at 3ATM/30m even.
 

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Great watch and great review!! Thankyou for sharing. I like that glycine uses great movements and still keep their watches with a low profile.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Back to topic. Woow that's a review eh, thank you for your time taken to share your opinion and experience. I must say that this is one of the most objective reviews I've read. I like the way you've phrased everything without bashing any other brand and appreciating all pluses cross-brands.

I am also happy that another fellow member favours 36mm size, otherwise I started thinking that I am the only one with the smaller watch size preference, below 40mm. With 6,5 inch wrists and vintage tendency, I feel my 42 mm watches are large presence and feel uncomfotable. So the new Airman One with 36 mm will speak to us :)

I just want to mention that the 'Rhutenium ' rotor has good reasons to be there. 'Rhutenium' as an element is heavier vs 'Iron', their density reads 12 vs 7. Heavier rotors wind the watches more efficient. This is valid also for the micro-rotor powered watches. The micro-rotor in recent watches are generally gold,not only for luxury and cosmetic reasons, again for its density (19). The watches manufactured by the coalition who developed the first automatic chronograph, where 'Hamilton' was also a part of it along with Breitling-Kelek, Dubois Depraz, Buren-Hamilton, Heuer have that efficiency in winding concerns,because the rotor is not heavy enough they demand whether manual-winding or a lot of swings.I have a Cal 15 from that series and have it serviced by Craig aka Chronodeco's skilled hands, he tested and reviewed the micro-rotor winding vs hand-winding efficiency by 1/35. Sorry getting out of topic actually but wanted to share the necessity of heavier metals and their use in watches.

I guess the daily deviation might vary until it settles down in 2 weeks maybe, these new-er models from Glycine like the big date Incursore and the Combat have incredible accuracy in reviews which is around 3-5 seconds a day,bringing them to COSC accuracy, deserves applause.

May your new watch serve you well and once again thank you for your effort in phrasing this wonderful review.
 

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Nice watch - and a very well done review! I really like the ruthenium rotor.

FWIW, I also had a smooth transaction with Iguana Sell.

Enjoy the watch!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for the comments.


About the rotor Emre, I’m not sure but I doubt Glycine chose ruthenium coating because of its weight, since the plating is presumably very thin. After some googling it seems it is a very rare element, in fact rarer than platinum, silver or gold (Abundance of elements in Earth's crust - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ). Apparently it is also very hard and brittle, and does not corrode easily. So the finish of the rotor should never change. It would be very interesting to know truly why this material was chosen by Glycine. No doubt the exact properties of the plating will also depend on its precise ingredients and the process used. It does look very fitting for this “military” style of watch.


My watch is still running at +7s/day, which is very pleasing and consistent so far. This is already within ETA's "top grade" spec, and I agree that COSC-like accuracy might be possible later, if I am lucky and perhaps with adjustments. But with a standard ETA movement there is almost bound to be some seasonal temperature-related variation outside COSC specs (because of the nature of the parts used) and I prefer to leave movements alone if they are within 15s or so each day as I can live with that. I hope that my watch continues to keep such good time and so far the signs are good.
 

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I hope the way I phrased the accuracy and deviation didn't sound negative. I meant it's surprisingly good in these new-er models. And you might know the resting positions effect while you don't wear the watch,that might help also to regulate within daily habits.Most important is its consistency at the end. 7 seconds for a mechanical non-COSC movement is very well.

I will ask the company in a convenient time what the reason for 'rhutenium' was. In my opinion is whether protection or weight.
 

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Really excellent review Kit, the watch looks good on your wrist - perfect sizing. The 36mm watch is much better suited to the movement size as evidenced by the date window position, on the larger 42mm/43mm versions the date window looks out of place. They all have that lovely domed crystal though.

I like the simple military styling of these and my preference would be for a solid caseback on this type of watch, lets face it, the standard ETA movement is no great shakes to look at. Interesting point on the rhutenium coated rotor though, be nice to know from Glycine the reason why they chose it.

I too have bought from Iguana Sell and can also confirm a smooth transaction. Interestingly I see that the 36mm watch is priced higher than the larger 42mm version by Iguana even though both have sapphire crystal and same movement?

If Glycine did this around 40mm with solid back and no date I would buy one in a flash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Really excellent review Kit, the watch looks good on your wrist - perfect sizing. The 36mm watch is much better suited to the movement size as evidenced by the date window position, on the larger 42mm/43mm versions the date window looks out of place. They all have that lovely domed crystal though.

I like the simple military styling of these and my preference would be for a solid caseback on this type of watch, lets face it, the standard ETA movement is no great shakes to look at. Interesting point on the rhutenium coated rotor though, be nice to know from Glycine the reason why they chose it.

I too have bought from Iguana Sell and can also confirm a smooth transaction. Interestingly I see that the 36mm watch is priced higher than the larger 42mm version by Iguana even though both have sapphire crystal and same movement?

If Glycine did this around 40mm with solid back and no date I would buy one in a flash.

Thanks, Aquavit. I know what you mean about the position of the date wheel on an ETA 2824-2 looking better on a smaller (36mm) watch face. IIRC the movement originates from the early 1970s, well before the trend for the much larger watches it is used in today. The position of the date window is the one thing that is slightly "off" about the face of my Viewmatic (the smaller 38mm Viewmatic is perfect in that respect, though I prefer the fit of the 40mm size as the 38mm Viewmatic just seemed to have the wrong case proportions to me). I suppose that one of the great advantages of a display back, even for standard grade movements, is that it removes any temptation to take off the back to peek inside to see what you have! But of course a standard grade could look better, and if you know your watch is going to take a real beating then an all-steel back is the way to go. I think the Combat 6 range is intended to have an appeal to WIS, and be robust but not beaters, so try to give the best of both worlds at a reasonable price.

Yes, I paid more for the smaller sized watch than the larger one is priced. I'm not sure why the prices differ in that way. Elsewhere I have seen the different sizes sold for the same price. I just knew the 36mm was the one for me, having grown up with watches of this size or less (which ages me, I know) + having skinny wrists.

If you want a similar looking but larger watch, without a date window, there is Glycine's Combat 6 manual. That comes in at 42mm, in a variety of faces. According to Glycine's website it houses an ETA 2801-2 with a mineral front and display back and is a little thinner than the automatic versions, as you would expect. Glycine's website lists it as out of stock at the factory so if you like the look of it, it may be worth checking with them or a dealer to see if it is still in production and if the specs are the same. (I have seen comments about the Combat 6 automatic which grumble about it having a mineral glass front, but now it comes with a sapphire option). It might be what you are looking for. ;-)
 

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Congrats, that was a very nice review :-!, I know it takes time and effort.

Checked out the seller, nice stuff, saved as favorite for the future since next watch may be yours in the 43mm version, but I do have another competing candidate, we’ll see.

For the price, Glycine offers no nonsense reasonable value, but not great value. I just really like the casual look of your watch and it’s comfortably thin, even the 43mm is only 10.8mm.

Was going to offer a more local Glycine AD to you, but then I remembered this is a worldwide forum and I don’t recall you mentioning where you’re from, didn't see it in your profile, but nbd.

Own a Glycine Combat SUB auto that I plan to show on this Glycine forum in a couple weeks after I complete the band upgrade, (I hope), since the Glycine bands are pretty nice a little challenge to one-up.

Let us know how your Combat 6 holds up after some time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Congrats, that was a very nice review :-!, I know it takes time and effort.

Checked out the seller, nice stuff, saved as favorite for the future since next watch may be yours in the 43mm version, but I do have another competing candidate, we’ll see.

For the price, Glycine offers no nonsense reasonable value, but not great value. I just really like the casual look of your watch and it’s comfortably thin, even the 43mm is only 10.8mm.

Was going to offer a more local Glycine AD to you, but then I remembered this is a worldwide forum and I don’t recall you mentioning where you’re from, didn't see it in your profile, but nbd.

Own a Glycine Combat SUB auto that I plan to show on this Glycine forum in a couple weeks after I complete the band upgrade, (I hope), since the Glycine bands are pretty nice a little challenge to one-up.

Let us know how your Combat 6 holds up after some time.
Thanks for that.

I look forward to your review of your Combat Sub. I'm still toying with the idea of getting one on a bracelet for hot weather and beach wear. I'm not too keen on the look of the Combat 6/7 series on bracelets but the sub range seem suited to all kinds of straps.

My own Combat 6 is holding up well thanks. I've worn it every day since it arrived and the accuracy is stable at 7-8s/day. I appreciated the lumed numerals in the cinema last week, though the thing I'm liking most at present is the noticeably domed sapphire. Its very pleasing to look at and handle. I think it really suits the relaxed size and design of the watch.

No regrets so far! :)
 

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Yes, I paid more for the smaller sized watch than the larger one is priced. I'm not sure why the prices differ in that way. Elsewhere I have seen the different sizes sold for the same price. I just knew the 36mm was the one for me, having grown up with watches of this size or less (which ages me, I know) + having skinny wrists.
I know this thread has been sleeping for a while; but I also wanted to jump in and say "great review." I also noticed the thing about the price. I really wanted a midsized GMT and I finally decided on Glycine. I almost went with the Airman 22 because it is noticeably less expensive; however I finally decided to go the extra and get the, smaller, Airman 18. It does seem odd that the more traditional sized (smaller) offerings are more expensive.

The Combat 6, 36mm, is definitely on my shortlist. Thanks for a great review.
 

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Very detailed and informative review. Nice job.
 

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Yes great review! Glycine has a Combat 7 out that is has a 42 mm case. May be on my short list since I love that size in my Combat sub. Unusual that the 6 case size varies 4 mm at the 2 measured locations. My Combat is a mere 3 seconds fast/day. Looking at the Klepsoo.com site it looks like prices have dropped again! :)
 
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