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Glycine Hanging On? (Edit: new Airman arrival)


JoT
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Members who have been on here for some time may remember that 15 years or so ago I had a large collection of vintage and contemporary Glycine watches - from memory I had five original vintage Airman with different dial and movement combinations, vintage Airman SST, two quartz models from the time watchmaker Werner Siegrist kept the Airman name alive, at various times I also owned an Airman 46, Airman 42 and various Incursore, Lagunare and Combat watches. A bit OCD perhaps :laugh:

I did get a lot of pleasure rescuing old vintage Airman watches and having them restored by Werner, I just wish I had kept at least one. I also worked with a guy from the Netherlands to help drive counterfeits off the market and gave him some modest assistance when he wrote a book on the Airman (some of my old watches are in the book).

In 2016 Glycine was taken over by Invicta after having lost its way and initially it looked like the brand was being redesigned in the style of Invicta. Now it seems that Invicta's input is in marketing strategy and distribution. I had a look at the Glycine website and they have reduced their collection to two lines i.e. the Airman and the Combat.

For the Airman they have a contemporary collection of 40 models based around the Airman 42 and Airman 46, an Airwoman's collection of five models (a bit too "Invicta" for me), and a vintage collection of 16 models in 36mm, 40mm and 42mm. The vintage line looks very well done in my opinion and they have kept a number of "purist" 24 hour as well as GMT versions.

In the Combat line they have 73 variations of the Combat Sub (yes 73!!), a Classic collection of 31 models and a Vintage Classic collection of 3 models.

I think Invicta's strategy on focusing on two popular lines is correct even though I think it is a shame the Lagunare and Incursore have gone.

40mm Airman Vintage purist version

csm_GL0252_d8082803de.png  

Airman 42 purist version

csm_GL0139_33db10625e.png

 

Combat Sub (one of many versions)

csm_GL0090_2ddd5ebf9f.png

To finish the story I found a reasonably priced new model Airman Vintage 40mm and ordered it ..... for old times sake :laugh:

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10 hours ago, scottswatches said:

The US clearance site Drop regularly have Glycine models, but the invicta involvement has put me off up to now.  I'd be interested to hear what your experiences are JoT

I am also curious, boiling the brand down to their two best known lines and reverting to a more traditional look suggests that the Invictasation of the brand didn't work that well. Also the angle on Invicta involvement is now marketing and distribution only. 

10 hours ago, it'salivejim said:

I love Glycine and have owned loads over the years, but I won't touch the new Invicta-owned models.

The logo for a start is awful, and they seem to be churning them out at a rate of knots. Is quality control the same? I doubt it.

 

They have reverted to traditional logos, no idea about QC no doubt I will find out soon. I am not sure they are churning them out at a rate of knots, at least not now, given their price point. The Combat Sub is quite popular but the other Combat models and the Airman models are niche watches in my opinion.

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I'm really interested to see what you think to the new Glycine, I'm very interested on getting a Combat version though keep on hearing comments about the Invicta involvement which are a bit of a deterrent. It's probably worth adding, I've not heard of anyone buying a new Glycine that's actually said anything bad a out the watch... 

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1 hour ago, Muddy D said:

I'm really interested to see what you think to the new Glycine, I'm very interested on getting a Combat version though keep on hearing comments about the Invicta involvement which are a bit of a deterrent. It's probably worth adding, I've not heard of anyone buying a new Glycine that's actually said anything bad a out the watch... 

WuS interviewed Stephan Lack the CEO of Invicta and raised some of the Invicta issues with him, despite what he said in the interview the perception remains amongst many that Glycine brand has been damaged by its association with Invicta, unfairly perhaps?

https://www.watchuseek.com/threads/interview-with-stephan-lack-regarding-invicta-acquiring-glycine-watches-sa.3481609/

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On 03/07/2020 at 20:20, JoT said:

Members who have been on here for some time may remember that 15 years or so ago I had a large collection of vintage and contemporary Glycine watches - from memory I had five original vintage Airman with different dial and movement combinations, vintage Airman SST, two quartz models from the time watchmaker Werner Siegrist kept the Airman name alive, at various times I also owned an Airman 46, Airman 42 and various Incursore, Lagunare and Combat watches. A bit OCD perhaps :laugh:

I did get a lot of pleasure rescuing old vintage Airman watches and having them restored by Werner, I just wish I had kept at least one. I also worked with a guy from the Netherlands to help drive counterfeits off the market and gave him some modest assistance when he wrote a book on the Airman (some of my old watches are in the book).

...

To finish the story I found a reasonably priced new model Airman Vintage 40mm and ordered it ..... for old times sake :laugh:

 

I had the privilege of seeing and handling a few of those vintage Glycine's all those years ago. I remember being in awe of JoT's vast research and detailed knowledege of vintage Glycine's, especially the Airman.

Well done for ordering the new model Airman Vintage. :thumbsup:

Edited by Shoughie0
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I've had a few Glycine watches over the years. Best in my opinion was a gold plate Datejust lookalike made in the 1970s. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of it. Currently I have an Airman 9 GMT Chrono with ETA 7754 movement which I love for its quirkiness such as no running seconds hand.. 

IMG_20200518_123556.jpg

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Used to own a Lagunare some years ago which, I seem to remember, was a lovely big, impressive & beautifully made watch. I also owned a 24 hour Airman which was just as beautifully made but considerably smaller. Both had the traditional non-ratcheting screw lock bezel. Like a fool I sold both :(

If Invicta are still producing decently made watches, as well as keeping the brand alive, then good luck to them I say :thumbs_up:

Loving the rather wonderful chronograph shown above :clap:

Edited by pauluspaolo
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4 hours ago, Biker said:

I don't think the logo change went down well, a lot of these versions being sold cheap 

 

New Combat 6 36mm design with the traditional logo

csm_GL0105_7f9363ceef.png

If you don't mind the non-traditional logo I think $275 for an ETA2824 / SW200-1 dress watch is pretty good 

 

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The new Airman arrived, it is a long time since I have gone new!

The model is an Airman Vintage "Chief" GL0252, the dial is a faithful recreation of the mid to late 1950's Felsa movement version of the Airman, under the Glycine signature they have added "The Chief" which at first I thought was a bit odd until I remembered they made a version in the 1950's for Turler, a Swiss jeweller, which had a black coated case and "The Chief" on the dial.

The case has been increased by about 11% from the original 36 mm diameter to 40 mm diameter and the thickness increased by about 4.3% from 11.5 mm to 12.0 mm. The case is well made with no sharp edges and is a faithfully reproduced albeit at a larger diameter. Glycine have kept the same style screw-in back as the late 50's Airman and the small undecorated crown and bezel lock "crown" (later Airman had a slightly larger crown with a cross hatched engraving). Given that the thickness of the watch hasn't materially increased the crowns are slightly smaller in proportion to the original 36mm Airman. The finish is both polished and satin with a transparent gunmetal grey coating which looks very smart (a nod to the black coated case on the Turler model), don't know what they used to coat the case, DLC perhaps, or how wear resistant it is, only time will tell, but it does look very smart. Crystal is a domed plexiglass, which gives the watch an authentic look.

My only criticism of the design is the case should have been slightly thicker  at 12.6 mm which would allowed a slightly larger crown, but it is not a big issue.

There is no water resistance to speak of (1 atmosphere), the crown is not screw-down. The movement calibre is given as GL293 which is either an ETA 2893-2 or Sellita SW 330-1 I don't know which, I read somewhere that ETA would be making 2893-2 available again for Glycine from 2020, can't take the back off as I haven't got the right tools for this back but I am happy with either movement. The watch is set up as a true 24 hour and not a GMT so only two times zones and in keeping with the original Felsa models the date wheel has red numbering. New out of the box and not worn, the watch has lost 2 seconds in 24 hours which seems OK, let's see what it settles down at.

The strap is reasonable quality padded stitched leather with a signed gunmetal grey buckle, the strap will be taken off and stored and replaced with an unpadded camel grain leather strap which unfortunately doesn't have a gunmetal grey buckle so I will probably swap them over. The box is well appointed and came with instructions etc.

So what about the quality? After all Invicta etc etc ....

In my opinion the quality is as good as anything the modern Glycine company has produced pre-Invicta

The concept of a 40 mm vintage?

I asked Glycine several times about making a 38 mm or 40 mm version, I always felt the 42mm version was too big and while still a very nice watch the 36 mm version is a bit small, glad they got around to it eventually!

Glycine do other watches in the vintage Airman range including a 40 mm limited edition with the 1960's dial and an uncoated stainless steel case and an Airman 36 mm "No. 1" which is the spitting image of the 60's Airman. Invicta seem to have dictated the strategy of focusing on Airman and Combat lines and Glycine have done a good job at creating a good range of contemporary and vintage inspired models. If you have an iconic watch with the heritage of the Airman it makes sense.

Some pictures, light wasn't great so tweaked a bit with software

large.987354997_P7090003s-Copy.jpg.6625efcc053c2ca8a1cc1963b70297e4.jpg

 

large.845586772_P7090009s-Copy.jpg.d1b6fbdf1d39c2fa8912dc7a72b20409.jpg

 

large.1161866523_P7090004s-Copy.jpg.bd2b1f48a98e9c0237230decc05143c7.jpg

 

large.888522114_P7090006s-Copy.jpg.974595136168bb9eb3189c370c1563af.jpg

 

large.1691409379_P7090007s-Copy.jpg.82c3f07ef891a968445097a1eb176a27.jpg

 

    

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That looks good to me but I'm sure my Airman was 200m water resistant with a screw down. Think I got it from Chronomaster about 12/15 years ago. Not sure of the diameter but it wasn't a large watch (38mm maybe?) & it was the 24 hour version - I struggled telling the time until I got used to it. Enjoy the watch :clap:

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I like that, the coating makes it have an interesting satin like finish to it. I do think it’d take a while for me to get used to the 24hr dial, but I like the quirkiness of that as well. More water resistance would be nice, but it’s not like most of us are swimming everyday. What is the lume like?
A good buy, enjoy.

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1 hour ago, pauluspaolo said:

That looks good to me but I'm sure my Airman was 200m water resistant with a screw down. Think I got it from Chronomaster about 12/15 years ago. Not sure of the diameter but it wasn't a large watch (38mm maybe?) & it was the 24 hour version - I struggled telling the time until I got used to it. Enjoy the watch :clap:

The current contemporary line offered by Glycine have screw-down crowns and water resistance, these vintage recreations are not water resistant and are remarkably like the genuine vintage models. 12/15 years ago Glycine did a 36mm, 42mm and , 46mm so you probably had the 36mm. yes the true 24 hour dial takes a bit of thinking about, can't tell the time at a glance!

41 minutes ago, Littlelegs said:

I like that, the coating makes it have an interesting satin like finish to it. I do think it’d take a while for me to get used to the 24hr dial, but I like the quirkiness of that as well. More water resistance would be nice, but it’s not like most of us are swimming everyday. What is the lume like?
A good buy, enjoy.

The lume is SL but because it is 24 hour and quite a crowded dial the quantity applied is small but it is quite readable even though you have to put your head into 24 hour mode!

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  • 2 months later...

The Airman above is gunmetal grey PVD and after I bought it I was wondering if I shouldn't have got a plain stainless steel version. Don't get me wrong I really like the gunmetal grey but I am not a big fan of leather straps and finding a gunmetal grey bracelet was a problem. It was until I found a 22mm gunmetal mesh bracelet by Vincero being sold as an accessory to fit one of their watches. Took a chance and ordered it and very pleased with the result :yes:

large.IMAG1805.jpg.f83987380a7c6728d83a9dc3f3ccda1a.jpglarge.IMAG1808.jpg.f727cebed02dc29a94348dc23ab30472.jpglarge.IMAG1806.jpg.efcd26afc839775fa60e577e622713d5.jpg

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I had a good look at the revived range on the Gnomon website yesterday and I thought they looked pretty good. I very nearly committed to an original at a watch fair some time ago. If I had been alone I probably would have walked away with one - lol! The feedback above is very helpful as they have been my preferred 24 hour watch for sometime.  :thumbsup:

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