Glycine has built its brand up from a humble foundation to a brand of forward thinking designs and distinctive designs. After being around for over a century Glycine are still finding ways to do things differently so that the fans of their timepieces can always be proud of their association. The Combat Sub, in keeping with what was mentioned above, has a varied offering which it seems to re-invent every now and again. The Combat Sub is probably Glycine’s most popular timepiece which is amusing because it is a diver in a brand that was established through aviation.
General Style Dial
The dials on the Combat Sub variants tend to follow a similar structure with some slight changes in appearance. The variations are sometimes even present within the sub-models, the design team were obviously having too much of a good time. The vast majority of dials are finished in matte black, blue or white with the blue dials on pieces with a stainless steel bracelet opting to go for a brushed sunray dial to give the piece some more shine. The colours are largely chosen to contrast the dial, watch-hands and indexes although there are two or three models that have a black dial with dark watch hands and indexes which can be a bit frustrating to see if the lume isn’t active.
All of the models have the Aston Martin, I mean Glycine, logo just below the 12 o’clock. The pieces vary from use of blocks and dots for indexes and Arabic numbers depending on the watch hands that they are matched with. I am guessing there was a picking numbers out of a hat game that was possibly involved in this decision making process. Every single piece – and by every single piece I of course mean not every single piece, some congruency would be unthinkable – features 24 hour markers just below the hour indexes except for the Subs with mesh bracelets.
There is a variation of C1 and BGW9 lume used on the pieces so if you are looking for the piece with the better lume scroll around for the ones layered with the BGW9 lume.
Consistency at last
While reading you might have found yourself saying: “But wait, the date window.” Well yes, I thought it deserved its own honourable mention because it is the only bit of consistency and that is due to the GL224 Swiss movement that is working away in all of these pieces. The GL224 is a great machine to have in your timepiece and is often likened to the famous ETA 2824. It is a 25 jewel movement and functions at a 28,800 frequency with a 38 hour power reserve. There is a hacking second hand and a date window at 3 o’clock.
Every piece also features a turning bezel, because they are all divers, but that is where that line of similarities end. The Aquarius range take first prize here with their ceramic bezels which make them more durable and help them avoid scratches a bit better although it does come with a slightly higher cost. The other pieces all feature a variation of stainless steel bezels, all unidirectional, with some also sporting a PVD layer for some extra protection.
The Combat Sub has a classic sport watch look and although I appreciate the strides towards uniqueness and the pioneering spirit I do think the watchmakers opted for something that resembled some proven pieces from the past. The stainless steel cases range from the medium sized 42mm to 48mm in diameter so you don’t have to have large wrists but you will struggle to find comfort with smaller wrists. There is a standard screw crown on each piece and the Aquarius range has what looks like an additional crown at 8 o’clock but is a helium escape valve. This only has any real functional use for commercial divers that spend extended amounts of time in these environments.
As you are well aware, I am an advocate for choice but the Combat Sub gave me a headache at times. There is a lot of variation for pieces that are so closely related. The quality is evident in every piece however. There are 3 anti-reflective layers on the inside of each crystal and the bands are all carefully chosen. You have choice between the dressier sport divers with some gold accents and steel bracelets or the more adventurous looking divers with fabric, rubber or silicon straps. I am reminded of talk where Malcolm Gladwell quoted Howard Moskowitz: “You shouldn’t be looking for the perfect Pepsi, you should be looking for the perfect Pepsis.” Glycine didn’t go for the perfect hit with this piece because that is almost impossible to get right but they instead went for a combination of the perfect hits.