Glycine Combat Sub: A Detailed Review

glycine combat sub review

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Glycine Combat Sub: A Detailed Review

In a world of Rolex Submariner homages you might be asking yourself if we need another one. However, when it is made by a Swiss watch company with over 100 years experience, I think it is definitely worth a look.

And on top of that, this is far more affordable than a Rolex, usually selling for around the 400-600 dollar mark.. After all, most of us can’t afford a Rolex, so this kind of watch is the next best thing.

glycine combat sub 42 blue
Glycine Sub Combat Blue Dial

The Sub Combat Features

The specs on the Combat Sub are more than decent, not only in what materials are used but also it’s functionality as a dive watch:

  • Swiss made automatic movement with 38 hours reserve & hacking
  • Sapphire crystal 
  • 42 mm stainless steel case
  • 200m / 660ft water resistance
  • Date window at 3 o’clock
  • Uni-directional bezel
  • 24 hour markings on the dial
  • 22m stainless steel bracelet
glycine sub combat blue dial
Glycine Sub Combat Blue Dial

The Glycine Sub Combat Dial

Even though I referred to this as a Submariner homage, I actually see a significant difference in this watch, especially when you compare it to a lot of other direct copies. Sure, it’s similar, but when you take a closer look, it has it’s own unique trademarks for sure.

For starters, the hour markers on this watch are quire different, being a lot smaller and with very prominent minute markers in between.

The presence of the arabic numbers, including those for the 24 hours, also change the look completely. For me, it is a little too busy, but in terms of function it is very handy indeed. Especially if you work in 24 hour time, or travel to places in Europe where it is standard.

 The hands are a little on the thin side for readability in my opinion, but still decent. The hour hand is a partial Mercedes style hand that you will see on the likes of a Rolex, however without the three-armed symbol in the middle. And the second hard stands out with its large rectangle on the end. At least it’s unique, I suppose!

There is no cyclops on the date window here, and it is black on black with the dial, which again ruins the readability I think. Many watch manufacturers are smart enough to make this white. But sometimes it’s a matter of style over function, because it does look cooler somehow.

The Glycine logo and writing at 6 o’clock are nothing to write home about. However, the arms and the hour markers are clearly lumed throughout. 

And the great thing about this dial is that it is covered by a triple-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal that is not only tough, but also scratch resistant.

glycine combat sub red dial
Glycine Combat Sub Red Bezel

The Bezel

This is very much the kind of  bezel you expect to see on this style of diver. Glycine has provided a very grippy bezel, however they have saved a little on the inners with only 60 clicks on the rotation, instead of 120 like some other more expensive watches.

The markers are again quite standard with numbers at every 10 minutes, 5 minute markers between, expect from 0-15 where there are the more important minute markers in case you are diving and might be running out of air!

The Case & Strap

Glycine has gone with a fairly safe 3-link jubilee style bracelet on this watch with a safety clasp. It’s all nicely brushed stainless steel of course, and has the usual micro-adjustments on the clasp to help make it fit anyone well.

The case is of the same material and together they look great with their all steel feel. The top of the case is brushed stainless steel, with the sides being polished, as is the crown. This also bears their logo in a stylish raised fashion on top. They have also added a decent amount of crown protection on the Sub Combat, which is great if you actually want to use this in any sort of physical activity.

One of the great things about this case, for anyone with a slightly small wrist, is that the lugs curve to sit well on the arm. 

Glycine Sub Combat Steel Band
Glycine Sub Combat Stainless Steel Band


The Movement

Like many Swiss watch makers these days, Glycine does not produce their own. This watch features a movement that is based on the reliable automatic ETA 2825 and altered for Glycine’s specific purpose. They call it the GL 224 and it has a date complication, 38 hours power reserve (which is decent but not the most I have seen) and has the advantage of hacking, which many watches in this price range don’t.

All in all, it’s a solid movement for a watch of this price.

Water Resistance

Another notable feature on this watch is the dive watch friendly 200m water resistance. This is the minimum you would want to go diving with, so it’s great to see on the type of watch that is often “dive” in name only.
I could not find out how close to the ISO specs for dive watches this one came, but the 200m water-resistance plus the screw-down crown and case back are a good start to ensuring you can go in the water for a long time with it. I would go even as far as to say, you can dive with it.

Sub Combat Color Choices

Glycine have gone all out with the Combat Sub range, and you can get this watch in a huge range of colors, straps and styles. Below are some examples I found on Amazon, but there are a whole lot more.

So, as you can see. You can get a stainless steel bracelet, a nylon NATO style strap, a rubber strap or even a stainless steel mesh. The dials also vary quite a bit, with blue and black, as well as changes in terms of the hands and color. But the overall look remains the same – 100% Glycine Combat Sub!

glycine sub combat color choice

Overall Review: Should You Buy The Sub Combat?

If you want a reasonably priced dive watch that is actually Swiss made, the Glycine Sub Combat range has a lot of great looking options with specs to match.

Aside from a Seiko SKX or even Orient Mako or Ray, this is one of the better dive watch options I have seen. And when you add to that the number of color options Glycine have provided for this watch, you are actually spoiled for choice. Just head to any online shop and you will be surprised.

Check them out on Amazon via the button below and see what you think…

Glycine Sub Combat History

Glycine is your typical Swiss watch manufacturer located in the French speaking part of the country, just like many of their counterparts. Specifically, they have their factory in the Bienne.

They actually have a long history making watches, starting in WWI back in 1914 when the founder started making small ladies watches. A far cry from the Sub Combat we see here, that is for sure.

Eugène Meylan and his company have been steadily improving their watches ever since. From chronographs, to more modern watches such as the Airman, which came out in the 1960s.

The Sub Combat was actually introduced during a new wave of designs that Glycine had starting in the late 1990s. The first model was a 37mm option, but of course they have expanded since then to include the 42mm we know and love today.

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